I haven’t ridden a mountain bike since my pre-kid days. Sure, I’ve tooled around the neighborhood on occasion, following a bunch of elementary school kids around. But riding on a trail, with dirt, is not something I’ve done in eons. My husband Mo and I used to ride the trails together in Whistler, sometimes with friends, enjoying the beauty of the surroundings. Whistler, BC. is, quite simply, Creation at its finest. This year, due in large part to our 10-year-old’s urgings, we decided to rent mountain bikes to explore, sightsee and trail ride. We set off Monday with my 4-year-old nestled in a “Chariot” trailer behind Mo’s bike, happily admiring the view, clinging to a bottle of water and a bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos.
We headed up the dirt trail, bouncing over rocks, past Lost Lake, continuing toward Green Lake. Along the way, we stopped to look at sunbathers on a dock, a float plane taking off, Canadian geese in Canada. Initially, I hollered some dorky mom warnings and instructions to my son, things like: “it’s steep up here…steep grade….”; “you can always call out ‘on your left’ when you pass someone”; and “if your grip falls off, you have to go back and pick it up. It’s a rental.”
But as we continued to ride, I soon found myself growing quieter and quieter. The more I pedaled, the more I seemed to shed my mom skin. In fact, the farther we went, venturing along the dirt and paved paths that I used to ride in those long-ago, near-forgotten, pre-kid days, I found myself relaxing more and more, soaking in the scenery and remembering how much I loved riding there. I took it all in. The wind in my face. The sting of the dust in my eyes. The purr of the bike. The bursts of purple and white wildflowers. The real-life lily pads covering the River of Golden Dreams. We passed homes where we vacationed with friends. We stopped for a break at Meadow Park, then again at Alta Lake.
My goal for the year had been to try something new every month. Truthfully, I have not been very successful in accomplishing that.
But I realized Monday on that two-hour ride along the lakes, across the streams and around the mountains, that sometimes getting back to doing old things we love can be just as fulfilling as trying new things. It stirs things up, brings things to the surface, and reminds us of who we are – and who we were.
It was an inspiring, energizing ride: as I got to rediscover and return to some places and things that I loved, I also got to admire the view up ahead – my 10-year-old discovering them.