Traveling Without Destination

Vintage love.

This morning's bike ride was an experiment. I recently got an old bike made new again and it was intended to be a short ride. I've been used to a very fancy modern bike with all the modern conveniences and I wasn't sure how it was going to go, so I'd keep it short. 

I got on the bike and the seat was too high so I adjusted... but then the reach was uncomfortable and I could feel my triceps tweaking before I even glided out of the neighborhood. The handlebars were too wide. The shifting was weird (I mean... can you imagine... taking your hands off the handlebars to shift!) Reaching for the brakes from the high position was awkward, but the low bars were way too low for any kind of comfort ride. It didn't have clip pedals so instead of my not-so-fancy Giro cycling shoes, I wore even-less-fancy $22 sneakers from Target, so my feet weren't gripping the pedals nicely on the inclines. And it was only ten-speed so I actually had to stand to pedal, even on the shorter hills. Worst of all, I didn't have an elastic in my hair; it was held in a wide frizzy ponytail with a BARRETTE. Who does that? 

Short ride. Yes. But then I got to riding, and got to thinking, and stopped to noticing, and in short order, I was in a fancy empty-nester development on pine-lined roads that snaked around a perfectly manicured golf course. This was further than I intended, but I decided not to turn back. Knew of a loop I could ride that wouldn't kill me that would bring me back to old stomping grounds. Old gear-mashing grounds, really. Exited out the back of the development onto an old historic road and eased my way through even older pines, navigating tar-filled road cracks and a few passing pickup trucks. Passed a big field, saw eight deer in the distant mist. Dodged a flock of turkeys. Passed a house where my friend used to live before she left her old life to start a new life. Passed another house where another friend used to live before she left her old life to start a new life.

This wasn't where I had planned to ride today. But when we start our journeys, we don't always end up where we think we will. We climb hills, we feel uncomfortable, we get used to it after a while, we adjust. We pass lovely flowers, fields, and deer, and we dodge a lot of turkeys in the woods. Then we turn for home, tired, and drink a tall glass of water. Brew some coffee. Start the day. Home, back where we started.