The Bike Ride

What in the world can I say about that bike ride yesterday?  The general idea was to ride out for half an hour & then ride back… just a nice 1-hour jaunt.  But when we reached McBaine, we were feeling really good, so someone mentioned the idea of Rocheport.  It was only another 10 miles… no big deal.  The trip out to Rocheport was for the most part enjoyable and uneventful.  I paced Aaron (who was holding back for my benefit), and stayed ahead of the pack for most of the time, falling back occaisionally to chat with folks.  The scenery was fantastic.  All the recent rain had the foliage just bursting forth, even though the humidity was pretty thick & a little unpleasant.

I was getting pretty tired by the time we reached the I-70 bridge & was wishing I had brought a snack (but that would have been silly for a 1-hour ride).  We were nearing Rocheport when Aaron said something to me about how he was proud that I was at the front of the pack, and not to let any girls pass me before we got to Rocheport.  So I looked back to see where Michal & Carissa were…. bad idea.  My bike has a very flexible steering column, and any kind of unbalance makes my handle bars turn pretty quickly.  BAM, I ran into Aaron, and then hit the ground and skidded.  I felt like such a dork.  All the other people were still behind me, so I jumped back on my bike and kept going, so I wouldn’t have all of them asking if I was OK.  Mostly, just my dignity was hurt.  We went on into Rocheport, and went to the train tunnel.  Then I washed my wounds & we set off for the return journey.

Mostly, the return journey was just long, and tiring, and painful.  I had a bad attitude, which didn’t improve when my water ran out.  By the time we got to McBaine, Aaron was far ahead of the pack, with James close behind and Ben & Michal after that.  Nick, Carissa & I were behind that.  Aaron saw that I was suffering, so he volunteered to stick with me, no matter how slow my pace was.  That helped my attitude considerably.  He pushed me to give it every last drop of energy I had & we were once again at the front of the pack.

Then, as I was really feeling that I just couldn’t keep it up, Aaron’s tire started to lose air.  So he took off, trying to sprint as far as he could before losing all his air.  That’s when my attitude plunged.  I forced myself to keep going, but was steadily being passed by everyone.  It was getting really dark, & I was thoroughly annoyed at being alone in the dark & feeling so crappy.  Then, lo and behold, there’s Aaron, walking his bike with a completely flat tire.  So I jumped off my bike to walk with him.

THAT is when I saw the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.  We were walking along an area with fields of tall prairie grass on both sides.  It was dusky, so that seeing even 20 feet ahead was pretty tough.  But suddenly, the fields around us started sparkling.  No joke.  They were sparkling with tiny yellow lights.  It was lightning bugs (or fireflys, your choice).  They were waking up and coming out of the grass, just twinkling on and off.  I have NEVER seen so many lightning bugs in my life.  It was beautiful beyond just about anything I’ve ever seen.  And we were there at just the right time to see it.  Just Aaron and me, and God watching as we soaked up the beauty of the moment.  All my stress & pain faded as I basked in childlike wonder.

Later, Aaron said he loves watching me enjoy those kinds of things.  He said it makes him look at it differently than he would if he was alone.  And he likes seeing the joy I take in things like lightning bugs.  I guess that’s why he indulges me when I decide to chase the sunset, looking to take the perfect picture.  Awww… Stevi’s gettin’ sappy.

Anyway, it was an adventure.  I don’t really have anything deep or witty to end with.  So I’ll just let this be over.  Bye.