Life goes on, but it’s not the same

I’ve got the “I beat cancer” blues.

Am I still a mountain biker when I haven’t been on my bike in years? Am I a runner when I haven’t gone running in months? Am I a writer when I’m not actively writing? Am I a musician when I haven’t been playing my guitar? Do I have value to anyone when I’m not doing something valuable?

Two years ago I beat* cancer.
*which just means it hasn’t yet come back in two years, and it may never come back, but then again it could.

I think there’s a time, just after cancer has been beaten*, when survivors feel more alive and connected than they remember feeling before cancer. It’s an incredible experience. You have no patience or time for bullshit, and you act on things that are important to you—even little things—right away because you know how close you came to having no time left. There is no should when it comes to doing – only will and won’t. You feel overwhelming impatience for meaningless or frivolous delays. If something is worth doing then it’s worth doing it right now—or at least taking the first difficult steps—and it’s exciting.

My husband and I had talked for years about our next pet being a dog. When I was done with cancer, I pushed hard to get that dog. I had been thinking for ages that I should improve my guitar playing through lessons, so I went out and found a teacher. Everything that seemed important to me — from taking a course to riding my bike 200 miles in a weekend to finding a way to get into community theatre to just getting outside — I was ready to act on each and every item in the moment it occurred to me.

My productivity was off the charts… but only for a little while.

As my strength came back and the chemotherapy drugs wore off, I felt unstoppable. And then life started creeping back in.

It’s hard not to believe that once your cancer is in complete remission that there’s nothing you can’t overcome. When life starts throwing exciting challenges (stressful situations) at you, you’re confident that you’ll breeze through it all.

The adorably troublesome and neighbour-irritating new puppy gets pneumonia and nearly dies on the same day that my husband’s grandmother across the country passes away suddenly? That’s awful. But the expensive emergency vet trip saves the dog, and the expensive private training sessions make it less likely that our neighbours will hate us for the dog, and we’re grateful we took our daughters to visit Bubbie a few months earlier. We can recover from a little credit card debt. And it’s nice having a puppy.

My husband starts having seemingly undiagnosable abdominal pain? Okay, well we survived cancer, so we can get through this and figure it out and move on. No big deal. And when it turns out to be a pulled abdominal muscle gone rogue with PTSD, we breath a sigh of (painful) relief and laugh nervously about the strange post-cancer side effects we never expected.

Our ground-level apartment floods, leaving us homeless in the most expensive housing region of the country with possibly the lowest vacancy rates? I guess we can take our family of four + puppy and sleep in our friends’ basements and guest rooms, and stay at hotels and short-term holiday rentals, and try to buy a townhouse in a seller’s market that’s just gone from barely affordable for us to completely unaffordable. For six months.

And then I didn’t feel unstoppable anymore.

I didn’t float through problems secure in the feeling that everything was going to be okay. Everything consistently wasn’t okay. I wasn’t okay.

And now that things are settled — the dog is healthy, the family is healthy, we’ve uprooted ourselves and settled down in a new town in a house of our own, and everything is feeling deliciously normal — I’m still not okay.

I’m supposed to be okay by now.

I held it together for two years of crises. Nobody — myself included — knows exactly how. That’s okay — how doesn’t matter.

What matters is that I’m not holding it together anymore and I feel like I should be. My life is as stable as I could ever hope it would be. And I miss that feeling I had when I first beat cancer — that I could do everything and I could start right now, so I did.

Some of that feeling has stayed — specifically, the part where I want things to start or change or be the way I imagine they should be right now. I’m in a new town, why don’t I already have all sorts of new friends and social engagements and volunteer work? Why am I not already involved in everything? I want it to happen right now. I have no patience for pointless delays like small talk and trying to meet people in my usual awkward ways. Not that I have skills to do it without the awkward.

But the other side of it, the side where I feel alive and unstoppable, where I’m excited about every new idea I have and the new friendships I’m about to discover… that part has disappeared. More than disappeared, in fact. It’s gone into negative space, and it’s feeding the imposter syndrome I’ve felt for as long as I can remember — about my career, about my hobbies and interests, about being not a real cancer survivor because I didn’t have it as bad as a lot of other people. I don’t feel like I’m a real anything, so I don’t want to do anything.

The combination of stress whiplash and the jarring feeling that my ambitions and motivations no longer exist make me suspect one thing. These are the hardest words to say aloud, the hardest ones to even write down on a page:

I am depressed.

I shouldn’t be depressed, because everything is okay now. I don’t have cancer anymore, and it’s been two years since I did. I have a home and a great relationship and family. I have a job with a great team who have supported me through every hurdle I’ve faced in the last couple of years. I am not allowed to be depressed because there is no valid reason to be depressed. My life doesn’t suck enough for me to be depressed. I still play with my kids and laugh with friends and make terrible jokes and sarcastic comments. On the surface I’m perfectly fine.

I know better. I’ve walked this path before, though it’s been a while. I remember how it felt the last time I went through this. It felt exactly like I feel right now.

I’ve talked to friends who also survived cancer; they say they went through that period of feeling alive and motivated and excited about everything, and that it went away, and that they miss it now that things are settled and normal. I haven’t asked them if they, too, struggled with feeling worthless, pointless, fraudulent. I haven’t asked if they got depressed, because that would be telling, now wouldn’t it?

Am I still a biker, writer, runner, musician? Am I valuable? I don’t feel like I am when I can barely find the motivation to sit on my couch and play my video games once I’ve taken care of all the standard mom responsibilities.

I’m terrified of telling anyone my suspicions — that I’m actually depressed — because they’ll look at my life and wonder how that’s possible, when all the bad things are over — I won. They won’t believe me. They won’t know how to help. I certainly don’t, and I’ve been depressed before.

Do many cancer survivors have this much trouble resetting themselves into normalcy?

I don’t know the answers. What I have done is started seeing a therapist regularly. Unraveling the weave that has made me who I am means walking through a lot of things that I’ve been skirting around for the last twenty years. I’ll see you on the other side.

Riding my bike to conquer cancer

Today was my second chemotherapy cycle of eight. It went smoothly, although my arm is a little bit sore from the IV drugs. I’m looking forward to getting my port installed so I can upload the chemo drugs more efficiently and with less burnination of the countryside (aka my veins).

So I’m doing fine, and the doctor and nurse figure my hair will start falling out in clumps very soon with this treatment. Things are progressing as they should.

The Ride

For the past few years, my good friend Elijah has been taking part in the British Columbia Ride to Conquer Cancer. The first year, he was not a long distance cyclist and I watched him train and fundraise like crazy until he was ready. And then he did it, and was awesome. And then he kept doing it year after year, and I remained impressed.

When I had lunch with him early on during my cancer diagnosing phase, he told me I should join him in the 2014 ride. I had joked in the past that I might do just that someday, but I was honestly terrified of the fundraising requirement — $2500 minimum to be able to join the ride. They take their fundraising seriously, and I was severely intimidated.

With cancer and chemotherapy looming ahead of me, I thought about that barrier, and the fact that I don’t own a road/commuter bike anymore (another barrier) and thought, hey… why not? When I couldn’t come up with a real reason beyond those to things I was afraid of (raising $2500 and budgeting for a bike), I realized that they were just that — fears — and if I could get through the cancer and chemo experience, budgeting and fundraising would be a breeze.

So I said yes.

BC Ride to Conquer Cancer

I am now fundraising and thinking about what bike to buy and trying to put aside money for said bike and thinking about training for a 200 km ride over two days from Vancouver to Seattle. The ride isn’t until June, so I have time to finish my chemo and do some solid training, once I get a bike. I’ve nearly met the $2500 minimum, and if I do I will increase my personal goal and do my best to meet it before June.

This is important to me because so far science has done a bang-up job of figuring out what’s wrong with me through some amazing diagnosis tools and tests, an impressive collection of anti-cancer drugs with a side order of anti-nausea drugs, and a whole team of incredibly awesome people — doctors and nurses, researchers, social workers, dietitians, pharmacists, and so many more — whose jobs are to cure me. I want to give back to the science that has done so much for me, and I need your help to do it.

After kicking cancer’s ass, riding 200 km in two days will be so easy. Right? Right?

I hope so. If nothing else, I feel inspired to get there. If you’d like to help, please consider a donation… and thank you to everyone who has helped me get this far.

A perfect May Day

We woke up this morning to sunshine in the form of a 2 year old demanding that we “get up, it’s morning, wake up now please, it’s time to wake up!” We rolled out of bed and stumbled to the living room, being pulled the whole way by a very awake little girl who wanted to watch videos, please. She had, after all, slept in till 7:45, so why were we being so lethargic?

Videos were watched as we, the so-called adults in the house, tried to clear our heads and figure out what to do with a sunny Sunday morning. We scrapped our original plan to catch a ferry to the Sunshine Coast and check out the MuddBunnies racing at the Sunshine Coaster DH, opting instead to either visit the petting zoo / farm on the north shore or take a bike ride with the girl and her chariot.

When faced with the options of checking out animals at the farm or going bike riding the forest, Lyra responded with an adamant and forceful cry of “Go for a bike ride!” so our plans were set. First order of business, however, was naptime. For everyone. For two hours. Lyra napped in her room, Adam napped on one half of the L-shaped couch, I napped on the other half of said couch, and Sera the cat napped on my head.

With that out of the way, the whole family (minus Sera) piled into the car with our bikes and trailer to head to the Lower Seymour Conservation Forest, with a short coffee stop along the way. The winding forest trails in the LSCR are perfect for a couple of mountain bikes towing a double trailer, and the paved road trail into the woods allows for plenty of opportunities to go very, very fast. Lyra likes to go very, very fast.

We stopped somewhere down the paved trail past Rice Lake at a deserted little picnic spot. There was sunlight shining down through the break in the trees above us and a little creek called Balloon Creek right next to it. It was, in a word, idyllic.

We ran in circles and played chase with Lyra; we climbed down to the creek and threw leaves into it to see how far they could flow with the water; we swatted at mosquitoes too young to know how to bite us. The air was clean and the sun warm on our faces.

The three of us – Father, Mother, Daughter – lay down together laughing in the grass and looked up at the beautiful blue sky. As we watched, a bald eagle glided above us, and we agreed – at least Adam and I did – that we couldn’t imagine being, or living, anywhere else right now. We just assumed the same of Lyra, since she’s only two and has never lived anywhere else. We were together, surrounded by forest and mountains, with eagles looking down on us, and nothing could be more perfect.

Lyra seemed to agree, since the idea of getting back into the trailer and heading back to the car was one she was violently opposed to. When we told her that we’d get sushi with Uncle Jordy, she was more willing to leave. There’s nothing like bribing a toddler with the promise of her favourite uncle as motivation to move.

Fortunately for all of us, it was a promise we were able to keep. We turned our bikes around and raced at top speed back to the car. I may have mentioned before that Lyra likes going very, very fast, but to be fair, she comes by it naturally. We were back at the car in no time, and off to pick up her favourite uncle and get some fabulous North Vancouver sushi for dinner.

We topped off the evening with bubble tea for dessert, and called it a day – a perfect day. It seems that all we need for a perfect day are the following:

  1. Sunshine
  2. Casual, agile plans
  3. Good coffee
  4. Bikes
  5. Mountains, forests, and life around us
  6. Family
  7. Sushi
  8. Bubble tea

What makes your day perfect?

Please sponsor my crazy bike commute in support of David Suzuki’s 75th birthday

There are a lot of reasons to preserve the environment. It’s good to have clean air to breath, water to drink, and healthy food to eat. I’m a big fan of these things.

I’ve been feeling a little guilty about driving to work occasionally, so I’ve decided to offset it by riding in to the office. I used to ride all the time, of course – but that was before I lived over 30km and many hills away from work. That’s over 60km of riding to top and tail a full workday… and I’m out of shape.

When I decided to do some fundraising for the David Suzuki Foundation, I realized that I needed a goal to work towards – so if you sponsor me in support of David Suzuki’s 75th birthday this Thursday, I promise to bike to work – the full 60+ km – one day this spring. If it doesn’t kill me, maybe I’ll do it more than once!

The funds I raise will go towards the Foundation’s mission for a healthy environment – because a healthy environment equals healthy people. Pollution can cause all sorts of health problems like cancer and asthma; wouldn’t it be great if those issues went away at the source?

Please help me reach my goal and force me onto my bike this spring, and help support the work of the David Suzuki Foundation for David’s 75th birthday. Please sponsor me.

Every little bit counts, and thanks so much! If you aren’t able to sponsor me, you can heckle me into riding…

Weekly bike ride with Lyra

I’ve just returned from what I hope will be a weekly (or near-weekly) bike ride with Lyra in the Lower Seymour Conservation Forest. It was awesome – she fell asleep for the first half of the ride, which was fine. We got up near Rice Lake, where she woke up and we found a group of moms and their toddlers (the same age as Lyra) hanging out in a pretty gazebo (I was happy to not face the Gazebo alone.) She spent some time playing with the other kids and their toys, and I sat on a bench and introduced myself to the other moms. Mostly I just felt out of place though… I never did do well in so-called normal groups of women talking about mom things.

Otherwise, though, we have a lovely bike ride through the woods. I’m so tempted to go back and do it tomorrow, or maybe Sunday while Adam’s riding Fromme. Perhaps we can work it out so I drop him off and head over to the LSCR with Lyra. Hmm, that might just work.

I feel awesome, and the weather was gorgeous, and the route I took was just fantastic. I can’t wait to get out there and do it again.

You can see our route and speed and all that fun stuff because I tracked it all with my phone.

Sometimes I get angry

Lately I’ve been feeling angry more often than I usually do. considering the fact that it normally takes a lot to try my patience, I guess that means it doesn’t take a lot to be more often than usual… For instance, my phone (on which i am typing this) has suddenly stopped autocompleting words and making the first letter of my sentences uppercase. it’s making me angry. Expect typos in this entry. [Edited to fix all the typos and lower-case letters – they made me crazy.]

Some of my rage is probably a little bit justified, at least, but most of it seems pretty irrational. Maybe I’m burnt out on work, and I definitely don’t get enough sleep or exercise. I should probably make an effort to remedy these things. I am for exercise, at least… will be on my bike more now that the weather is getting nicer.

I’m also feeling totally ready for a change of location. North Vancouver is awesome in many ways, but i feel ready to try someplace new.

The crazy thing is, I’ve lived in the same apartment for nearly five and a half years. That’s the second longest I have ever lived anywhere in my entire life (the longest was seven years in Iroquois, Ontario as a teenager). I feel like it’s an accomplishment to put down roots in one home for this long… but I am definitely restless.

Maybe it’s just this restlessness coming out as anger. I don’t quite know. I have some time off work coming up, which wil hopefully help me unwind some, but i don’t think work stress is the root cause.

I have to change buses now. maybe will feel like writing more later.

Fitness in the world of mommyhood

SpokesLet me be honest with you – I am terrible at fitness. I have been for as long as I can remember. I hated gym class in public & high school. I have had gym memberships on more than one occasion and actually gone to the gym twice at most, each time. I decided to take up running and did it once (after buying pricey running shoes!) There is a distinct lack of fitness regimen in my life.

It’s not that I’m in terrible shape; I’m not. Neither am I in good shape. I have weirdness in my left knee & hip that makes it hard to crouch or climb stairs at times. I can’t run unless my life depends on it. I get winded if I climb a lot of stairs. And if you go by general standards of female shape and body, I have more weight on me than is ideal. I suppose that makes me just about average.

It’s in my nature, however, to compare myself to everyone around me. I compare myself when I’m riding my bike to the people who ride past me effortlessly on the uphill, and feel like I’m falling short. I follow it up with reasons why I’m not – at least I’m ON my bike, and I’m doing a near 15k ride each way to get to and from work, up and down mountains and bridges, and hey, I haven’t actually been bike commuting in two years and they’re doing it way more often, and some of them are crazy roadies and I’ll never keep up with them even if I want to. But all of these thoughts come after the fact, and while they help, the initial feeling of losing some sort of competition in my head (stupid competitive head) is not really a good one.

I’ve been realizing for the past year or two (not including pregnancy time) that I am quite simply thinner in my mind than I actually am. I think you’re supposed to feel the opposite, according to what all the magazines say anyhow, but that’s not for me. I assume I’m pretty slim, and then see a photo of myself and think “holy crap I’m SO much bigger than I think I am!” On top of that, I’m realizing that in my general age group among the other women at work (and I work with a lot of women) I’m on the larger scale. It is very unsettling to think you’re one size and realize that you’re not – even when you think you’re thin.

Earlier in the spring I signed up to do core conditioning clinics with a group of women, specifically designed to condition you for mountain biking. I actually rather enjoyed it, and stuck with it I think because it was a class format that a friend was also taking, and I had paid to go to the class, which commits me to going on two levels. You might think that paying for a gym membership would provide the same commitment, but it really doesn’t. At any rate, this wasn’t about weight loss, it was about strengthening and conditioning. And it was good, but I haven’t lost weight.

I considered a mommy boot camp type thing, and even signed up for one, but it was cancelled before it even began. After that I realized that a boot camp is probably not for me anyway – I don’t like exercising, and turning it into some sort of military training thing just bothers me on so many levels.

Those conditioning clinics are still happening, but with the car purchase we’re not in any place for me to rejoin them. It’s possible in a few months we’ll work out how to fit it in, but right now it’s not an option. So I’ve decided in the meantime that my only real option for cardio fitness is the biking to and from work, which I restarted doing this week.

On Monday I rode to work, then went downtown on my bike at lunchtime, then back to work, and then did a partial ride home (combined with transit.) It felt good, and I was exhausted. Yesterday I took transit as usual. Today I rode again, this time managing to go both to and from work. It felt great, and wasn’t as hard as on Monday. It’s amazing how fast you acclimatize to that kind of exertion.

My ride isn’t really a short one. I measured it out once on google maps, and it came to about 14.5 km one way. There is uphill and downhill in both directions, although it’s slightly more downhill on the way there, and thus slightly more uphill on the way home. It takes me just under an hour to do the ride at the moment – probably about 45 – 50 minutes.

This means I’m doing an hour and a half of cardio on a bike every time I ride. I have no idea if this will help me lose weight. I’m not entirely certain that losing weight is what I want to do – people keep telling me I look like I’ve lost weight, but I haven’t actually lost a pound in about 6 months now. My shape has definitely changed since before the pregnancy, and I’m down to my pre-pregnancy weight without really having to work at it (probably because of breastfeeding, but who knows).

So without cash to join a class, I’m hoping that my riding to and from work can be some sort of fitness regimen. If I lose weight, that would be awesome. If I tone up and look better, that would also rock. If I lose a size, that would be nice too. But really, what I want is to be able to play with Lyra and keep up with her at least a bit. She’s an active little monkey, and I don’t want to be a couch potato for her life. The biking will help, I just hope it’s enough. I don’t have the money (or, to be honest, want to spare any more time away from Lyra) to get a personal trainer or join hardcore classes. Plus, I don’t wanna.

Except that part of my brain that’s comparing me to everyone else and saying I fall short. I’ll just continue telling that part to shut the hell up.

Weekends of excitement

The summer is basically over now. While officially I know that summer doesn’t end until the 21st of September, in my mind it’s always over when Labour Day weekend is done – I still live in my head in a world where the school year reigns supreme. Luckily for me, this will work well since I have a child, who will be on a school year schedule in a few short years.

We ended the summer well with a trip to Vancouver island – biking in Cumberland and at Mount Washington with the Muddbunnies riding club, of which I’m a member. I only made it out to one ride with them all summer, but that’s just how things worked out this year. At least I got to go on the biking trip with them all. It was spouse-friendly, so Adam and Lyra came along and we rode with Bunnies and some of their boys.

The first day was a road trip to the island with Steve and Susan. We caught an early afternoon ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo after loading up the car (and going through hoops to get our bikes over to the island in addition to ourselves, but that’s just a frustrating complication that got dealt with effectively.) It was gorgeous and hot and sunny, and the ferry ride was nice. Lyra spent a lot of time holding our hands and walking.

That’s right, walking. She’s started to let go and stumble drunkenly towards us if we’re within a few feet of her. She’s done a few good faceplants into the carpet. She’s also insistent, now, that she be allowed to walk whenever she likes – and she’s moved from holding us with both hands to holding on with one hand. She also likes to walk up and down stairs, although she isn’t particularly good at it yet. She now has some lovely little brown and pink shoes, since the Robeez aren’t going to work when the rains come.

Lyra’s first steps were on the biking trip, which is pretty awesome. Her first words were also on the trip – she said nana (in reference to a banana, specifically) and she pointed at the bike in one of her storybooks and said “Bike!” I think it’s pretty fitting that she said bike on a bike trip.

That was over a week ago, and now she basically says bike in reference to nearly everything, in addition to bikes. She points at fish and says bike. She points at a rock and says bike. Too funny.

Adam’s mom Tyna is visiting now. Chances are good Lyra will take more independent steps while she’s here. That should be nice.

Oh yeah, and I finally got around to posting my bike up on the Buy & Sell on the mountain biking forum page. If you know any Vancouver area folks looking for a good all mountain type bike, share this link with them. If I sell that bike, I can buy a bike rack and go out with my other newer bike. Hooray for biking!!

Going back – to work, and to mountain biking

Tomorrow morning I pack up Lyra first thing in the morning and walk her to daycare before heading on to work. I am of mixed emotions about this, as I am sure many others have been before me. There are a lot of random thoughts cascading around in my head tonight. I worry that Lyra’s not going to get enough to eat at daycare – she’s not all that into food, most of the time. I worry that I’m going to spend my entire lunch pumping milk without having a chance to take a break and eat. I worry that I won’t fit into the new format and team that they’ve developed at my office in the year I’ve been gone. I worry that my daily two hours of commuting time is going to make me crazy. I worry that I’m going to be exhausted, that getting up extra early and getting out the door is going to be incredibly hard, that I’m not going to get enough sleep to be all that functional, that I’m going to spend too much money on expensive coffee because I don’t really like the cheap stuff.

All this worrying is not really something I do much, so it’s making me kind of moody. I’m already exhausted and I haven’t even gone back yet. We can’t afford for me to not go back, and to be fair I really do enjoy my workplace. I should be excited. Instead I’m just kind of worried. I can accept that, tomorrow I’ll be at work either way.

Today we went to a mountain bike trail building day on Fromme, which got me thinking more about my relationship with riding these days.

Lately I’ve also been trying to get back into biking. What I’ve figured out is my lack of fundamental skill and learning is a problem lately. I’m afraid of momentum, I’m afraid to go too fast or feel like my bike is leaving me behind, which sometimes you have to do to get past obstacles. I’m nervous about riding in general, so I hesitate rather than make plans to get out on my bike – and end up not going at all. I’ve been out riding twice I think in the past few months, because I don’t make plans to get out. I don’t really want to ride the trails that are close to me, they’re all at a level that I’m not comfortable with, and rather than going out to practice on them and try to develop skills I just feel like crap because I can’t ride anything. I get filled with panic and freeze up. It’s not fun, and saying I should just keep riding till I get over it doesn’t help. I know, I’ve tried telling myself that.

Plus with Lyra I’m more worried about hurting myself badly. This is a sport where you expect that you will fall, because you aren’t always going to ride perfectly, you can’t predict changes in the trail, and things can happen that are entirely out of your control. It’s part of what makes riding fun.

At least I feel a bit like I’ve figured out that problem – I need to go back to the basics, to learn beginner skills that I’ve never really had, and to ride trails that aren’t full of technical features that freak me out. I need to pretend like I’ve never ridden before and start from scratch. I need to ride places that aren’t on the North Shore. I really need to get out and actually ride, but I know now that means I have to go out and do trails that no one else feels like doing because they’re too easy. I’m not talking Floppy Bunny easy either… I’m not there yet. I used to be, but I’m not anymore. I’m just barely able to deal with riding the Richard Juryn trail, and I still walk stupid little things on that because I panic. I think I need to do some XC.

So maybe with going back to work I’ll feel more comfortable spending the money to take out a co-op car and go riding from time to time. I miss the times when I really enjoyed riding. I’m not really interested in going to Whistler, or trying to push my limits by riding on the North Shore. I want to start slow and easy. And I don’t feel like joining another club. I barely make it to the rides the club I’m already in does. I guess I should really start there with the weekly XC rides, and see what I can figure out beyond that.

I guess there’s a lot on my mind tonight. Hopefully I will sleep just fine – I’m certainly tired enough.

Getting back on two wheels

Tonight I went biking in Port Moody with Maryn and Steve. It wasn’t a very long ride, and it wasn’t a super difficult trail. I’m out of practice and have lost my biking legs to some degree, however, and I’m still trying to get the hang of my Nomad, so shorter and easier was what I was looking for. Steve, who is awesome to ride with, stayed back with me and led the way, letting me know what was ahead on the trail and waiting up for me when I got freaked out by shadows and such. The trail itself was flowy, and covered in dirt instead of eroded down to the rocks like most of the North Shore is.

Basically, it was awesome.

The weather was perfect for an evening ride – sunny and a bit cool. We started at seven so it was late enough in the day that the sun wasn’t intensely bright or excessively hot. We cheated on the ride up – Maryn convinced her husband to drive us to the meeting point with our bikes. I went to the box, and then I felt shame. There was a pleasant, leisurely ride to the trailhead through the forest, which was quite lovely. The trail itself was in a remarkably pretty area. At one point I stopped with Steve and we looked at the pattern of the sun, painting gold through the trees and on the ground like it does in the evenings on the mountainside. It was beautiful, and made me wish I had brought my camera. Steven pointed out that we could see the water through the trees as well – and where in the area could you get that? I mentioned maybe riding up Burnaby, but really, Burnaby Mountain is nowhere near as lovely as Eagle. Burnaby still feels like city to me – Eagle doesn’t, even though the city of Port Moody is not far away.

So while I didn’t quite reach that zone where riding is the only thing that exists (I kept getting distracted by my brain talking too much… must smack it around a bit and get it to shut up when I ride) I did have a good, fun ride, and I started to feel a bit like I was getting used to my new bike. Finally. I forget, when I’m not riding, why I like riding so much. I forget, when I’m riding annoying trails I don’t like, why riding is so much fun when I’m on trails I like. I’m incredibly happy that Adam took care of Lyra tonight and let me go out to Port Moody for a ride. I’m starting to remember how to enjoy it. I want to go back and ride some more.