The bicycle is just as good company as most husbands and, when it gets old and shabby, a woman can dispose of it and get a new one without shocking the entire community.
--- Ann Strong, Minneapolis Tribune, 1895
It was a beautiful day, and I had been sitting at the computer for hours. My back was stiff and I needed to get some fresh air.
"Why don't we take a bike ride?" I suggested to my husband. "Let's take the bikes and ride the canal." In the nearby town of Utica, there is a nice bike path that runs over 60 miles along the Illinois & Michigan (I & M) Canal.
If my husband was surprised that I suggested we do something that consisted of exercise, he didn't say anything. I love to be outdoors, but I hate to exercise. I have a lot of issues - like knee, hips, and back problems. I know, I know. Catch-22. If I lose weight, I probably wouldn't have all the problems, but when I walk for longer lengths of time, I have pain in my back. Jim loaded up the bikes on the back of the truck and we took off for the bike path.
Here is the nice wooden bridge that spans the canal. We had to ride over it to get to the other side where the bike path is located.
This photo was taken while I was on the bridge. That's my husband on his recumbent bike over on the left.
The bike path is level, which I love, and consists of small crushed stones. It was so quiet riding, with just the sounds of the crickets and a few birds chirping. Once in awhile I'd hear a train whistle off in the distance. Here's the path right after we started out.
Jim called out, "Look at all the turtles!"
A little further down, I spied this big guy. He looked like an army helmet, only bigger!
These wildflowers were growing along the water. I don't know what they are, but I like their shape and color.
Surprisingly, I felt pretty good. We just had passed the one mile mark. Jim (riding behind me) said, "Pace yourself. Remember we have to go back! And you know you can't walk it!"
I saw a brown post up ahead and told him we'd ride to there and turn around. The post had a sign that read "1.2 miles."
Stopping my bike at the sign, I took a mental assessment of my body. The only aches I felt were my left knee, and my right instep was hurting me for whatever reason. Other than that, I was good to go. I wasn't out of breath or anything. Maybe I had a smug look on my face. Maybe it was because I hadn't broken a sweat. Maybe it was because I didn't need to stop and rest. Who knows why?
I thought my husband would say something like,"Wow, I'm so proud of you! You're really doing good!" or "Your butt sure looks cute on the back of that bike!"
But instead, he said, "WE gotta get YOU out here every day to get YOU in shape."
This from a man who could stand to lose weight himself. Grrrr!!
I know he really meant, "to build up my stamina."
I even said, "You meant to say, 'To build up my stamina.'"
Nothing from the peanut gallery. Here all this time I'm thinking he's admiring my ass, and what he's really seeing is this: