“This is awesome,” I almost said out loud.
Dad and I had ridden about 25 miles. It began when he came up to me in my driveway Saturday afternoon as I hit the three-quarter mark of an all-day car washing spree (I let my car get pretty bad before I clean it).
“Wanna go for a ride?”
We began with my attempt to remember the route I take with a group high-tuner cyclists on Saturday mornings. As usual, since I’ve lived in Greenwood for three years and still haven’t learned my way around the front roads and especially not the back roads, I lost my way and the ride turned into exploration.
Except we weren’t seeking a destination.
Also per usual was my wish the sky would always offer daylight, my legs would always offer strength and my bike seat would offer relief from hemmeroid-like pain on the insides of my butt cheeks.
(That could be too much detail. But you get what I’m saying.)
If these things happened, the ride could last forever. We’d continue to be happy not knowing where we were going as long as the road was paved. I’d get to smell wood smoke, grass clippings and trees preparing for fall. I’d get to be with my dad.
Being with Dad is something that’s happening less and less these days. When I went to college, I figured it was over – although I didn’t think too much about it then. After Kalista was born, though, he and my mom moved south to help me with her and the relationship was rekindled. It actually feels similar to the way it was when I was a child.
NOT THAT I FEEL childish in his presence. We talk about grown-up stuff, such as house maintenance, parenting and finances, in addition to sports and politics. But I value his companionship to the same degree I did when I was 7 and he’d take me to the Little League field to practice hitting baseballs.
But the past month’s free time budget has been dominated by preparation for his and my mother’s move to a new house. Even after it’s done, he won’t be around as often as he was when they lived a couple of blocks away. Our time together now is critical – it won’t be long until it’s gone again.
I AM CONVINCED there is not a better way to celebrate all that remains than bike rides. It should be no secret to regular readers of my blog that I am not happy where I live; feeling the wind of back, unpainted roads in rural counties, tasting their scents and feeling the life along them is perhaps the only thing I like about living here. Most of the time when I depart on these bike rides, I’m in an emotional rut of some kind and convinced I need to move home before I forget how to live. Having these back roads recharge my batteries AND spend time with my dad feels like winning twice.