Oh, my people. If you have read our blog from the beginning you may have figured out I fear pretty much everything. Some fears cause more anxiety than others. But, bridges cause me to do and say things that make others extremely uncomfortable. I grab hands and I really don’t take into account that some people (Suzy) aren’t hand holders. I make the driver extremely nervous (Maryhelen) and am too obsessed with all possible dangerous outcomes to realize that. So, I keep on obsessing about cars that may or may not becoming into our lane LOUDLY and I keep on squeezing hands that may or may not be breaking TIGHTLY. You may also know that the last time I rode a bike I was with Tina, her husband and my husband and it was a muddy race. But, did you know that Chris and I came in last place? Did you know that after that ridiculous showing I sold my bike for $5.00. So, guess what happened when Tina shared that we would be BIKING over a BRIDGE? I bit the skin off of my toe-thumb. I actually bit off ALL of the skin on my toe-thumb.
Enough about my anxiety over bridges and bikes….at least for the next paragraph. None of us had bikes so Tina provided Stacy and Heather with the extra bikes she had in her garage. EXTRA bikes! Yes, Tina and her family are big into biking. Her son, G, is pretty much a racing prodigy and I, for one, am looking forward to traveling to France to watch him one day. Adventure #42!!! This is what Tina’s family looks like when they are about to go riding.
Aren’t they just so fancy? Here is our crew right before we took off.
We are not as fancy…but we look the part just a little, right? Ok, now look at the background of this pic. See that bridge WAY far away. That, my darlings, is the bridge we will be crossing. It is very far away and three of us don’t even know how to set up our bikes. Tina, rode the bikes around the grassy area and got the gears set up for everyone and we were off. Well, Tina rode the nice bikes around and set up the gears. My bike is my daughters and it was $50 at Wal-Mart so the gears are what they are. Ok, now we are off.
Tina and Stacy took off like the rock stars that they are and Heather hung back with me like the rock star that she is. Everyone needs a Heather in their life. She will always make sure you are taken care of and never makes you feel like you are holding her back. I made her ride in front of me so I had something to look at while conquering my fear of bridges with my girls. She is so sweet and caring and kind until….until she screams at you for bad ideas and drinking coffee past 4PM. Oh, how I love Heather. She can ride in front of you leaving a draft to get you up a treacherous hill and then throw an F-bomb your way about wording for a t-shirt for the VERY FIRST adventure girl baby. (Sorry, Kelly for kind of spoiling the surprise). But, you should know the wording is NOT my idea because my idea was TERRIBLE. I think it was because I was not allowed coffee and that hinders my ability to come up with good ideas for onesies. But, then in the next breath when I tell her she can go ahead of me she says, “No, I am really just enjoying your company.” I love you, Heather. There is no tush I would rather look at while dangerous cars zoom past me.
And now onto Stacy. I know I have probably said this before, but I really admire Stacy. She has a dry wit like no other and she really gets people. Her laugh makes me laugh and no one else I know would come to a biking adventure with hot rolled hair but Stacy. Seriously, that girl looked so beautiful she could have been heading to Prom. Even after 7.4 miles of blood, sweat and tears she looked like a million bucks. And it was Stacy that I was able to share some of my deep thoughts about what the trek up that hill meant to me (while the others were off peeing) and I knew she understood where I was coming from and stood ready to offer kindness and laughter and all that happened in 45 seconds. She really is THAT good. 45 seconds is all Stacy needs to make you feel loved.
Tina. My Spunky Tate. This girl is kind of a big deal. She will always laugh at your jokes and I think she may be the most patient of all of us. After a few emails from me asking if my “compromised lung” could handle the bike ride I finally just said, please tell me the route. The following is the email thread that will prove just how beautifully patient Tina is with me.
Tina: Drum roll…. Riding over the Woodrow Wilson bridge..stopping for guacamole & a margarita at national harbor and then when we’re well rested we’ll head back. Seriously we can go super slow. We’ll park on the parkway..not riding from my house. Do u think that sounds fun & ok? U know I always worry its not adventurous enough but I don’t think any has ever done it.
Kat: HOLY S%*$! Riding a BIKE over a BRIDGE! I can’t imagine anything scarier…for me anyways. Is that a bridge that has a hill? Freaking out already. The margarita and guac will surely help ease my anxiety on the way home. xo
Tina: Oops I didn’t even think about that! Look at all u will be overcoming:)
Kat: Are we parking at Church St? Thank you for the adrenaline rush this morning. Must go take nap.
Tina: No near marina where we went sailing..small park right there. You crack me up. You are going to rock this! Still laughing that you got rid of your bike.
Kat: Good grief, that is 4.7 miles each way. Damn! We will name this adventure Kat’s Trail of Tears. Yes, I sold the bike for $5.00 and said Peace be With You.
You get the idea. Tina is a saint. And as always, plans the most excellent adventures EVER! This had to be one of my favs. The only thing that would have made it better was having everyone there. Lisa came to meet us for lunch and cocktails even though she couldn’t do the adventure due to a nagging foot injury. She is so loyal and wonderful to all of us. Can’t wait for her to be back in the saddle. If I had the strength to put her in a baby’s seat on the front of my bike I would have! :) Love you, Lisa. You are an incredible friend and I am so happy your house hasn’t sold yet. JUST KIDDING…kind of. not really.
In conclusion, here are a few things I have learned while biking from Virginia to Maryland via a bridge.
1) When someone yells LEFT don’t veer to the left. That might be your natural inclination, but it is not correct. Stay to the right.
2) When Tina is going through rules like the one above don’t stare at Stacy’s hair and wonder how she got it to look so good. Actually listen.
3) Do NOT make a playlist for your ipod to listen to while biking over a bridge. You will get yelled at by your friends and it will sound like this, “You can’t listen to music while biking over a bridge. You NEED to be aware. GEEZ.” If you would like my inspirational playlist let me know. You can listen to it while doing less dangerous things like climbing a mountain or hunting.
4) When YOU scream left to a biker in front of you make sure you are actually going fast enough to pass him. It can be quite embarrassing to scream LEFT and never even catch up to him.
5) The same goes for walkers.
In all seriousness, I beg everyone to do this once. It is a wonderfully fun, exhilarating, challenging adventure and I know you will love it as much as we did. Here we are before the trek back over the bridge. We survived!