Written by Ann Brennan
Every Christmas Blaise gives me books. He gives me autobiographies and some fiction but mostly he gives me adventure books. In the beginning these books came without warnings. But it didn’t take long for him to learn this was a bad plan. Almost every book after that first year came with a caveat, “Don’t try this at home.” You see, I have a problem with visions of grandeur. I read about an adventure and immediately want to strike out on my own adventure.
Yesterday, Blaise let his guard slip. Yesterday, I came home to a brand new bike in my front hall. No special occasion. He just bought it to surprise me. And he succeeded. This was the most awesome surprise he could have possibly given me.
My new bike is a fitness bike by Trek. Blaise bought it because my last hybrid was a gift from my father-in-law 22 years ago and has outlived its original life expectancy by at least 5 years. These days I find myself borrowing my daughter’s bike anytime I want to ride trails instead of road. My new bike (Zane named her Black Betty) is meant for adventures with the kids. Something not quite as fast as my tri bike but still pretty sporty.
The problem is that after taking it for my first real ride this morning, a 22-mile ride along our local rails-to-trails path, visions of grandeur struck again. I came home ready to take on all sorts of new adventures. Yes, I can ride with the kids. We can take some rides along the B&A Trail, probably head out and do the airport loop, take it into DC and ride along the Mall or Mount Vernon and ride one of my favorite trails. But, wait, there’s more. There always is with me, right?
Blaise and I could take it to the Mount Vernon Trail, ride the 20+ miles to Theodore Roosevelt Island, lock up the bikes and run the trails on the island and then ride back to Mount Vernon. Or we could take it to Pittsburgh, have one of the kids drop us off and then head back to DC along the Allegheny Passage and the C&O Canal. Or we could take it on the train to New York City and ride all along the different paths in Manhattan and Brooklyn, or we could…
I could go on and on and on and, of course, as I write this and want to say it is a cautionary tale about new bikes and where they might lead you, I find myself instead wondering what you think. Where should I take my new bike. What trails should I venture out on? What cities have paths between them? Where would you go?