Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Quest for Balance

Views from Spear Street overlooking Lake Champlain.
I've have the wonderful pleasure of reconnecting with a friend. We cycled a 35 mile loop on the loveliest of Sundays mornings: a warm southerly breeze and temperatures near 70F. Like the rest of the country Spring has arrived early. Cyclers were out in droves. We even met up with acquaintances at a country store. My lovely friend is always a source of  thoughtful conversation. She is older and wizened and well-connected. And she is a foody like me - also a passionate Italian who teaches cooking classes. Suffice it to say she brought homemade spinach frittata, carrot bread, and dark chocolate in her trunk pack. It's no surprise that she refused my packaged granola bar contribution.

Homes Creek covered bridge in Charlotte. Photo credit:

I was gone from home longer than I expected. My friendly Italian is not fast, certainly not moving up Vermont's short, steep hills. But my bike has wider tires and between my braking descents (I'm not a fan of screaming downhill) our overall speed was eerily in sync. The route followed a ridge with sweeping views of Lake Champlain then a roller coaster drop to the lake rolling into the cutest covered bridge, mainly because it nearly kisses the rocky shore. A pleasant diversion on a dirt road past an apple orchard (one I've never pedaled on) and a unique pedestrian/bike only access on private land opened my eyes to possible routes to explore at a later date with my husband. This lady is adventurous, especially with her one-inch tires.

Broad-winged hawk. Photo credit: Greg Lasley

Which brings me to the title of this post. I was giddy when I returned home, realizing how much I'd needed her company. Although there is comfort in a regular buddy, the refreshing reconnect and discussion prompted me to tend to a family matter. I've always admired her can-do attitude. I also looked up a bird we'd seen on a wire (unbidden, my friend trudged into a field to flush the hawk off it's perch so I could inspect it's wing shape, inadvertently soaking her biking cleats and new shoe covers). It turns out to be a broad-winged hawk, pretty common east of the Rockies, but I'd never seen one before.

I'm also ready to volunteer in the bike community again. I was on hiatus, delving more into this blog which I will continue, but I miss the comaraderie of like-minded souls. I have a wonderful supportive partner, who also happens to be an admirable parent, filling in on weekends so his antsy wife can get away.

And a reminder to all you scrambling to get outside for earlier than normal bike rides: don't forget the sunscreen. I never expected to come back with a red nose. Jeesh, it's only March 18th.


  1. I can certainly relate to a quest for balance (great title).

  2. I really enjoy seeing the pictures of Vermont. My dad who passed away a few years ago grew-up in Swanton. My family traveled back to Swanton regularly in the late 1950`s. But I was an infant/rug-rat and have no memory of the visits. I hope to make it back to Swanton one day.


Due to increased Spam, I am moderating comments. Thank you for your patience.