Day 2: Off to Virtue

    Day 1/Pt. 1: Virtue Cider! I knew we shouldn’t have told the friendly party across the way that we planned on getting up and out bright and early. After no less than 5 hours rolling around restlessly yesterday evening, I finally caved and dug out my iphone for Game of Drones, in desperation to calm […]

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    Day 1: Part 2

    Day 1: Part 2

    And we’re off! Of course it only takes about 5 minutes before I decide I’d like to raise my saddle. And we’re off! So I do it guys. I’m telling you I pedaled and pedaled and pedaled. And you know what that asshole did? He just kept on pulling gears. No matter how hard I […]

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    Make it or Break it: Part 1

    Make it or Break it: Part 1

    You know what they say about tandem bikes? Wherever your relationship is going, it’ll get there faster on a tandem. Well, it’s time to find out. Brandon and I are setting off for a few-day ride along the lake. Last time he did this, he pedaled around the entire lake in a tandem with a […]

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    Slipping Through the Cracks of Time

    Slipping Through the Cracks of Time

    In relation to my last post, I’ve spent these past months contemplating how to move forward with my life. As I delve ever further into my dissertation and leave behind the world which I intend to enter post-academy (i.e. become a Ph.D. student who does not work as a professor or within the publish-or-die model), […]

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    31, in a nutshell

    31, in a nutshell

    On this day of my birth I feel ashamed of being depressed and anxious, of being, what my manfriend so eloquently calls it, “a birthday brat”. And he is right, in a sense. Having lived in Chicago two years, the reflection of my situation is nothing but bright. I have observed at a pioneering non-profit, […]

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    Moving Forward

    Protected: Moving Forward

    There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

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    Day 2: Off to Virtue

    Day 1/Pt. 1: Virtue Cider!

    I knew we shouldn’t have told the friendly party across the way that we planned on getting up and out bright and early. After no less than 5 hours rolling around restlessly yesterday evening, I finally caved and dug out my iphone for Game of Drones, in desperation to calm my anxious mind. I’m telling you people, if you’ve got a mad little tea party in your head constantly like I do, the Sleep With Me Podcast is awesomely boring in the perfect way.

    So I relish in the doze and let Brandon get up to search for the coffee filters when I hear our cheery neighbor approach.

    “You call this bright and early?” he asks.

    I would grumble, except the man has come with a carafe of hot coffee and two mugs, so he must be a god of some sort, especially since we’re just about to realize that we’ve forgotten our filters. Thank you godman.

    Our butts are sore, our legs are bit up and we stink up to high heaven, but nothing a little oatmeal and coffee can’t fix. In about an hour we’re on the road and I’m feeling positive…for awhile. But before an hour goes by I feel myself losing steam. You know when you give blood and as that pint drains from your body you start kinda losing your eyesight before you faint? That’s kinda how it felt as I started letting Brandon drag my legs around and around in a rhythmic circle. I had to admit something before I got myself thrown from that hard-ass saddle to the even harder-ass concrete.

    Shit.

    I felt sad, weak, and incapable.

    But what I wouldn’t give for a cold glass of cider…

    Day 1: Part 2

    imageAnd we’re off! Of course it only takes about 5 minutes before I decide I’d like to raise my saddle.

    And we’re off!

    So I do it guys. I’m telling you I pedaled and pedaled and pedaled. And you know what thimageat asshole did? He just kept on pulling gears. No matter how hard I pushed there was a bigger ring to put us in. How the hell was I gonna keep this up all day?

    Well I did, more or less. I pushed and pedaled and pulled and pimageushed and pedaled. The harder I pedaled, the more difficult it felt. Whatever the alleged “sweet spot” we were searching for in our cadence was, I certainly never found it.

    But despite it all, make way we did: crushing at such a speed as to cover 40 miles in less time
    Than we expected. We were so speedy in fact, that we had a little time to stop by an old and delicious haunt of ours: Honey Pie. Unfortunately I had overloaded on donuts that morning so had to settle for the salad instead of my favorite: the banana cream pie (believe me, I’m as disappointed as you are).

    Onto the ferry! Admittedly, Brandon’s mechanical mind made this experience like putting a kid in a candy shop. For me, the inside was too image cold, the outside too hot, and not a place to recline on the whole damn ship. But I did wedge myself into a small refuge beneath a ledge on the front hull – an otherwise hostile place for kids and adults alike – my favorite.

    We’re birthed from the ferry around 3:30 (with an hour time change). Only 6 more miles to the campground.

    Hoffmaster, a lovely name for a lovely campground. I’d write more, but we’re exhausted and Brandon won’t let me see whose butt is more sore…I think it’s his.

    Tomorrow Virtue Cider!

     

     

    Make it or Break it: Part 1

    image
    You know what they say about tandem bikes?

    Wherever your relationship is going, it’ll get there faster on a tandem.

    Well, it’s time to find out. Brandon and I are setting off for a few-day ride along the lake. Last time he did this, he pedaled around the entire lake in a tandem with a partner who allegedly went through four different saddles. Now, said partner races tandem bikes, among others. So, like, no pressure.

    We’ve been practicing for a couple of weeks, and I thought I was doing ok. I thought Brandon’s nervous energy about the whole thing was an anxious excitement.¬†After shelling out a 140$ for what looks like a thinly upholstered ergonomic maxi pad, we spent most of yesterday gathering the needed goods, an endeavor at which we mostly failed (don’t even get me started on women’s bathing suits).

    Before bed we stuff camping gear, clothes,tent, tarps, toothbrushes etc. into four panniers, crossing our fingers that they’ll fit on the bike: Challenge 1. Challenge 2 is waking up in time to get Roeser’s donuts on our way to the train, and Challenge 3 is actually convincing¬†the train agents to let us on.

    BING! 5:30AM, man, I haven’t seen this side of the morning in a long time. It’s all a haze of me running up and down the steps as I remember my forgotten things: sunglasses, then hat, then bandana…I can see Brandon picking his fingers, his nervous twitch. Pretty sure those will be down to the bones before we’re out of the metro area.

    6:15AM We’re off to a late start, but is there time for donuts? There’s always time for donuts (though go in retrospect a half dozen was too many).

    6:30AM The Metra to Kenosha leaves in 11 minutes, can we possibly make it? Up to the bicycle super highway, the famous/infamous 606. Zip! Past the early morning couples jogging. Zip! Past the commuter with grey saddlebags. Zip! Don’t run over that miniature French poodle!

    6:40AM Can you lift it?

    I think so?

    Are you sure?

    No

    6:41 And now the tricky part – can we get the tandem on the train. There are precious few moments to make this happen and the quicker and more smoothly we do it, the more likely they are to let us on. Heave! The thing miraculously fits diagonal in the vestibule, but we have to get it out of foot traffic ASAP. The train attendant looks on unamused, contemplating his pounce. Brandon turns in the wheel to hit the train car door button and swoosh! Just like that the over 8 foot long beast slides snugly into place, just narrow enough to keep the aisle clear.

    6:46 Yay! We win. This is gonna be awesome! Let’s sit down and eat donuts and drink coffee!

    Brandon: So, you’re going to have to pedal today?

    Leigh: I know. (I mean, that’s what I’ve been doing all along right?)

    Brandon: No, like harder. Does it feel like you’re pedaling?

    Uh oh…