|Bike ride, bike ride, bike ride!|
So, let's go back in time to July 16th. My 49th birthday. I love my birthday and I love getting older. Every year gets better and better. I know some of it is that when I was younger I had so much stress and no money and I didn't have the emotional skills or self-esteem to make better choices. Not that I'm perfect at that now, but I have eliminated a lot of the stress and don't waste time on people who haven't always been nice to me. I figure I don't have time for the people who are nice to me, and life is short. Also, I am now an empty nester. I know people who don't quite know how to deal with that situation, but I finally have more financial freedom and time where I'm not running my kids all over hell, to do things that I love. And I am a girl with a LOT of hobbies and passions. I love to see my girls and am lucky enough to get to do that often, but I'm also glad they are adults and finding their own ways. Good job, women!
For my birthday, I told John I wanted to ride bikes to Stone City and back. It would be about 100 miles, but Stinky and her boyfriend said they would meet us at Big Grove Brewery in Solon for dinner and they would drive us home, making it closer to an 80 mile day. We had to make the plans tentative, because we live in Iowa and it could storm all day on my birthday just as well.
Luckily for me, the weather was perfect. I don't ever remember it being 74 degrees and sunny on my birthday. We invited our friend Burne to ride and he was up for it. The only drag was that the General Store in Stone City was closed during the week. We checked around and found the Daly Creek Winery in Anamosa was open instead.
So, the plan was set: Leave home at 9 am, meet Burne in Solon at 10 and head to Sutliff Bridge and then Anamosa from there.
My birthday was pretty magical. Anything good that could happen, did. The weather was great, but we found out the original route we were going to take was a gravel road. That only left Highway 1, which could be pretty sketchy with traffic and almost no shoulder on that road. We thought we'd risk it.
They just happened to be widening and re surfacing it. It was perfect. My friend Burne said that it was so nice, just for my birthday and we imagined it would go back to cracks and no shoulder the next day.
The Daly Creek Winery was nice too. They were out of a lot of things, but we were able to find good things to eat. and we even tasted their pomegranate wine. the boys were awfully sweet and helped me eat a piece of cheesecake with raspberry sauce on it. They're givers.
We headed to Stone City after lunch and rode many hills and then spent our time being in awe of the Grant Wood scenery.
We headed to Sutliff Bridge for the second time and got in a nice afternoon nap on the bridge there.
We rode off to Solon and met my daughter, her boyfriend, and my friend Ginger.
I'm sure not everyone would find an 80 mile bike ride the best way to celebrate their 49th year, but I couldn't think of anything else I'd want to do. Also, special thanks go to John for planning the whole thing and getting me awesome gifts - most importantly a Garmin video camera for my bike. Yea!