This last weekend, I reached a personal milestone. I biked for more than 100 miles! I spent the weekend on a bike tour with Cycles for Change, in which we all raised at least $200 to support the community programs, and then enjoyed three days of biking through the rolling yellow hills of western Wisconsin, touring farms, and making fresh food. It was, without a doubt, the most beautiful scenery I have ever experienced on bike. Both the gateway trail and the farm country of Wisconsin were stunning. We even came across this red barn with this famous poem written on it....Tis needless to say that I have been bitten by the bike touring bug. I’m already planning a trip that I had initially wanted to do this last summer but was overall way too soon for me between getting back from Peace Corps, settling in, and all that. Next summer, I’m going to bike between LA and San Francisco-hopefully in about 2 weeks, and visit my two brothers who live in those respective locations. I’m going to call it the Big Brother Bike Tour 2014. It gives me almost a year to figure out all the logistics, and possibly get another bike that’s better for touring. The first step starts tomorrow, as I begin my month-long basic bike maintenance course at Cycles for Change. Perhaps a breeze for many, things that involve using my hands in artful and practical ways are nothing short of terrifying for me. I have atrocious fine motor skills and am flagrantly stupid at anything practical. It will be a challenge.
There was a teenager on the bike tour who was surprised that I was 26. She told me that I didn’t seem that old because I was so approachable and didn’t talk about things like business and work and money and houses. That was about as much validation as I could ever desire. And, seeking validation is okay, too. At the end of the day, I feel like we are all just peeking from behind our hands at our peers, our eyes wide and urgent with the question, “Am I okay? Do you like me? Am I okay?” So, thanks for that, Moira. You are more than okay in my books.
Not entirely related but I’ve been thinking a lot about the values we are indoctrinated in as children and adolescents! (It is the start of the school year, after all). It’s amazing. We find ourselves believing all sorts of negative things about ‘alternative’ lifestyles. Like, orgies are bad, polyamory is bad, being gay is bad, drugs are bad, homelessness is bad, vulgarity is bad…truly the most gratifying part of ‘growing up’ has been the slow unveiling surrounding these cultural values we have. To reveal? Nothing is bad. This was further cemented over a beer with old friends yesterday when we came to the conclusion what life is all about:
"It's all about doing weird things and not calling them weird"
As a further extension of a previous blog post where I ranted and raved about beautiful imperfections and quirks, I’d like to say again that what makes you different or unseemly or edgy or crusty or dirty or weird is also probably what makes you excellent and okay.