Well... how I have missed my blog! ;D Sort of! ;D I've been writing a bicycling blog over on Wordpress ( I know, how I have cheated on thee!) to keep track of our mammoth bike ride. It went well!! Here is the link for the bike blog in case somehow you missed it! :D
I wrote an article about the BRAN today for theMom's on a Mission column in the Star City Sports magazine. The editor said he really enjoyed reading it from start to finish and it was my "best yet" !!! Hmmm.... being the person I am I just presume that my other articles have been lousy but there ya go.... Anyway, I thought you might like to read a VERY brief summation of our week in the Sandhills. Lisa and I are going to get together sometime soon to reminisce and to update the cycling blog with photos and things we recall! ;D Until then... here ya go! ;D
There comes a time in the life of every stay at home mom where she feels she would do ANYTHING to get away from the kids and have just a little time alone. Those times are rare, but when they come up and they happen to coincide with a good friend mentioning she has "always wanted to ride the BRAN"... well... let's just say strange things can happen! :D Riding the BRAN, heck, riding anything more than a short ride to the store or maybe the local park, has never been on my "things to do" list however my friend is very persuasive and back when she mentioned it the ride was still 12 months away... Boy those 12 months went fast. We had big plans of training, riding at least 100 miles in one day, riding two consecutive 70 mile days... that sort of thing. What happened, as is what happens to many parents of young children....life got in the way. The days when sitters were available the weather would be terrible, if the weather was great, there would be no one to watch the kids.... soon June rolled around and we found ourselves at 5am on a bus to the Nebraska Sandhills. It was very traumatic for my daughter to see me go. It turns out that in all her 10 years we had never been apart. I assured her that she would have a wonderful time with Daddy but her first day and night were tough ones. My first night was hard too, sleeping in a tent in a field with 675 other riders, various bike shops and their members, support crews, drivers, families and so on was hard enough, the fact that I had totally underestimated just how cold it can get in Northern Nebraska overnight didn't help matters either. Top that off with a fear of the unknown and neither Lisa or myself got any sleep that night. Our first riding day was a hard one. That is an understatement. Day one was horrendous. The scenery was beautiful, the weather was lovely. The hills, however, the hills were dreadful! Long and winding doesn't do them justice. Oh, and there was a headwind the whole way up.... and, one more thing, the hills never had any downs.... just ups. 82 miles, all up hill. We thought we just might die. Happily the days got better and we learned the tricks to keeping the tent upright in the storms that raged every single night. We learned to take Tylenol PM to ensure a few hours sleep and to make believe the snoring chorus around us was the ocean. We learned to get up at 4, eat whatever food was provided and as much of that as possible and to get out of camp by 6. We learned that no matter how much your legs hurt in the morning, eventually the pain will subside and the rest of the day will improve. We learned to ride in driving rain, headwinds, crosswinds, thunderstorms, we learned to use the hills to gain speed. We learned how friendly Nebraskans are, how much you can long for pie, how the idea of spray cheese and crackers can be the only thing that gets you to the next town. We discovered if the local grocery store doesn't have a tennis ball then a Downy Ball will work to massage sore shoulders. We gained strength, we gained muscle, we gained perspective. We learned how to make fast decisions, we learned to be responsible for ourselves, to make choices based solely on what we want rather than on what would benefit our children or spouses. Riding into Ashland on that last day of the ride we felt like we could do anything. We had grown as people. We had filled our cups and were calmer and more capable mothers. Sometimes Mom's Mission isn't just about taking care of the children, sometimes it's to take care of Mom. How about a Bike Ride Across the Bahamas next year though?? Anyone care to join me?