Wednesday, July 15, 2015

I Can Make This Work

My friend Denise has invited me to cycle up the West Coast with her, from her home in San Diego into Oregon.

The last time I biked long-distance, I was 20 pounds and 30 years lighter:
when I was twenty-four, bink and I cycled around Ireland for a month. 
We just did it, left home with no physical preparation at all, and that worked just fine.

Now, I'm not in great shape, and I'd only have two weeks to prepare.

I've been asking people, Should I go?

The answers reveal personality as much as knowledge.

Friend #1 gave a cautious go-ahead ("it'd be an adventure..."), and then brought up a dozen practical concerns. 

Friend #2 said, "THIS IS A DISASTER!" And listed a dozen things that he was sure could and probably would go wrong. 

Friend #3, a big cyclist, who I ran into while we were both biking, said, "Go! It doesn't matter that you're not in shape; you are standing here with a bike, that's good enough! Get a cell phone before you go, but please go! "

Friend #4, another experienced bike-tripper, said, "The question isn't your fitness, the question is your companion: would you travel well together? I can lend you a one-person tent so you can be independent."

Friend #5 said, "I can't bike anymore since I hurt my back. Go now, while you can."

It was Friend #2 (his unequivocal no!) and Friend #4 (her unequivocal yes!) who made me decide to give it my best try over the next week:
I will do least one 50-mile day, and every day I will bike some steep hills (in short supply here on the plains, but there are a couple nearby that I could go up and down, over and over).

I told Denise that if, after one week, my heart and knees have not exploded, I would commit to the first 250 miles, from San Diego up to Santa Barbara (about one week)--taking along Friend #4's wee tent.

It gets hillier, north of Santa Barbara, and I'd either stop there or, from there on, take it one day at a time. (I would like to bike through the redwoods...)

I'd really like a cycling adventure to clear my heart & mind. 
Then when I got home, most likely to an empty apartment, I'd get serious about job hunting. [I know I've said this before, but now I'd absolutely have to!]

So, if I don't do this West Coast trip, I'm going to plan a shorter, flatter cycling trip here---say, up to Duluth and back (about 300 miles, RT).

William Shatner provides me best encouragement of all--his repeated mantra: 

"I can make this work."

Make what work, and how, is up to me. 


The Crow said...

Go, Fresca! You absolutely can make it work. You walked El Camino twice, when most of us mortals will never do that, even once.

You have a well-thought-out plan, reasonable, realistic. You are one of the strongest women I've ever met, you have the heart, spirit and gumption. Take Bag Balm along (Redwood Highway reference - good movie) for the inevitable chafing and eat lots of avocados for the potassium, nuts for magnesium, and oranges, figs and sardines for calcium. Those nutrients will give you energy, reduce the risk of muscle cramps and keep your heart happy. Apples help keep your lungs running in top shape. Lots of water.

Do this while you can. The opportunity might never come again.

Besides, we aren't talking climbing Everest here, right?!

Zhoen said...

Wonderful. Just, wonderful.

Laura B said...

Wow! Don't know who all these friends are, but this friend, #177, says, GO!!!!!!!!

bink said...

Yes, of course, you should go.

Michael Leddy said...

Seeing it as a series of smaller rides (from x to y, then one day at a time, as you say) is very wise.

@Martha: Glad you could work sardines in.

Fresca said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Crow, Zhoen, Laura, bink, & Michael!

I'm thinking today that this trip is too much, too soon, but I will keep biking and do local rides---short & long.
So it's not as grand sounding, but I'm still finding ways to make it work. :)