I have been harried these past few weeks, frantically working my way through several long days. I haven’t had a lot of time to spend with my partner, or with myself, for that matter. I almost let this most lovely time of year get away from me, but yesterday I was reminded of why I love spring.
Mother Nature has been toying with us all season (it snowed an inch here just last Saturday), but it seems that fair weather has finally come to stay. Things are beginning to smell green, my tulips and daffodils are pushing up, the song birds are back in force, and the people in my neighborhood are out and about - jogging, strolling, and teaching their kids how to ride that bike they received last Christmas. Everyone is moving and seeing and being seen.
My fiancé has been itching to get his bicycle on the pavement since February, when he used part of his tax return to add some extra gears and ridiculous ape-hanger handle bars to his Electra Ratrod. Last night, on my way home from work, I got the call; “Honey, I’m not going to the gym tonight - we’re going to do our loop!”
“Our loop” is one of my favorite things about the city where we live. It’s a 17-mile, mostly trail, ride that takes us into three parks, by one marina, over four major bridges, through one of the city’s old residential neighborhoods, and back home again. It’s a totally urban trail, but last evening we saw a deer (which is not uncommon, last year we came across several herds of deer as well as a badger, beavers, raccoons, and opossums), and the river is so high right now I could spend hours hypnotized, staring at the water churning and turning.
The highlight of our loop ride is the oh-so-convenient half-way point - a pair of bars that cater specifically to “our people.” “Our people” like good beer and cheap food, and you can get both at each at these joints. One has a 70’s inspired theme with a menu boasting fare such as “velvet Elvis dip” and Frito pie. This bar only serves beers that were being produced prior to 1970 - it’s a hoot - you can get a Schlitz or Grain Belt, but don’t ask for a fancy microbrew. The other establishment serves up Mexican food, including enchiladas and fish tacos - and has 105 domestic beers on tap. Stopping at either of these places makes the exercise we get biking a zero-sum-equation - we probably eat and drink as many calories as we burn - but we only stop for one because we like to be home before dark.
Last night, we did our loop - complete with a stop for a cheeseburger & tator-tot basket (for the bargain price of $3.25, you can’t beat it!) - and were home by dusk. As we were cruising over a bridge on the way home, I turned to Matt and said, “We have a pretty nice life” - and he agreed.
Sometimes it just takes a bike ride, tator-tots, and some quality time with your partner to put everything into perspective.Stumble it!