If anyone knew me well, they would know that I was born with a bike saddle glued to my butt. I loved to ride bike as a child and nothing has changed. While I have gotten older, my passion for the open wind in my hair never faded. When I moved to Chincoteague Island, one of the first things I invested in was a bike. I’ve gone through many since that move. I started out with a 3 speed and while it was okay to ride, it was a struggle at times. Of course this was before I had my gall bladder out so that was one of the reasons I couldn’t take to the open road. Once the gall bladder was out, riding bikes became a reality again.
Last Mother’s Day, my daughter surprised me with a new bike. I had ridden hers for awhile because I liked the feel of a “no speed” bike. They are calling it something else – beach bike or something – now but I could go faster and easier on a bike with no gears attached. I am not sure how far I got during that summer but thank God my son bought me an odometer (has yet to hook it up as it’s digital and I have no idea what I’m doing so I’ll let him do it for me).
Alas, winter came and I couldn’t ride for months. Oh, I tried believe me. There are several factors that go into winter bike riding on the island. First, the temp and second the wind. If the temp is in the upper 40s and there’s no wind and you dress properly, you’re fine, but if there’s a little bit of wind forget it. I have a gauge I use to figure out if I can attempt a bike ride – my neighbor’s wind sock. If it’s laying flat, I’m good to go.
Every morning, the first thing I would do is check the temp and the second thing I would do is check that wind sock. And today was perfect. Low 50s but the wind sock wasn’t moving. Yaaaay!
Even though I was a tad bit overdressed – winter coat plus zip up jacket underneath – I hit the open road.
It was wonderful. I decided to take a small trip – around the “block” – being careful not to overdo it. It was so nice to see the world as I remembered it. Not much changes on the island. A few shops will open up now and then – we’re even getting a few food trucks in town and a Chinese restaurant by what I hear. But the back roads are pretty much unchangeable. Even though it was Saturday, not many cars on the road. Or people walking. Not yet – believe me they will be out soon.
We had a thunder boomer last night so the roads were still wet but passable. Sometimes the island floods out if there’s heavy rain, but this time it wasn’t so bad. Having the sun out would have made it even better but that was okay. My first bike ride of the season – nothing could damper my spirits. I even stopped to admire some daffodils. Spring!
I was about halfway through the bike ride and I rode by this house I ride by a million times and something caught my eye.
The owners of the house had strung a lighted sign across their canal which read “Happy Easter Jesus.” I don’t know if you can see it but I imagine you could have seen it very well at night. Usually a bunch of geese and I’m talking huge squawking territorial geese live across the street right at the point but I didn’t see them today. Don’t worry – they’re there – and you have to ride really fast to get past them before they come after you. I took the last road leading home and a new sign had been placed in the grassy marsh. Seems someone is looking to sell that piece of property but I can tell you from experience it wouldn’t be a good idea as that place gets flooded all the time. What buyers need to do is come over here after a big storm and they can see it for themselves. I’m not sure how big the lot is but it’s selling for $275,000. Prime waterfront they are calling it. Beautiful sunsets await you. What they don’t tell you is beautiful water up to your knees await you as well. Stilts would be recommended not only for the house but you as well.
The bike ride was over. I didn’t want to go back inside. I wanted to jump back on that bike and take off to other places but responsibilities needed to be taken care of. Can’t wait for my next one.
Until next time,