Here I am, at the Burlington waterfront overlooking Lake Champlain with Pegasus (my bike) propped up beside me. And you know something? I feel SO READY to Inventure…
Peg and I just left Skirack, a local outdoor store that has been absolutely wonderful in supporting me as I prepare to ride in less than 2 weeks. Similar to Joey’s experience with Cycle Funattic, Skirack is a locally owned store with incredible people inside. Having become a frequent customer, going in to purchase, peruse, and daydream about nearly any bike-related SOMETHING you can imagine, when I step inside it feels like I’m visiting with old friends: “Hey Bekah! Back again?” or “How’s the trip planning going?”
Now perhaps they’re thinking, “Not you again?!” But I would never know it. The smiles, curiosity, and help I get every single time I enter never fails to impress me.
Peg spent the weekend with the Skirack family, becoming outfitted with his front rack, rear rack, fenders, handlebar mirror, water bottle holder, and panniers. Needless to say, he’s put on a few extra pounds. A few hours ago, I eagerly went to the store to pick him up. I swear there was a moment when at least half of the Skirack staff was huddled around Pegasus helping adjust and tinker with the parts until he was just right. What a blessing this community is.
And I can’t not mention the amazing light I feel every time a friend, friend of a friend, or friend of a friend’s friend energetically offers to host us as we cycle through their home turf. Thank you!
As our date of departure comes closer, I become increasingly excited to make my home on this bike. It’s a comforting feeling knowing that all the possessions I’ll need for the next few months will be right with me on this small metal frame.
I sit here, looking out at the beloved Adirondack ridgeline, watching the gulls flies over the blue water (god what I would give to be a gull for just one day), and my mind wanders…
Says Bekah to herself:
“I’m at peace here by the water, here in the city that I call home, but I’m ready to travel and see. I’m ready to leave behind what is comfortable so that I can come back and appreciate it all even deeper and love ever more.” (I’m sorry I mention ‘love’ so much, it just happens).
Now, I’ve worked ropes courses and climbing walls for a while, typically making it my goal to (safely mind you) guide people out of their comfort zone. Why? I suppose so that they can come back into the world they know having become stronger and more awake. Which is perhaps why we are seeking to ride...so that we can, as Joey says, wake up!
And here on the brink of this journey, I can feel the gift that this trip is handing to me. The gift presents itself in the form of a question:
Can you be present in the moment?..and embrace the change that is happening, to open up to the new people entering your life, and to stop in order to listen to the river flowing around you, around us all.
A few years ago, a university class of mine had each student adopt a nickname. River was the name that stuck for me. And I challenge myself now to live up to that name (oof, don’t forget Bekah, there are lots of folks who just heard that challenge to yourself).
One of the mantras I like to keep as I cycle reminds me that no matter how massive the hill up ahead may be, the only enjoyable way to get to the top is to embrace (with a smile if you want) each and every pedal along the way. It’s the ONLY method to get you to your destination…and there are always more miles to come.
With gratitude to you all,