It is hard to imagine that it has been close to three years since Jim, my husband, died. I have had great adventures since then. My Roadtrek and traveling in it has been very healing for me. It has given me the freedom to move around and visit those that love and support me, unconditionally.
I have, however, remained wary of groups since Jim died. I have found that I am more comfortable in small groups of people or alone. A few weeks ago I decided that it was time for me to move out of my comfort zone and start placing myself in larger group situations.
Today I did just that. I decided that I would take advantage of a sport I have found I still enjoy with or without Jim and venture into a group of people and maybe even speak to a few. Today I rode my road bike in the Bike the Coast event in Oceanside, California. There was a choice of mileage you could ride. I did not think I would be ready for the 25, 50 or 100 miles so I settled on the 15-mile challenge.
I took my sweet little Roadtrek and packed it with my bicycle and boogie boarding gear and headed about 45 minutes north to ride in Bike the Coast 2015. Now there was a second reason to go to the coast today, Big Waves. I love big waves and the surfers who ride them.
Gearing up and ready to go shortly before 9 a.m., the bike ride started. I rode out with the first wave of riders for the 15- and 7-mile ride. Pretty soon I was biking up the San Luis Rey River trail and before I knew it I had reached the half way point only to find out I was the first of the riders to be there. Hmm I never thought I would be out in front. There are some days that I feel strong and today was one of them. And…I was the first one to return. Not bad for an almost 63-year-old woman.
Did I mention the temperature? We are in the middle of a Santa Ana (strong winds blowing from the east to the west) and it is a bit warm here. Today the temperature hovered around 95-100 degrees Fahrenheit. A bit warm.
Afterwards I met the two most lovely women. We sat and spoke for awhile. It was their first time ever riding bicycles. They went 9 miles of the 15-mile ride. We shared stories and lives and laughed quite a bit. I felt like my adventure into larger crowds was a success and I think I might try again.
- It was easy to slip my bike inside and make it comfortable with very little effort.
- My bike was hidden so no one could think they might like to make off with my sweet ride.
- My refrigerator kept drinks cold on a very hot day.
- I also had a place to put my boogie board, wet suit and fins in case I wanted to go in the still warm water (70 degrees today).
- I had a ready bathroom, just in case.
- Changing my clothes after the ride was sweet and easy.
- I love sitting up high and today with the waves crashing it was fun to have an advantageous view.
So there it is. I am trying new things in my life and I believe that most of the time I am succeeding. I have so much support from so many. Some I know, some I have never met (like most of you). I believe that next I will join a local bike group and try that out. If it feels right that is good. If not I will try something else. It is good to have company from time to time and it is OK to share who I am with others.