Off we go into the wild blue yonder, riding high into the sun- a quest for the treasures of the Mountains.
I excelled in art as a youngster; the one area of school no mean boy could make fun. I was overweight and had a bad case of asthma which kept me from joining most organized sports. However, inhaler in hand, I sure did climb those mountains and swim the creek- I was happiest outside.
Most 16 year olds were asking for a set of four wheels and chrome to drive them and their friends to the football game on Friday nights- I on the other hand was set on two spoke wheels and titanium to see my small corner of the world a few MPG slower. No gas here, my legs were the gallons and when they gassed out I was late for supper.
I was determined to lose weight and felt FREE as I coasted the rolling hills and pedaled the farm land. You know what made me pedal faster? Passing the pig farm on a hot day, racing an Amish buggy, out-riding the viscous attack dog on Highway 48 and staying ahead of the thunderstorms.
Every weekday I sped through the door, threw my books down and put on my helmet- a promise I made to my father who wouldn't let me ride without it. I set my goal (a few more miles each day) and pretty soon I was biking for hours, surprising myself. My motivation and determination was greater than any outside vice; it was the drive I had deep in my heart to become healthy and accomplish my goals- I felt good and gained confidence.
I've been away from the Appalachian’s for quite some time and make my home with my husband Monte in the Crazy Mountains of Montana. I left my bicycle in PA and haven't had the opportunity to bring it out since. This piece has been integral in my long wait and has brought me a bit closer to one of my enjoyments. Oh how I long to ride- but I will be patient and one day I will be able to say, "Look Monte, no hands.”