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April 08, 2002: Just tell yourself it's extra protein

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Yesterday morning, while sitting at church, Richard took a break from sketching out signs for “Bob’s House of Uncollectable Items and Cats” (I have no idea either) to scribble a note on the bulletin suggesting that if it was nice out, we should take a long bike ride. Considering that the air smelled like rain when we headed off before church to get coffee and put up posters for our choral concert next weekend, I wasn’t sure if this was going to be feasible (and okay, so there was this teeny part of me that was kind of hoping that it *wouldn’t* be nice), but luckily the sun was shining and the gray morning turned into a beautiful afternoon.

It really was a nice day to go riding, zipping along the back roads, admiring the birds singing in the trees above us, noticing the abundance of spring flowers, taking deep breaths of bug-infested spring air. The gnats were out in force, as were other, larger bugs that kept slamming into the side of my helmet and then buzzing drunkenly away. I grimly made sure to keep my mouth shut, and reminded myself over and over that at least I no longer wear contacts. I've had the experience of a gnat slamming head-first into my eye, and then adhering to the contact. The searing pain as one tries to blink over a contact that has suddenly sprouted the mangled carcass of what was once a bug is not something one ever really wants to repeat.

But the bugs were only a small deterrent; otherwise the ride was a lot of fun. Eight miles total, including a trip through the local cemetery, to weave through the curvy roads that wind between the expanses of old gravestones.

This morning when we got on our bikes (while it was still dark out, I might add. Oh yeah. I just *love* daylight saving time), I realized that perhaps I’d been overdoing it a bit. We still managed to go our six miles, but by the end, my legs and butt were letting me know, in no uncertain terms, that they were not happy with me.

Sore muscles not withstanding, we’ve done 30 miles so far this month. And we’ve been driving around, checking out other possible routes. The abundance of little two-lane back roads that surround this place are just one of the benefits of living in such a small town, so there are still lots of places we’ve yet to ride. And, I'm sure, thousands more gnats to ride through.

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