She’s Not Pedalling

Update: Pete says pedalling is two ll’s ~ grammarly says one! I’m going with Pete! 

Photo by Cheryl Oreglia 

Curb Your Enthusiasm

I’m sorry but I find impediments endlessly amusing. The virtue of patience is an ongoing battle for some people (we’ll not mention names), and I can’t stress this enough until it is mastered at an intermediate level, you will be at the mercy of the universe, and believe me when I say she has a wicked sense of humor and lots of time on her hands. 

I’m still in bed, this has become my writing station of late, or I’m currently too impaired to do anything but languish on a soft mattress, feeble, inert.

And I take no responsibility for this predicament.

The muscles to the right and left of my generous butt cheeks are throbbing, most likely enflamed, not to mention my upper thighs which have the musculature of spaghetti, and on top of that, I’ve been fried like bacon but I’m no longer crispy. Try not to picture it.

I’m thinking back on the weekend, a birds-eye view if you will, seeing how each moment merges seamlessly with the next as if an intentional orchestration? 

But it’s not, time just refuses to stop, so it might appear to be organized, but it is simply a jumble of events, strung together as if by a child unconcerned with the complimentary order of beads. 

For your enjoyment (subjectively), I’ll describe each bead, in minute detail, one at a time. You might refill your coffee.

If a day were to age, I would say our adventure began at middle-age, just past the noon hour, before the sun has reached its zenith on a Thursday afternoon. 

My husband’s first challenge is allowing me to drive so he can work, but the real dilemma is loading his parents into the truck while stashing all their gear in and around a monstrous tandem bike.

It’s fair to say they brought the entire refrigerator, literally, I’m talking an enormous cooler stuffed with pasta, sauce, bread, lunch meats, apples, vegetables, cheeses, crackers, condiments, and God knows what. The grumbling from my husband as he wedges the refrigerator between multiple suitcases, a cardboard box of “their” booze, cane, toiletry bags, computers, books, and our big framed bike is nothing less than impressive. 

Big Trucks Win

All aboard, Cheryl is at the helm, just the way God likes it, Nana sitting shotgun, Nono, and Larry consigned to the back. I don’t know why but every time I read that I smile. 

Nono keeps us entertained with stories of family lore but Larry has to make several conference calls, after slipping on his earpods, he says, “Dad, quiet, I’m on a call.”

Larry Sr. says, “Oh, sorry son, okay.

Ten minutes later Larry says, “Dad, I’m still on a call.”

Nana says, “Larry be quiet he’s on a call.”

Me, “shush”

Larry Sr. says, “Oh, yeah, sorry.”

Ten minutes later we cover the same ground as if Ground Hog Day. 

It does help to pass the time.

The highlight of the drive has to be when Nana and I play cat and mouse with a mini coup right before we hit the grapevine. This obnoxious mini has been weaving in and out of traffic for miles, ruthlessly cutting people off, causing all sorts of angst. What the hell? This little rat as I’ve come to refer to it, shoots out of nowhere, coming up fast on my right, and she thinks I’m going to slow down and let her slide right in. Honey, we’ve been driving 4 hours, no stops, you’re messing with the wrong pussycat. I hug the bumper in front of me as if we’re married, the cars behind me follow suit, and that little mini gets stuck behind a big rig. Whoot Hoot. See yah! 

I like big trucks and I’m not going to lie. 

When the traffic is light I try to make up for lost time but nevertheless we land on Marta and Ken’s doorstep in the dark.

The unload is simply the reverse of the load, I decide to wait it out in the kitchen with a nice glass of wine, total win.  

Dinner is fabulous, fresh pasta, homemade sauce (now I’m grateful for the refrigerator), along with sipping wine on the patio late into the evening, mild temperatures, not a bug in sight. No wonder this place is so popular.

Desert Destinations

After a nice hike in the morning, Larry and I load our suitcases back in the truck and head to Palm Springs for our first tandem event of the year. 

Oh, joy.

Photos courtesy of El Saguaro Web Site

The El Saguaro Hotel is an interesting destination (see how I worded that), extremely retro in design, colorful shall we say, slightly aged, and ever so crowded with wrinkle-free people sipping fruity drinks, wearing big hats, and skimpy bathing suits. 

Larry says, “stay with the car, I’ll check-in, and then we’ll park by our room so we can bring the bike up.”

Five minutes later he runs out to the car, clearly distressed, his hair has sprung into action if you know what I mean, he says, “the line is a mile long, only one guy working the front desk, it’s a total disaster.”

“No problem, I’ll wait in the airconditioned lobby, you stay with the bike.”

He squints at me as if I’m talking a foreign language and sort of runs back to the lobby.

The sun is intense and after sitting in the car for a brief spell, I lock it up, and head inside where it’s not only cool but ever so colorful. He’s right. The line is long, not moving, everyone has a dog with them, and the solo guy at the counter is highly inefficient not to mention clearly agitated. 

The entire room cheers when a second clerk appears from the back room and eventually we score a key to our suite. We requested a ground floor room so we can store our bike in the room while we’re downtown. It’s sort of like having a dog but we don’t have to feed it.

Best laid plans.

Moving the car around back we unload everything, I have the suitcases, briefcases, and books. Larry has the big dog. 

Room key doesn’t work.

With the patience of a two-year-old, Larry runs back to the front desk, I’m now in charge of the big dog, suitcases, books, and computers. He pushes his way to the front of the line (can you picture it) and demands they rekey his key immediately. 

That poor desk clerk didn’t have a chance.

Larry returns, a little sweaty, but triumphant. 

Sadly, the rekeyed key doesn’t work either.

Do you see where this is going?

Back he goes to the front desk less chirpy than the last time. 

Back to the room.

Still doesn’t work.

Bahaha, now I have to tinkle because I’m giggling so much. Silently of course. 

A janitor takes pity on me and lets me into the room. Larry arrives all flustered, says, “how the hell did you get in?”

“The janitor.”

“My key still doesn’t work, I’m not going to worry about it, let’s lock up and go down to the bar for a cold margarita, some chips, then we’ll drive into town and check-in to our event.” You have to agree, the man knows how to turn lemons into margaritas! 

I drop everything, literally, right where I stand, and say, “I’m ready.”

Things are starting to look up. 

The refreshments are refreshing as hell and with renewed spirits, we head into town to pick up our swag and enjoy a nice dinner. We might not ever be able to get back into our room, but that’s not the bead we’re dealing currently threading.

Herding Cats

It never gets old, I’m talking about the universe and her demented sense of humor, she really is quite creative. The entire event is organized by last names and this year everyone’s name starts with either M, N, or O. 

Form one line, please. 

There are heaps of volunteers literally sitting at empty tables with no lines. I move to the end of the M, N, O’s and quietly watch my husband spring into action. This is what I love about Larry, he does not accept the reality of which he is confronted, he generates his own. 

Larry approaches the first volunteer who is staring unblinkingly into the abyss, mildly unnerved by Larry’s unexpected presence, this dude must have been a first-class Scout.

Larry says, “can you help us out here mate, maybe borrow the M, N, O list for a second, and let us check-in?”

Boy Scout says, “Oh that’s not possible, we’re alphabetized (nothing like stating the obvious), and I’m only trained to do H, I, J, K.” Does it make you wonder what this person does for a living?

Larry smiles, it’s a tad stiff, and moves to the next bored volunteer, “can you help me out…”

“No.”

If anything the universe is consistent. 

Larry’s confidence is disconcerting, highly entertaining, but I have to say he has a confounding success rate. As he moves down the line, I slowly move up. When he arrives at table D, E, F it’s my turn at M, N, O, but Larry has found a malleable person and he waves me down. 

What can you do? I abandon my place in line.

Okay, you’d think this would be a one-stop shop, but sadly they don’t distribute the jersey’s we ordered for the ride tomorrow at the check-in stations. The malleable person points to another long ass line up the street. 

“That’s the shirt line,” she says.

Had we known we would have divided and conquered but I think it’s so much better the way it went down! 

Don’t you?

Sweet Landings

Photos by Cheryl Oreglia

The street is completely blocked off to traffic, there are over 6,000 bikers signed up for this event, and they are all milling around a beer and wine garden set up by the event organizers. There are a plethora of restaurants ranging from Mexican to Korean, Italian to Japanese, American barbeque joints, deli’s, and high-end steakhouses. They are all full, adorned with throngs of beautiful young people wearing spandex pants, tight butts, and absolutely zero body fat. You’d think this was Hollywood?

Where are all the middle-aged, slightly softened, gently layered people? 

We mosey up to an open bar, it’s outside under the stars, and order a glass of wine.

Dinner is nothing less than extraordinary. I have the ravioli with vodka sauce, and Larry orders a penne pasta with some sort of exotic meat and cheese sauce. The evening is delightful, the weather mild, and a sense of anticipation fills the air. We drive back to the hotel, which has sorted out the key issue, and we are granted lawful entry to our room. 

She’s Not Pedalling

If you sign up for the fifty-mile ride you need to be downtown by 8:00 am sharp, queued up, and ready for action. We are surprised to see several tandem bikes in the mix, couples our age, who obviously went to bed at a decent hour last night and weren’t downtown partying it up with the millennials. 

What a relief to know all those ambulances aren’t lined up for me.

There is this intentional buildup up of anticipation, excitement, and if I were honest, fear. The local high school band is belting out a rendition of Eye of the Tiger, people line the sidewalks with foldout chairs, waving flags, cheering us on. Between the announcements, cheerleaders, and police presence, the atmosphere is charged with feverish energy.

They let us go in packs of fifty, so we don’t end up in a tangled wad, and we move slowly up the street waiting to be released. 

The gun fires and an explosion of riders roll out as if a carpet of bright colors.

Larry starts us off at a mild pace, many of the bikers pass us up, but we’re not in a hurry and I believe Larry is trying to ease my anxiety. 

Let me get this out of the way right now. I’m already tired, we haven’t even gone a mile, and I’m having entire conversations with myself.

I’m still not convinced I can do this, it feels as if we’re riding at high altitude and I can’t get enough air.

Every twentieth biker feels the need to say, “she’s not pedalling,” as they pass us by. They think this is hysterical and you can hear them giggling from a block away. I’m not kidding. If it’s not about my pedaling (by the way the pedals are connected, I really don’t have the option not to pedal) it’s “she’s reading a book, she’s filing her nails, she’s sleeping.”

Really?

The first ten times it was cute. Now it’s annoying and I’m searching for snarky comebacks but there are none. It’s as if a tandem bike comes with the added bonus of nonstop commentators who feel empowered to engage with us. 

Does Larry look like the friendly type? 

The first fifteen miles of the tour are all uphill. I’ve sweated half my body weight, and just like life, when I get overwhelmed, I break it into small pieces. I’ve taken to staring at the ground where our momentum is most visible, deep breaths, and this seems to calm me. If I look ahead at the crest of the hill in the distance I panic. It feels as if we’re not moving at all. 

Larry senses my discomfort and says, “don’t pedal so hard, pace yourself.”

“I’m okay, I just have to stay focused.”

“We have a long way to go, I’m doing good, I can carry us.”

The thing is life is a tandem event if you think about it. My efforts are intimately connected to not only his ability to keep going but our momentum in general. We’re all interdependent, sometimes I carry my weight, other times he carries the both of us. Today is one of those days.

We’re out of water by mile twenty and there are no water stations in sight. The temperature is unusually hot for this time of year, it’s in the ’80s, and everyone is looking for water. Larry stops at a mobile repair van parked on the side of the road and asks for water. The generous guy digs into the back of his truck, finds a half-empty gallon of water, and hands it to us. We fill our bottles, thank him and continue on our way. 

I’ll admit on the first sharp turn I almost take us out. My natural instinct is to lean in the opposite direction, in my defense it does feel as if we’re falling. I thought I was saving the day as I lean away with all my girth. Larry desperately fights the forces of gravity, we miss the curb my centimeters, and I receive a curt lecture on the mechanics of motion. 

“You have to lean into the turn or we’re going to tank it.”

“I can try?”

“You can try?”

“What do I get?”

I get the look, backward, but still effective.

Some stranger says, “she’s not pedaling.”

Me, “good one, never heard that before.”

By the grace of God, we make it to the first rest stop at mile twenty-five. If you’ve ever ridden a horse then you’ll know what I mean when I say it feels as if I’ve been in the saddle all day. I’m pretty sure I’ll be walking funny for the rest of my natural life. 

I just want some shade but we’re in the middle of the desert in a parking lot. The heat is radiating off the pavement as if we’re standing on a barbeque. A large human-size grill and I’m already fully baked if you know what I mean. 

There are tables set up with water, Gatorade, sliced oranges, bananas, apples. Little cups of pretzels with peanut butter, nuts, and such. 

Of course, there’s one long-ass line and Larry docilely moves to the end as if he’s been tortured by the Gestapo. 

I sit with the fire ants on the curb protecting the precious bike. When Larry gets to the front of the line he waves me over and we fill up on water and snacks for the better part of five minutes, and then he’s hankering to go. You know what I’m ready for? 

Let me just say getting back on the bike is heroic. Epic. Phenomenal. 

In my humble opinion. 

As we exit the human barbeque we realize we are on the top of the world, as if Rocky hitting that top step at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, it’s downhill for the next ten miles, and guess who is passing everyone up? The bike that weighs the most. Yeah, baby. 

We cover more miles in mere minutes than you can possibly imagine. I’m leaning into turns like nobody’s business, gliding, pedaling, soaring across the landscape with the best of them. 

“She’s not pedalling.”

“Because we know how to glide!”

Well, I’m sorry to say the euphoria is short-lived, and just when I think I’m Kate Courtney. There are more hills to conquer, it’s eighty-eight degrees outside, I’ve consumed at least six bottles of water and still don’t have to pee. Should I be worried?

The surrounding mountains are striking, everywhere you look you are confronted by majestic peaks that jet up from the ground leaving you with the distinct feeling that something extraordinary was involved in their creation. 

Around mile forty, just when I’m about to throw in the towel, scream “uncle” and capitulate to my warring body, we find an oasis. The second and final rest stop comes into view. There are tables and tables stacked with heaping bowls of pasta, meatloaf, mashed potatoes, tamales, fruit, liquids, nuts, pretzels, cases of water, and fresh salads. People are milling about everywhere, rows of bike racks line the dirt field, volunteers stand ready to guard the bikes while we eat. 

Larry and I gorge on delicious tidbits for at least ten minutes before Larry wants to hit the road. I’m not sure I’m capable of riding another mile?

I’m shoving tamales in my mouth as fast as I can, fiercely shaking my head, more frantic shoving. Yes, it’s a stalling tactic, but I’m desperate.

When we return begrudgingly to the bike there’s a group of guys looking at our rig, they are admiring the massive frame, this particular model is no longer in production. Of course, someone says, “your nails sure look nice, you’ve been back there filing Jenny.” (my seat is embroidered with the name of the previous owner)

“Oh that is soooo funny, and you got the name wrong too.”

Male laughter but they’re actually confused. 

If they only knew what I was thinking.

Back on the bike, I have to say the last 10 miles is absolute torture. My butt is so sore I have to stand up on the pedals every few blocks to get any relief, my feet ache even though I continually adjust their placement on the pedals, the tension in my back is excruciating, and my hands hurt from leaning on the handlebars for five hours. 

I consider calling for an extra-large Uber but the reception is bad. 

Larry’s like “you’ve got this babe, we’re almost there, three more miles.”

Me, “I don’t want it, at my age I have nothing to prove, mile forty-seven is a win for me.”

Larry, “Wait until they hand you that medal, with an ice-cold beer, and you’ll have something worthy to write about.”

Me, “I have plenty to write about and I don’t need a participation award.”

Some idiot passes us by, “she’s not pedaling.”

Me, “I know who you are, I’ll find you, and you’ll regret the day you were born.” 

Larry, “We might need to upgrade you to a martini?”

I can hear the band playing from a mile away. I’ve resorted to self-talk but now I’m doing it out loud. Every force in the universe is consorting against me and I’m so done.

I want shade and maybe a gallon of ice water.

After gliding into the crowd of euphoric riders, a volunteer hands us our medals, and she says, “congratulations.” I’m aghast. 

This has to be a presidential accomplishment. Where’s Joe and Kamala? 

Larry walks our bike over to a tree and rests it there. I find the nearest curb in the shade, after grabbing two bottles of water, I flop down on the hard surface and drink as if I’ve been lost in the desert. 

Wait, I have been lost in the desert. 

Larry recovers quickly, he wants to take pictures, then we should go to the beer garden with two thousand other bikers, half of whom accused me of not pedaling. 

I’m unable to move. I drink both bottles, still thirsty, beer sounds awful! Yeah, that’s a first.

So, of course, we end up at the beer garden, it’s packed, nowhere to sit, Larry grabs some chairs out of a random truck and sets them in the shade. I might sleep here tonight. 

Sipping beer, watching the bikers file in, smiling, high on endorphins. I watch thousands of sweaty people, laughing, relaxing, enjoying the body’s opiate receptors which somehow missed me?

It’ll wear off. It’s just a matter of time.

Back at the hotel, I slip out of my soaked bike pants, into dry pajama bottoms, I’m too tired to change my sweaty shirt, so I crawl into bed just as I am. 

AARP On The Move

Larry wakes me up hours later. I can’t remember who, what, or where I am? It’s dusk. 

Larry says, “get in the shower, we have reservations at the steak house tonight, and it’s almost time to go.”

“Who are you?”

“I’m the one who pedaled.”

“Oh honey, don’t go there.”

Downtown is hopping with all those happy endorphin-laden people, most of whom stayed in their biking gear, and obviously never left the beer garden.

We’re slightly early so we enjoy a cool glass of wine at a swanky Italian bar along the strip, we order juicy melon, with prosciutto, Burrata cheese, and crostini. I’m no longer in need of a Priest for last rites but I’m definitely in heaven. I think those endorphins finally kicked in or the wine, maybe both. 

The Final Bead

The next morning I feel as if someone beat me with a bat but I soldier on, we pack our bags, load the car, and head to Sherman’s for breakfast. I have my priorities. 

Sherman’s is a famous bakery and deli, the food is outstanding and it felt good to linger over endless cups of coffee and succulent eggs benedict. 

We arrive at Marta and Ken’s in time to watch the Superbowl, munch on chicken wings, barbequed hamburgers, and cheer on our favorite teams. I have no preference. 

I’m just glad to be alive. 

I glance over at Larry, the guy with whom I’m doing this life in tandem, and I’m grateful to have such a capable man on my team. The mystery of life isn’t about coordinating the pedalling, it’s finding someone worth pedalling for, and one who is willing to carry the entire load when needed. That’s the final bead.

Oh, and I wore my medal all night! 

I’m Living in the Gap, not pedaling, gliding along. Join me in the comments.

“I am convinced that the jealous, the angry, the bitter and the egotistical are the first to race to the top of mountains. A confident person enjoys the journey, the people they meet along the way and sees life not as a competition. They reach the summit last because they know God isn’t at the top waiting for them. He is down below helping his followers to understand that the view is glorious where ever you stand.” Shannon Alder

39 Comments

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  1. Okay, I have lots of thoughts.

    The first one is ‘well done’ on the bike ride that I wouldn’t even think about doing.

    2) 88 degrees? It has been 5C here, on a good day.

    3) Yes to the food and the beer and other drinks. No to the bike ride, and No to those endless ‘lines’.

    (By the way, they are called ‘Queues’)

    4) How did you get back after? Did I miss that bit, ot did you ride 100 miles?

    5) It’s ‘Pedalling’, with two ‘L’s.

    Proof of 5)!

    pedalling
    /ˈpɛd(ə)lɪŋ/
    Learn to pronounce (or spell correctly, if you live in America)
    noun
    1.
    the action of working the pedals of a bicycle.
    “I have to do some fast pedalling to get the chain to engage properly”
    2.
    use of the pedals of a piano, organ, etc., especially in a particular style.
    “Chopin gave no indications of pedalling in his manuscript”
    Definitions from Oxford Languages

    Best wishes, Pete. x

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Love all the thoughts Pete and I will try to respond. It was a surprisingly difficult ride for me but given the fact I didn’t train for it, I was overjoyed to have stayed on the bike for 50 miles! And I do like my participation medal! The ride was mapped out in a loop so we ended where we began, isn’t that always the case! We loved Palm Springs, the landscape is stark but beautiful. I adjusted my spelling and now all the Americans are up in arms! Bahaha! Hugs, C

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have been waiting to hear how your Palm Springs trip went. Congrats for making the 50 miles on the tandem! I’ve volunteered several times at water stations and handing out t-shirts. I’ve only ridden the 10 mile with my kids when they were very young. They left me in the dust. Now I want to know the names of the restaurants.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We had such a wonderful time, other than when I was on the back of the bike! It was a lot hotter than they expected and we were surprised they had no water stations other than the two rest stops! The thing is in that kind of heat you just can’t drink enough water! I’ll find out the names of the two dinner places and add another note here, I don’t have them on the top of my head. We’ll definitely sign up for this one next year, maybe recruit some friends! What a gorgeous and charming town! Hugs, C

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Such a gorgeous area! We looked up one of the homes we saw that was for sale and the prices are much more reasonable than I would have thought? I told Larry, let’s buy one, rent it out, but also have it available when we want to visit! He grumbled, not sure that was a yes?

          Liked by 1 person

        2. The prices have always been low compared to the Bay Area, Orange County and LA. But they doubled during COVID and we got out! That’s in Palm Springs, not the other desert cities. The city has lots of regulations about airbnbs and VRBOs, but they are still allowed. A few cities banned them altogether.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. OK, Full coffee cup, here goes:
    1. According to a wise lady with whom I have the privilege to share a domicile, “Patience is not a virtue, it is a waste of time”.
    2. That is what new, big trucks are for…
    3. Groundhog Day, a fave and after 4 kids I can honestly say “been there, done that”
    4. “I know who you are, I’ll find you, and you’ll regret the day you were born.” This is a verbatim quote that has passed my lips on at least 5 different occasions on “50-Miler” hikes as a Scoutmaster. Often it was directed at one of my own children.
    5. “I’m the one who pedaled.” = Coffee out my nose.
    Finally: Thanks for this post. It brings back a lot of similar life experiences and really made me smile.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Scott, your wise lady has that right! I’m a rule follower so I’m always confounded when Larry so easily crosses the line! I have to say the new truck is such a sweet ride, Larry is quite pleased. I didn’t know you have 4 kids also, so you do understand! Bahaha, my frustration leaks out on unsuspecting strangers, spent, hungry, thirsty, and overheasted! So glad you enjoyed the post, I so appreciate the kind words, and the camaraderie in the comments! Warmly, C

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, I could relate with so much of this. I’ve never done a bike race, but I did marathons for awhile and the emotions you described were on point! Thank you for the great perspective and cause for reflection. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your adventure!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Mama, I bet marathons require the same kind of thinking, a lot of self talk, pushing through the pain, and running on empty. It does feel good to cross that finish line! Thanks for taking the time to read and respond, I’m ever so grateful. Hugs, C

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh C!!! I couldn’t wait to read about this! You pedalled that big dog like no other dog! I’m so proud of you! Of both of you. Like you always do you wrote so descriptively and fun that we were right there with you. I’m even sweating and I think my legs are sore. You DID IT! I’m a collector of notebooks, C. I love journals and words. I truly need to begin a section just for you. I’m going to title it, “C’s Words and Phrases”! Just the 3 words, she’s not pedalling, will make me giggle, smile, and feel happy about your accomplishment. From the thankful refrigerator, the cool clothes (yes, you looked great doing it, too!), the food, the water, the encouraging and not-so-encouraging crowd, the finish line, and the medal! It was 2016 and I was beginning to regain some balance I had lost with my accident. The depth perception issue is real, too. I was determined to hike my first 14’er in Colorado. As I was ascending, hikers descending would say, “you only have 10 more minutes to the top!” I heard this for at least an hour! After the 3rd or 4th group would say it I would respond, “Sure! That peak looks about 10 minutes away!” I know they were trying to encourage me? Or were they? I’ll not forget it! On my way down, which was the hardest for me, I’d say, “You’ve got a good hour or two, pace yourself!” LOL! Sending you love and hugs my friend. It’s all about the journey and the miles, not the pace, as you well know! I’m proud of you! 💚💛❤🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your comments always make me smile, sometimes laugh out loud, but most important you restore my balance Karla. Just when I’m assaulted by imposters syndrome, questioning who do I think I am, how could my writing possibly resonate with anyone? There you are, lifting me off the floor and I feel as if I can keep the doubts away for another day. Thank you for all the encouragement. I really should have taken my training more seriously and I plan to for our next ride coming up in a few weeks! I have to say the thrill of completing the 50 miles was surprising and I do love my medal! I can just imagine you struggling to get your strength and balance back, tacking a real mountain, along with the physical mountain you had to climb, and don’t you just love the helpful by-standers! They meant well I’m sure! Love you my brave and fearless friend, thanks for all the encouragement. Hugs, C

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My heart is smiling reading this, C. Do you remember the book by Judy Blume, “Are you there God, It’s Me, Margaret?” This was the first “mature” book I had ever read. “If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits?” By Erma Bombeck….you remind me of these two authors. I read your posts like chapters in a clever, witty, charming, and also, thoughtful and meaningful way. Don’t let the imposter assault you. If we were sitting in a peer group of writers, there would be someone else saying (not just me ;)), “Publish this!” I love getting to ride beside you in life! You take us all tandem! I can’t wait for your next ride (ride or die? Gulp!!). You got this! Yes, my mountain was a challenge and I’ll keep climbing. I had lost my confidence for a bit to go solo on a few things. But it’s coming back! I think you’re brave and fearless too, so I’ll keep pedalling with you. Love you oodles and noodles! 💛💛💛

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Awe, you are the best Karla, I’ll have to check out those books, I’ve read some of Erma’s stuff – love her! The closer I get to publication, the less confident I get! Thanks for cheering me on, I’m sure you went through this while publishing your first book. Thanks for pedaling with me, wouldn’t want to go it alone! Love you, 💕💕💕

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        2. Thank you, C, for your sweet words right back! Yes, check out excerpts from their books. You are a hit my friend! One day I will publish my adult genre book. For now, I’m having fun in the children’s area (I’ll always love that arena). My Flannel with Faith will eventually make it’s way into an inspirational piece with “Snippets” from each post (if that makes sense?). But for now, I love where I am. It’s been a journey. My illustrator and I met yesterday and can’t wait for the next one. In the meantime, I’ll be my own marketer! I was tickled this morning. My Mom texted me and said she was sending me a pic. She was enjoying her morning coffee, reading the Missouri Life magazine, and low and behold, there was my little book under “Good Reads”! What?!?! My heart leapt! What a sweet nod. And that my friend will happen with you. I just feel it in my bones; and my bones know when my head doesn’t! Love you more 😉 K

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    1. Thanks Mike! I have never been so happy to finish an event in my entire life (except for those 4 labors)! We did have a great time especially when we were off the bike! Next up, Solvang, but I’m training this time! 💕

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  6. So happy to read that you fully enjoyed yourself and committed to the adventure Cheryl. Congrats on finishing. Your smile in the pic at dinner/cocktails says it all. Yes, the Coachella Valley can be quite enchanting indeed.
    Terrie and I found that out when we ‘spur-of-the-moment’ decided to go camp there for her Birthday just before Christmas last year, We fell in love with La Quinta and PGA West.
    When I write “camped there” (Embassy Suites)? I mean no room service or jacuzzi tub in the room 😉
    For the 1st time ever in enjoying your writing? The most impacting words shared were not your own: “A confident person enjoys the journey, the people they meet along the way and sees life not as a competition. They reach the summit last because they know God isn’t at the top waiting for them. He is down below helping his followers to understand that the view is glorious where ever you stand.” Loved that.
    Sigh. . . Guessing I will be needing to look up who Shannon Alder is then. . . Thank you very much!

    Cheers, and hoping your lower anatomy is starting to recover Neighbor!

    CT

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    1. Hi Chris, it was one spectacular adventure, that’s for sure! And I can’t agree more “the Coachella Valley can be quite enchanting.” We thoroughly enjoyed the swanky downtown with all the charming restaurants and bars! So much fun. Camping at the Embassy Suites, hysterical, the El Saguaro had a unique charm, but definitely no room service, or jacuzzi tub (that would have been rather helpful). And yes, Shannon Alder is a relationship specialist, LDS background. I just thought it was the perfect quote! Derrière is recovering nicely! 💕C

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  7. A 50 mile bike ride without training for it??! Completely bonkers! How are you still alive? But then your post would not have been so entertaining if you’d done it easy. A cheer for Larry for doing all the pedalling 🤣 and y’all look so cute in your matching threads. Well done my friend, a fantastic achievement.

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    1. I know Fraggle, what the hell was I thinking? Oh, let’s just hop on a bike and ride 50 miles. Utter lunacy but it did make for a good story. I’m taking the next ride more seriously, packing my nail file for the ride! If you can’t beat them… 💕C

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  8. Cheryl, great story. I love the matching tie dyed “pedalling” shirts. It reminds me of when one of the Soviet spin-off countries played basketball in the Olympics (it may have been 1992), they could not afford uniforms. So, Jerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead bought them tie dyed uniforms. So cool. Keith

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    1. Thank you Keith, oh yes, the matching shirts clenched it for me! I didn’t know that about Jerry Garcia! How cool is that? There was about 30-40 riders with matching Jersey’s honoring Major Taylor, a Black cyclist in the 1890’s that broke records but wasn’t allowed to compete in many events because of racism. They were quite an impressive group! Thanks for reading and commenting! 💕C

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  9. CONGRATULATIONS! You did it! This was a terrific story and I would have worn the medal all night too! I’ve done a little horse riding and I totally get how your “rear” was feeling! LOL I can’t believe the “not peddling” comments …. folks should “stay in their lane” so to speak! Best paragraph is how you relate the experience of tandem biking to your relationship. That was beautifully written. You have a special guy! Best Wishes! Leigh

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    1. Thanks Leigh, it was a totally new experience for me and surprisingly I do feel a sense of accomplishment, regardless of those riders that didn’t “stay in their lane” as you say. I had five hours of riding in tandem with my husband and it gave me a lot of time to consider the wider implications of riding tandem in this world. Thanks for your kind words, they mean more to me than you could ever imagine! My love to you, enjoy the beautiful weekend, hugs, C

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  10. Cheryl, you’re my hero! Or is it heroine? Something about heroine seems wrong. Shero! That’s better. I can’t even fathom 50 miles on a bike, but somehow I did it right along with you. I totally understand imposter syndrome. It’s a real phenomenon. But you are pedaling! Congrats on your medaling and your direction!! 🏅

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    1. You are hysterical, shero! I sort of love that. It was a stretch for me, 50 miles, in the hot sun. I’m not sure the medal was worth it? The thing is I’ve never been besieged by imposter syndrome while hosting a blog, I figure if it’s not for you, don’t read. But when you put a book out into the world for some reason I’m stifled by these ridiculous fears and I don’t know why. Like you say, “keep pedaling.” Hugs and love to you, C

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      1. When I went back to school for the sole purpose of furthering my own book, that’s when imposter syndrome hit me hardest (as I neared completion of both book and the degree). I’ve set mine aside for this year (of new job) and plan on one more round of revisions this summer before I figure out what happens next. Here’s an affirmation for us: “I’m a shero…strong and courageous…pedaling on…”

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        1. You book is going to be an important work in the world! I just know it. So here’s to our affirmation, “We’re the mighty shero’s, strong, courageous, pedaling onward! ” Love it, hugs, C

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