Sunday, July 20, 2014
Today's ride paled in many ways to the wonderful ride back in October 2011, but there were enough parallels to bring back the memories and yet to enjoy the people with whom I was riding today.
Here is the route for today's ride:
30-some miles, fairly flat, easy-peasy...but a great ride for me to pump it up and feed my need for speed and satisfy that cravin' for pavin' and yearnin' for burnin'! :-)
HERE is the most daunting ride which I had the great pleasure of sharing with 4-A-HEALTHY-BMI back in the fall of 2011:
Double the distance with MONSTER climbs! I was in no way ready for such a ride today, jumping into the bike season only a few weeks ago. We had done that ride in OCTOBER: end of the season when we're all pumped and primed...and STILL had our socks knocked off...lol!
I miss having the pleasure of 4-A-HEALTHY-BMI's company since her relocation out of state earlier this year, but it was so enjoyable to re-visit our experiences together during today's ride as there were a number of the same roads, same delicious restaurant for lunch stop.
It was fun to re-visit also my blog and hers about the day, complete with pics and all!
Missing you 'round these parts, 4-A-HEALTHY-BMI, but thank goodness for these memories! :-)
It had been sort of overcast earlier in the ride so on my inner radio I dialed up an oldie from Donovan to see if I could coax the sun to come out and play:
And it WORKED! When the sun came out to brighten up the day I changed the channel to this Earth, Wind & Fire song to pump it up:
We had the pleasure of greeting some new members to the bike club today, which was very nice to see!
In searching for these songs tonight I've wandered down the rabbit-hole that YouTube can be for me occassionally and found a couple more gems I thought I'd share with you all if you care.
Most of you know how vitally important Jackson Browne's song "Alive In The World" is to me. This is my theme song to which I do my best to live up to!
Well I found a YouTube that honored the song with beautiful nature scenes that just add so much to my appreciation of the lyrics!
And although there are no lyrics to this next tune, it's title and the music evokes a similar strength and declarative vitality to occupy this world as fully and completely as possible!
Jan Garbarek Group - Mission: To Be Where I Am
Here are a couple more links to Jan Garbarek's music. His band is simply magical and the rapport between he and bass player extraordinaire Eberhard Weber is always so emotive and satisfying!
This one features lovely artwork which conjures up Garbarek's Nordic roots:
And here is an entire live concert...! To see the alchemists at work in conjuring such musical journeys...!
Way past a reasonable bedtime...! But it's been fun meandering through memories and music...
Thank you all for wandering through them with me! :-)
Friday, July 18, 2014
This was a most challenging week of re-entry after vacation, hence a delay in posting the "rest of the story"...!
I was truly blessed with some of the BEST weather during my time in Michigan, especially on the important days of our reunion and our party for my father's 80th birthday.
Here is a picture of my father standing WAY way up on the new "overlook" recently built in New Buffalo which takes one out into the nature preserves. We were down on the lower trail looking up toward him near sunset:
My aunts who live on a lake outside of the Kalamazoo area graciously offered there gorgeous home and surroundings as the place for holding our party for my father. Here are a couple of shots to "attempt" to show how beautiful the area and the weather was that day:
Above is the view off their rear deck. You can see the shed with the kayaks, the pier and the pontoon boat they took folks out on to enjoy some time on the water.
Below is another view off the deck with a couple of my uncles taking it all in:
Here is a nice pic of me with my uncle who is only a few years older than I and more like an older brother than an uncle. Also my sister is joining us:
The highlight of the day was heading out in kayaks with a couple of my young buck nephews and going on a paddling expedition through not only this lake, but a chain of lakes connected with marshy wetlands with just enough water to paddle through the tall cat-tails, blooming lily pads and huge swans serenely taking in the day and all but yawning at us as we quietly paddled by. One of my nephews managed to creep into the greenery to snatch a few stray swan feathers to take back to show others. What a wonderful three hour journey we had! Paddling steadily all the time...did my shoulders feel THAT! :-) I was pleased that the soreness didn't last beyond the evening. Here's a pic my sister snapped before we set sail. We all would've loved to have taken pics ourselves, but one of my nephews already lost his cell phone in another pond and nobody dared to take chances bringing them along.
Now for archeology! In preparing for my father's birthday I was flipping through lots and lots of family pics to help my sister in preparing a scrapbook and I did an online slideshow.
Of course some of these pictures had ME in them too...!
I think I may have shared this before, but for comparisons' sake I'll share it again. This is from 1973 (a special Math / Chemistry summer program between Jr. / Sr. year of high school, receiving an award at Western MI Univ. in Kalamazoo, with my parents and a couple of professors) during my all time low weight on the tail end of doing the Mayo Clinic's Ketogenic, high-fat, zero-carb diet:
This was my first foray away from home and the beginning of my unraveling the benefits of the ketogenic diet as I stayed at a college dorm with college cafeteria food and began to "stray" in my food choices.
Now here I am only a few years later while at our local community college. I'm with a couple of good friends and you can see how the pounds are already accumulating. You can also see my freaky long hair that I couldn't do anything with but tie it up like a 2nd head bobbing behind me...lol!
So further down the drain I go...
A potent reminder of the depths from which I've recovered and never want to visit again!
Here's a cool snapshot of three generations, myself, son and father taken earlier this year...life is SO much better being in control, in the driver's seat and living the SPARK!
Looking forward to a weekend of spectacular 80 degree sunny days and a ride with the bike club tomorrow from Windsor to Afton for lunch and returning for around 35 miles.
Keep the SPARK everyone! :-)
Thursday, July 10, 2014
So in line with the shedding of the "bubble" I've been enjoying tossing a rag in the bag (pannier), hopping on my bike and reconnecting with new friends, old friends and family out Michigan way.
After spending the night with a very close friend with whom we shared our MSW years at Michigan State University I got on the bike for old times sake to tool around campus as I used to do way back in 1976-80 (the Magic Johnson-Gregory Kelser years!). Hardly recognized parts of the area in East Lansing as it had changed a lot, but much was very familiar. Fond memories of the Erickson Kiva where the campus hosted such fine jazz performers as Oregon and others. I ushered so I could see everything for free.
I re-visited the housing co-op where I lived and spent the majority of my time in East Lansing. Such cool memories there! We all worked together, very communal spirit, rotating meal prep, each taking care of various chores and OH THE PARTIES!! We weren't quite up to "Animal House" standards...but pretty close! ;-)
Here's a picture of Howland House, an old Victorian home which has been raised up on blocks and moved TWICE in the city!
They're much more colorful than they were back in my day. I enjoyed chatting with the kids on the porch who said they were making an effort to pull together the "alumni" of the house. I loved that thought and volunteered my name and e-mail address and expressed hope that through this I might catch up with an old room mate with whom I completely lost contact over the years. When I shared his name they said "hmm, isn't his son the plumber in town?" I'm excited that they agreed to pass along my name and e-mail to them and hoping to be able to re-connect with him again.
Here's a pic of me en route to our family reunion in St. Joseph:
It was a nice 40+ mile round trip.
PLUS a WAY COOL SPARK BONUS!
Since I knew I'd be out this way visiting family I caught up with WMUGRAD who lives in the Kalamazoo area and earlier this week we had a blast riding along through the relatively new Kalamazoo Valley Trail filling our ride with lots of enjoyable conversation swapping bike tales and Spark tales. Afterward she treated me to a lovely lunch at an Indian restaurant. Both of us happen to be social workers and had plenty of "shop talk" and tales to share as well.
Thank you so much again for your gracious hosting, WMUGRAD!
I continue to revel in the pleasures of catching up with one Spark person after another...every one has been such a delight! We are all part of such a wonderful community and I encourage you all to do your best to make it "real" and connect with each other in whatever way you can!
Here's a "selfie" of WMUGRAD and I:
Viva la SPARK!
Sunday, June 22, 2014
Today I decided I will not live in a bubble any longer and Eliquis (my anti-coagulant) was NOT going to keep me off the bike! A friendly nudge from 4-A-HEALTHY-BMI pointed me in the direction of this blog:
While I know there are bike club members on anti-coagulants who ride and it's been in the back of my mind if the anti-coagulant was going to be long term that I may just have to buck up and ride anyway, this blog sorta tipped the scales finally to help me say: ENOUGH! Get on the BIKE! My new Brooks Flyer Saddle is long, LONG overdue to get broken in...although I'm not sure which got broken, the saddle or my backside...lol! Actually I rode it "okay"...Brooks' leather saddles are notorious for requiring months of riding before they conform nicely to one's bottom and morph into the best saddle you can ride.
So I tossed a towel in my pannier, grabbed my iPhone & RoadID and off I went! Been a long, long time since last fall...kinda wobbly like Bambi's first steps for a few RPMs, but reclaimed the road very nicely with an easy-peasey 20 mile ride up to Whitney Point and back. Gorgeous day, soaking up the sun, smiling and even singing out loud along the way, reprising that Stevie Wonder song that's been stuck on my brain mentioned in my last blog: I Love Every Little Thing About You...lovin' my bike, lovin' the day, lovin' the world!
Keep 'er Sparkin' everyone!
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