Wednesday, May 26, 2010

When Bike Riding Doesn't Make You Fall Over

On Monday I ventured out on my bike for the first time since the Incident. I was a little nervous! But, thanks to the generosity of my mom, I was able to fill my tires using my new bike pump (low tires being part of the problem from before). I was really nervous coming up that hill, but then, amazingly, I made it! And not only did I make it up the hill without falling over, I felt good enough to just keep riding!

I rode around for about twenty minutes, and took a lot of pictures of the beautiful neighborhoods around me. I was such a perfect evening to ride! It was nice and cool and it smelled like summer, as well as like Maine, Thailand, and my hometown. Isn't it strange how smells can transport you somewhere? I was instantly in those places as I rode through the streets of Grand Rapids.

OK, enough gabbing. Here are some photos for you to enjoy!

A beautiful Grand Rapids street

I'm pretty sure a witch lives here.

I accidentally took a picture while I was riding!

The Meyer May House, a home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright! (Very cool inside - I've taken the tour, which is free!)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I Wanna Live Where the Green Grass Grows

What is it about green grass that makes me so happy? I just want to lay down in it, maybe roll around, squish my toes in it, run my fingers through it... Sigh! When everything first started getting all green a few weeks ago, I was walking by the library and bent down and let my fingers run through the grass as I walked by. I love it! (I wondered afterwards if anyone saw me and thought I was crazy...odds are I didn't know them anyway, so oh, well!) I find myself wanting to run around barefoot in every freshly mown lawn I come across so I can feel the grass between my toes! Is it just me, or does anybody else love grass this much? I'm OK if it's just me. But if you love it, too, let's go find some green grass to run in!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Descent Into Ridiculousness

It’s been a while since I’ve done much blogging, but now that my semester is over, I thought I’d try to ease back into things with a slightly embarrassing (but funny!) story.

About a month ago, when the weather started getting warm, I decided to start riding my bike to school again. The first rides of the season are always the toughest, but I know that once I get through those first half dozen or so rides my muscles (and other eh-hem…areas…) will stop being so sore and I’ll be able to enjoy the ride more.

I live at the top of one of the higher points in Grand Rapids, which makes for tricky bike riding. My ride to school is generally a pleasant, quick event, as it’s pretty much all downhill and I can coast most of the way, arriving cool and on time to class. The ride home is a different story.

The main problem isn’t the downtown portion of the journey, as that’s mostly level. But once I reach a certain point in my trip home, it’s all uphill – about a half-mile steady incline to my apartment building. I’ve tried several different routes, and last month found what I thought was the best one. It’s a beautiful residential street so there are no stoplights, which means a better build-up of momentum. That also means less traffic, and therefore fewer people to witness my huffing-and-puffing up the hill.

I rode my bike up this hill the first few times and, much to my chagrin, was unable to make it to the top without having to stop about halfway and walk my bike the rest of the journey. The third or fourth time as I was pedaling up the incline, I decided that, no matter what, I would ride to the top of the hill. I may have been crawling up the street (ants were speeding by me), but I made it! I got to the top of the hill (where the street I was on dead-ends into another road), and stopped by a lovely yellow house to catch my breath.

What happened next was ridiculous. I'm not sure why exactly it happened, either! All I know is that one second I was standing in exhausted triumph, the next second my bike was falling (towards the sidewalk, not the street, thank goodness), and I soon followed. I mean, I was stopped, standing there, and my bike fell! I couldn't stop it! I sort of laughed as I went down, catching myself before falling rather ungracefully with my bike. I got up quickly, righted my bike, and walked across the street to a beautiful grassy hill where I could catch my breath and laugh at myself.

I have no idea if anyone witnessed my graceful descent, but I honestly wish someone would have! I must have looked ridiculous!! I also wish someone would have videotaped me - I laugh about it just seeing it in my head - it would be hilarious to watch it over and over again!

On a side note, the next time I went out on my bike I discovered part of the reason for the difficult bike rides: my tires were half-flat! Yeesh. Next time, I'm checking that first!