I was biking the Kennedy’s bush track to the summit road on the last official weekend of winter. The flowers give off a heavy scent, warm and musty-fruity; they SMELL as yellow as they look. I remembered the first time I saw broom, in Argentina; masses of yellow flowers with red highlights. I don’t suppose introducing that crimson genetic variation in the New Zealand population would be a popular move….
“Here, I’ll get up.” The man move stiffly as he vacated the style steps, and I hefted my bike up and over.
“Haven’t I seen you here before?” I inquired. The face and cultured accent triggered a memory of a conversation at the style on top of Kennedy’s track from months before.
“A long while ago I used to bike up here.”
“Ah, I used to run up here, and now I bike. I guess it’s the age progression.” I laughed, ruefully, remembering the former days when I had trotted agilely up and down this track, training for a marathon.
“Yes,” he chuckled, “and now I’m sitting here, getting up the energy to walk back down.”
“Down’s easier than up; you’ve got gravity on your side,” I countered, cheerfully.
“Yes, and I have rather too much help from gravity these days.” He patted his ample stomach.
I continued along my route. It wasn’t early, but almost no one else was out. I had the Flying Nun trail to myself, and feeling bolder than normal, I swooped around the cobbled corners and even tried a tiny jump or two. With no one riding my tail, I felt zippy all the way down the Loess Rider trail through the forest in the Adventure Park. “Maybe I’m finding my groove,” I said to Jeremiah later. “Or perhaps I’m just getting over confident and am cruising for a big fall.”
“That’s what a negative person might think,” Jeremiah retorted.
Oh well, maybe so; I think that all the same, I’ll still enjoy riding.
The next day was Father’s Day, and Jeremiah’s choice of activity was to take the kids on a mountain bike ride. I pondered the difference between my perspective on Mother’s Day, when I wanted a BREAK from being a mother. “It’s called not called ‘Mothers’ and Children’s day,’ after all,” one of my friends had quipped.
But Jeremiah is made of different material, it seems, and he wanted to spend the day with the family.
The kids really haven’t been excited about biking since our Christmas trip last year, a 5 day ride on the Otago Rail Trail. In face, they’ve been on what amounts to a bicycle strike. When Jeremiah announced the plans for the day, they moaned and grizzled.
They bickered all the way there in the car, but surprisingly, when we launched down the gravel trail at Bottle Lake Forest, they were cheerful.
Maybe the hills were easier, because their legs were a year older, or maybe the lure of the self-chosen lollies kept Naomi’s spirits up. Whatever the reason, Naomi rounded the last corners of our 90 minute ride bubbly and cheerful, and announced: “I love my bike!”
That sounds like a win to me.