Wow. I’ve been all over the place lately, it seems. Not physically, although I have been all over Portland, but mentally. My brother’s been here; my mom came up for a while; the Portland-Corvallis cultural exchange continued; we hosted a massive number of awesome people for a vegan post-Thanksgiving feast. It’s continued to be mostly sunny. I spent an inordinate amount of time on the phone to distant people I love. I’ve run and biked all over this city.
I’ve been so in love with life and Portland and friends and family, and so concurrently scattered all over, so bursting with enthusiasm and energy and so clueless as to how to let it all out in any productive way other than periodically erupting into cartwheels or song or hula hooping (really!) or enthusastic letter-writing or a random run down the block like an un-self-conscious little kid.
In a few short days, James and I make our way to Bangkok and then Laos for three weeks.
Life is so lovely and I am so, so thankful.
I was biking home today, slightly uphill, when another fellow on a bike came up on my left. “I’m cheating!” he said. “I have a motor!”
I smiled at him, since I love it when people say something when they pass me instead of just giving the straight-ahead, 100-mile, I-don’t-acknowledge-you-as-a-fellow-human-being stare.
“Is it cheating to have a motor on your bike?” I asked.
“Well, I don’t think so,” he said. “But I’m 75! At my age, nothing is cheating!”
Heh. Even though I don’t really know how I feel about motorized bicycles, I was kind of psyched about that old dude. Way to rock it.
Leaves in the bike lane…
Swift tires crunch through them, loud
I’m glad they’re not wet
Sometimes, I get grumpy about having to do things: I don’t want to go to work. I know I’ll feel better if I do, but I don’t want to go running. I don’t want to make dinner.
There are whole hosts of things I sometimes petulantly don’t want to do, but usually, it’s not about the thing itself–it’s about being tired of the routine. If I don’t want to go running, it’s probably because I’ve been running the same (or similar) route for too long and I’m starting to get bored. If I don’t want to go to work, perhaps I’m not excited about what I’m currently working on. Generally, switching something up will get me back into it.
This is what happened with last weekend’s OR Randonneurs 100k ride that I was super excited about initially. Somewhere between posting about it on this blog and then actually riding to the start of it, I got to feeling grumpy. I didn’t want to ride a ride I rode last year. I didn’t want to follow a cue sheet. I didn’t want to have this experience that for whatever reason seemed old and tired to me.
What I did want to do was see all the other people riding it, and then do my own thing. Which is what I did. I rode to the start in Forest Grove, hung out with everyone getting ready to ride it, and then took off for my own exploratory ride, all around Forest Grove, Hillsboro, and a long and convoluted way back to and around Portland.
It was exactly what I needed. A ride where I had no idea what to expect put the thrill back into a Saturday full of biking; giving myself total license to take whatever road looked interesting at the time made me all the more excited to be out.
Would I have enjoyed the 100k ride if I’d made myself do it? Probably. I’m sure that once I started it I would have warmed up to the idea. The roads it covers are lovely, and it was a great day for biking. But I’m pretty psyched that I got my own exploratory and meandery bike ride in. Sometimes you’ve gotta switch it up, yknow? :)