Aug 2, 2015

The Bike Date

8/02/2015 — cori
I think the inspiration for this date came from watching the kids' triathlon. We had been hoping to go on another biking date - time just hasn't been our friend.  And now that Chuck has a bike again (after last year's heart wrenching bike loss), we were excited to get back on the trails.  We had been wanting to try the infamous Minnehaha Trail system that goes all the way from Minnehaha Falls through the most beautiful parts of the city to the Trail of Lakes (Harriet, Calhoun and Lake of the Isles).  We were a bit over-ambitious in our goal setting. We felt that doing an 8.2 mile bike ride to Lake Calhoun from Minnehaha Falls would be no problem. We failed to take into account the need for water (which we didn't pack) and the amount of hills that needed to be biked up.  I don't like up. At least not on a bike.  On a hike, good.  Bike, not good.

One thing to know about me is that I bike for leisure.  Chuck bikes like a boy: pop-a-wheelies, the need for speed, zig-zagging, along with lots of risk taking and dangerous elements involved. I like to look at the flowers, stop and walk over to the creek bed and take a picture, put my brakes on going down a hill (cuz you don't want to go too fast). I'm sure I drive him batty. Obviously, I was behind him the whole way and we were both happy.  I got to smell the roses and take my time and he got to zip around all risk-takey like.

I mean, how can you ride past this and not stop to admire the beauty?!

And here's another perfect example of why you shouldn't go speeding by things on your bike.  You would miss hugging a gigantic cottonwood tree.  This thing was as big as some of the Sequoias we saw in the Sequoia National Park.

After many, many (*pant, pant*) miles...finally, our destination (and a snack) -  Lake Harriet

We rested our legs and bums by enjoying the view of the water and sailboats and ducks while drinking lemonade and eating a frozen smoothie bar.  I really hate complaining.  I don't let my kids do it.  And I try really hard 'to not to' (to quote Mater).  But sometimes, I really, really want to and this was one of those times.  My legs refused to work anymore.  Instead of our goal being overly ambitious, it suddenly seemed overly aggressive.  It seemed bad for my future well being to put my body back on that bike and ride another 7 or 8 miles from whence we came.  It seemed ridiculously impossible actually.  But I wasn't going to say anything. We are on a date and gosh darn it, we will have fun! 

We decided to head back to the Falls on a different, shorter route.  Unfortunately for us, this was not on a bike path but on city streets the whole way.  Fine for risk-loving-biker Chuck, not so much for smell-the-roses me.  As we're heading off Chuck stops his bike, gets off and asks me, "What would you think if I rode by myself back to the car and came back and picked you up?"  To which I replied, "You would be my hero." He was nervous to ask because he was afraid it would come across as if he thought I couldn't make the ride back.  In theory I could have.  It would have just taken a very, very, long time. And I may or may not have had a few tears in my eyes. I didn't want to ask him to ride by himself to pick up the car because I didn't want to appear as if I were complaining and giving him the impression that I couldn't do it when our kids just ran a triathlon.  I can do hard things.  But he was so sweet to give me an out.  And I took it.

Thankfully, we were at the Rose Garden when we had this impromptu change of plans. 

 So I camped out on a bench with my bike parked happily by my side and stared at this lovely scene.

I then walked my bike across the street and decided to sit at the Peace Garden because I like peace. 
It seemed like the perfect place to wait for a ride.  

 It took Chuck a good 30 minutes to get back to our car and another 30 minutes to drive back and get me.  He said I would never have made the ride back on the bike.  Apparently, it was all up hill with lots of street traffic. And since he knows me so well, he knew what was in my best interest.  Sitting at the Peace Garden and Rose Garden for an hour by myself saved our relationship in the long run.  

Thus was the end of our date. 

Pinky Swear

8/02/2015 — cori
This is one of the most amazing things we do all year.  Actually, we don't do it, the kids do.  They run a triathlon to help raise money for kids and their families going through cancer treatments.  Here's the story of the founder who started this 'pinky swear' with his son, Mitch, twelve years ago:

It is such a beautiful thing to watch 700 kids do something for others.  Something hard! Chloe and Bennett both had to swim 200 yards, bike 6 miles and run 1 mile. It was hard, but oh so worth it! Here's our morning of the triathlon in pictures:

Just getting from where we were able to find parking to the actual event was quite a haul! 
The event was held at Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis on a perfect 70 degree summer morning.

Getting all their gear set-up in the transition zone.

Checking out the water temps. Perfect.

A pre-race family picture.

The procession of 700 kids ages 6-18 walking to the staging area before the race begins.

The first leg is the swimming. They run from here to the transition area and get on their bikes.

This is Chloe's first year in the older kids bracket - much harder!  
But she can do hard things! At least she found out today that she could. 

He looks happy to be starting his 6 miles.

This is Chloe after finishing her 6 miles. Hard. To. Do!

Almost to the finish line.

Rounding the bend to the final home stretch.

Back with their super proud Mommy.

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