Thursday, June 25, 2009

Travels With Iris

One of the joys in my life is biking. What started out as an alternative to walking seems to have taken on a life of its own. Our first bikes were Schwinn comfort bike - comfy seat, sitting upright - the perfect bike for a couple of then forty-year-olds rediscovering biking. The kind of bike you could just jump on and head off down the street. After a few months spent riding around the neighborhood, Al and I progressed to tackling one of our area's 'gems', the Green Circle Trail. A twenty-seven mile route that encompasses not only city streets and neighborhoods but paths through pine and hardwood forests as well as views of the Little Plover River and the Wisconsin River. While I would have been happy continuing to put miles on my Schwinn, Al began to look at mountain bikes, something more suited to off road biking. The purchase of the mountain bikes was the start of our relationships with the Trek dealers within a 100 mile radius.

Thanks to Bring's, Wheel and Sproket, Machinery Row and Trek Bicycle Store, not only do I have three bikes but just about every gadget and cycling apparel that allows me to ride in any kind of weather except snow (that is where I draw the line.) However, when I want to find my center, there is nothing better than hauling out the mountain bike, nicknamed Iris for the color of her paint, and biking half of the Green Circle. I can clear my mind of the clutter and where oftentimes the answer to those nagging family research questions seem to drop down from nowhere.

I wish everyone those green spaces in your life to help balance the beauty of the city with the beauty of what my grandmother use to call 'the out of doors.'

I remember a hundred lovely lakes, and recall the fragrant breath of pine and fir and cedar and poplar trees. The trail has strung upon it, as upon a thread of silk, opalescent dawns and saffron sunsets. It has given me blessed release from care and worry and the troubled thinking of our modern day. It has been a return to the primitive and the peaceful. Whenever the pressure of our complex city life thins my blood and benumbs my brain, I seek relief in the trail; and when I hear the coyote wailing to the yellow dawn, my cares fall from me - I am happy. ~Hamlin Garland, McClure's, February 1899

The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man. ~Author Unknown

The sky is the daily bread of the eyes. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I can enjoy society in a room; but out of doors, nature is company enough for me. ~William Hazlitt

To me a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass is more welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug. ~Helen Keller

The woods were made for the hunters of dreams,
The brooks for the fishers of song;
To the hunters who hunt for the gunless game
The streams and the woods belong.
~Sam Walter Foss

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. ~Albert Einstein

Nature is my medicine. ~Sara Moss-Wolfe

Photographs Copyright © 2009 by Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski

Thursday, June 18, 2009

From The Front Seat

One of my favorite Mary Engebreit cards says "Don't look back - you're not going that way."

While that may be true, sometimes the view from the front seat looking back reminds us of some of the little things in life that brings us joy.

Heading anywhere with Al on a Friday afternoon with the road bikes securely in place on the Cycle-On and the promise of a charity bike ride. It doesn't matter if there is SAG, and the rest stops may be nothing more than a couple of cookies and over ripe bananas. What is important is after two years of volunteer service to the Wisconsin Society Daughters of the American Revolution, I've handed over my committee duties to the next administration and with that comes a sense of pride in a job well done. But also a sigh of relief and knowing I can trade volunteer time for time spent clipped in and enjoying the ride.

Our first organized ride of 2009 happens to be the Lupine Fest in Mercer, WI. The weather was perfect - overcast with enough of a breeze to keep the bugs away - and the route spectacular as we rode through pine and boreal forests, past pristine lakes and blueberry bogs. To quote Lance Armstrong: It's Not About The Bike. But it doesn't hurt when someone comments, "I like your jersey." It was as if someone had welcomed me back into the cycling community. On this day my jersey happened to be my new favorite. It says simply:

Ride Like A Girl

Copyright © 2009 by Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski


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