On Top

So, I will be there are 11 am as that will give you time to make your salsa. Have you downloaded the geocaches you wanted to do? I have packed some grapes, watermelon, drinks and chocolate bars.

Plans were made for taking the dirt bike and e bike up to Cornwall Lookout for a ride on a much brighter, warmer, sunny day. Simple plans to spend the day together doing somethings that we both enjoy. I hung up and began setting up the ingredients for homemade canned salsa. I had already chopped the onions and green peppers the night before and now needed to boil water to parch the tomatoes to skin them. Jars were washed and set in the oven to sterilize. Water was on and the smell of chopped garlic filled the air. The smells of the last days of summer. As I got out the utensils, lids and rings I thought about the call with Frank. Hmmm, he totally understands me. He knows I am always up early, and that if I have something on my mind that I feel I need to do I will be thinking about that no matter what else we are doing. He gives me space and time to do those things. Today, time to make salsa before we were to go riding. I sent him a quick text saying Hey! I love you very much and thanks for being you and understanding me. He sent NP……I speak Marcie. I love you too honey.

Simple, respect. Respect for each other and each other’s hobbies, and passions. Respect for our time together and for our time apart. Not our first rodeo as they say. Relationships are not easy, no matter how old, young you are. There are and will always be challenges. We live an hour and a bit apart. I have my home and he has his. We make it work. I go there, he comes here. We met up half way at times for adventures like kayaking, hiking, biking. I have an area now at his place where I can paint if I so desire. My only little cave space. He understands the creative need to paint, create and write. He says I paint with words and have a unique set of brushes. He buys me paints for mother’s day and Christmas, and loves it when I say I painted or wrote today.

Riding has been a new adventure. I have been wanting to try riding a dirt bike for awhile and was looking at one day buying one. During the whole COVID-19 shut down he sold his snow bike and bought the Sur-Ron E dirtbike. When spring thaw (freshet) hit and we were under evacuation alert, Amy and I packed up the animals (fur to fins!) and went to stay with Frank for a week. Honestly, I just could not deal with another crisis alone. It gets pretty overwhelming at times. I can go, go, go and then when the busyness of the event stops I crash. Yep, a wee bit of PTSD from all the not fun events our community has been rocked with. It was during this time that both Amy and I started riding the bike.

Learning to ride has been a fun, and scary adventure. I have had to get over the fear of heights, and of being worried constantly about crashing. There will be crashes. I had 2 on Sunday as I was learning new skills on the back top side of Cornwall, such as taking a sharp turn over a log through water and up a bit of a hill on a decommissioned portion of a hill. I got stuck, over corrected and crashed. Frank was on the other side and instructed me how to lay the bike down to back it up and turn. He straightened the handle bars and I said I wanted to go right back to the top and do it again correctly. Ok, just follow your line. Ok! Up I went, and through. Thumbs up! Away we went to the next obstacle. Each time he was ahead of me and would stop give a word of advice, encouragement, go through and wait for me on the other side. Thumbs up and off to the next. We came up to a steep hill covered in rocks, gravel, wood debris and ruts. Okay, pick your line and follow it. See an obstacle look away from it to where you want to go. Follow your line. Don’t focus on the obstacle or you will hit it. Follow your line. Okay.

Off he flew up the hill and I watched as he easily went around rocks, sticks, ruts, over and up. Alright, here I go. I see my line. I kept repeating follow your line, follow your line. Big rock! Look away and follow your line. I was half way. Follow your line. I was near the top. Follow your line, rock, look away pick your line. And up! Yes, big hill conquered. Awesome, way to go. Then it was the next hill and the next. Finally, we were at the top once again near where there were some geocaches hidden. Off we went to find them. Frank went around the corner, and that is when it happened. I had my first epic crash! Why? Umm, cause I had my phone with the geocaching app hanging off the handle bars when I heard a glass like breaking sound. Grabbed the phone thinking it was broken, hit the horn, swerved to correct, overcorrected and hit weeds and a ditch and over the bars I went mowing weeds with my helmet as I landed. Groan, winded and in pain I laid there. I reached over and pressed the horn hoping Frank would hear it. Nothing. Okay you can either lay here or you can get up, pick up the bike and assess damage to both you and the bike. I laid there for a moment, caught my breathe. I could feel where I had broken a rib before throbbing. My face hurt, my hand hurt, but nothing seemed broken. Up I got. I then burst out laughing. Wow, you idiot. What were you thinking? Good thing you had gear on and hit weeds and not rocks! Missed the stump that was there. I stood the bike up and pulled the grass out of my helmet and off the bike. I straightened the handles bars. I then sipped some water just as Frank came around the corner. What happened? Um I crashed hard. He shakes his head as I said it was phone related. What did I tell you? Phone got confiscated into his back pack and off we went to find the geocache.

I am thankful I was not seriously hurt and that I did not wreck the bike. I learned a lesson that I should have paid more (will less) attention to. Don’t try to multitask when riding. I realized in that moment that I do that all the time. I will be working on one thing as I have multiple other things around me that are also needing attention, be it at the office, studio space, kitchen whereever.

These mulitple distractions that disable me from giving my full attention to one thing and completeing that one task at hand. Yes, it is good to be able to “multitask” but man, is it ever nice to be able to do one thing get it done and move on to the next and get it done. Just like that day. Salsa first, dishes next, pack next, then off riding, then go geocaching – may have walked a wee bit more geocaching.

The trip down from Cornwall was nice. I went a bit slower around the turns but it was smooth. It was a fun ride and I learned alot about biking and had a pretty deep look at myself. Frank is a fantastic teacher and a mentor. He loves riding and his passion for it rubs off. The places we can go and views we can see are spectacular. It is fun, scary and exhilarating.

I really enjoy how quiet the E bike is. It is light and fun to ride. It does have power and goes very well. It can be set to econo mode or sport which give more power. We can go about 60 km before it needs to be charged and it does regen in sport mode going downhill (when brakes are not applied, I am getting there!)

This summer seems to have flown by. We have had some great adventures and although we did not do a camping trip together we have seen some beautiful areas around the region. I look forward to more adventures this autumn and hopefully less fall…s.

Thank you to Frank Craig for being so understanding and so incredibly patient.

Where ever you go and what ever you do enjoy the journey and enjoy the ride!

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