Friday, September 19, 2008

try 50 miles

We finished our bike ride! We covered 50 miles in 2 days. I pulled close to 200 lbs, with a little help from Marshall. We had our own support driver (Mike), who found us a place to stay after the first day and delivered us to and from the road as we needed (after his work day)
Day 1- Richmond to Lewisville
Day 2: Knightstown to Greenfield
Here are some highlights:

Webb's Antique Mall "Station Stop" restaurant
- Centerville
Hilltop Drive-Inn, slushies and cold water- Mt. Auburn
Raintree Inn's pool and hot tub -New Castle
"Hoosier Gym", Carthage/Knightstown/Shirley Train and Depot, Frosty Boy- Knightstown
Small towns, Indiana countryside and perfect weather
What we learned:
to plan the trip around the accommodations

that 25 -30 miles a day is more reasonable than 40
to keep Stewart off the half-wheeler on major roads (he throws the balance off considerably)
that we need a new trailer
that candy and ice cream have super powers (almost 100% guarantee to get us to the next rest stop)
how not to attach the pannier bags
What sucked:
Marshall puking at Riley park- Greenfield (he got too tired and hot)
not being able to find a place to stay along the route (the days of the old motor lodges are over)
getting a sunburn on one leg because I forgot to put sunscreen on

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

4 humans on 5 wheels

Can Marshall, Stewart, Nigel and I bike 80 miles in 2 days? We're going to try.
The plan is to leave Richmond tomorrow morning at 9 and bicycle our "peace train" on Old National Road (US 40) to Knightstown. We'll do some sight seeing in Knightstown, and head home from there on Thursday.
We are supposed to have some great weather, and we're hoping for glory!

Monday, September 8, 2008

IMA picnic

A friend and I were talking about the adventures were having and how they sound so lovely when I write about them.
Well, the truth is that most of them involve some kind of meltdown (from me or the kids).
And, most of them have a nice lesson that, when looked at in retrospect, can seem more lovely than it actually is.
But this morning was perfect! There were no meltdowns (or yelling, or fighting). The weather was ideal. The Indianapolis Museum of Art gardens were tranquil, the flora was entrancing, and the bees and butterflies were happily busy.
The only things disturbing for me were the dull peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and the "Sponge Bob" artificial fruit snacks. (I didn't eat.) On the other hand, these minor disturbances were what possibly made it great for the kids, along with the dead cicada bugs, huge pile of peat gravel and dirt on which they played "king of the mountain" for a great deal of time and the water sprinklers.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

school in session

This year we are "homeschooling" again. We don't really "home"school though, we do something a bit more unorthodox. The kids and I explore life together. Right now that looks like kicking of our year by doing a practice bike adventure. We biked from our house past New Palestine, to the Boring Family Farm, some 18 miles. We took all our gear with us and camped out by Uncle Phil and Aunt Jan's pond. Alan and Denise Stuckey met us for hot dogs, bringing the smore components and Alan's banjo along. How lovely it was to listen and sing with them! The kids received a hands-on lesson with Alan, feeling how heavy the instrument is and how the metal strings make the sound. The orange sun set and we nestled-up in our tiny tent, watching for the clouds to clear and the stars to be visible. The kids fell asleep listening to me reading aloud, from The Motorcycle Diaries.
Yesterday, we swam, rowed, fished and basically, just ran wild. The kids found tadpoles, dragonfly nymphs and numerous frogs and toads. In the afternoon, we packed up and headed out to the original family farm and house that Mike's grandparents built. We saw the tomato picking equipment in action, and 3 truck loads of tomatos. We visited with Uncle Phil who was busy repairing the brakes of one of the trucks and then picked some apples in the orchard. From there we biked over to Mike's childhood home and saw the horses they have there now and the creek that Mike used to play in as a kid.
We stopped over and over, in any shade we could find because the temperature was around 95 and the humidity was high. Our progress was slow and we were quickly running out of water so we called Mike who picked us up after a much smaller ride of 8 miles.
After our rescue, we drove on to visit with Grandpa and Ruth in Shelbyville.
The learning we experienced during the last two days was easy and fun, despite the heavy and slow trek. I learned that we need to wait for cooler weather, bring more water, and be ok with not accomplishing our goal of 40 miles in two days. Together, our lessons were loving life, adventure and eachother, seeing things from a new and slower perspective and making time for the wild and natural.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

miharu at the lake

We have a new Japanese student living with us. She accompanied us to lake Michigan on Labor day.
On our way home, I inquired about the meaning of her name. Miharu said that her name meant perfect weather, and then she looked up and said,"just like this".

river city brass

We went to the closing night of Symphony on the Prairie on Sunday. The River City Brass band played and fireworks finished the night off.
The boys loved the music, dancing, wrestling and running around. We loved the music and the dancing.