Home…Good ol’ Upstate New York. It’s not often that I get to pack up and head home for an extended weekend. I wasn’t originally planning on heading back east, it’s not like I can just jump in the car and drive there quickly. But, Bridget and Lake had plans to head back for Spring break vacation and my mother insisted that I come home to visit (enough that she bought my ticket). Plus, how can I pass up a chance to see my nephew Peyton, niece Reagan and my sister Jaymie. Jaym is now full on 6 months preggo and if I didn’t head home now, would’ve never seen her in her full ’round mound of rebound glory’.
After having spent some time there and loving every minute of time with family and friends. I realized I truly miss people and the special quality of brightness that each one brought into my life. That part is hard to realize is now few and far between. But I don’t really feel like Waterloo is truly my home any more. It’s weird to say. I spent the majority of my life there. But, out here in Colorado now truly feels like the place where I belong. Back East, felt like a visitor. The places I recognized, even the street I grew up on seemed a bit foreign. Hard to explain for sure and I still enjoyed being there for every minute.
Hilimire Hilton-13 Maple Lane
I did manage to rope some time in on the bikes…. Friday am before the Geneva Bicycle Center Crew had to turn wrenches, I was able to get out to the MPH for a ride. It was awesome, to put it succinctly. first thing through their doors, Cadence dog immediately recognized me and was so excited that she barrel rolled into me and about took me out. This caused Ryder dog to get thoroughly excited and start jumping and the new pup Tread (whom I’ve never met) wanted in also. 3 dogs, 1 happy camper and I was taken down to the ground in the excitement. So naturally it was off to a good start.
They’ve been gardening a bit
It was great to get out in the woods, the tight twisty trails. Feel the mud underneath the tires (What is mud?). Slid around on the bike and just smile and have fun. My skills were definitely a bit rusty and riding a borrowed bike had a different feel to it for sure. Every second was enjoyment though, struggling up the steep climbs, sliding through off-camber corners, staring in awe as Mark hits a 15 foot booter. All the enjoyable things of riding bikes with the GBC Crew have never disappeared.
Suzanne is always all smiles, wouldn’t you be if the trails were right outside your door
The C-Dog and Tread (on tread)
Afterwards I rolled out on the road bike for a short lil ride on my old stomping grounds. A route nicknamed “the wheelman route”, after an old team I belonged to that had long trained on the roads even before I joined them. It was great to go ride the quiet country roads. I could remember sprinting against sold friends to imaginary finish lines, chasing down riders across the flow of the farm land and racing back to town every week with a small group. It was good to be out there stretching the legs.
Quiet Country roads on the wheelman’s route
Sunday I was able to rope in a few GVCC riders and some of the athletes that I work with for a nice ride down in Naples. It was cold en route and snowing and raining and wasn’t even sure if anyone would show. I barely had clothes for the temp, but it was dry down there and a few brave souls showed up to tackle some hills.
Grey and Dreary skies, but always enjoyable terrain
We departed and rolled south to town. Up and over a few fun, but brutally steep climbs. Was able to tackle some old favorites while I was there. I threw in some efforts agains the fellas and definitely was humbled on a few climbs, but the thick air felt great to climb in. The 20% constant grades, not so much. I never blew up or smashed myself but there was some suffering had for sure. While it was dry to start with, it was not upon our return. The rain came, then the snow came and then both at the same time. I was so cold riding back, I literally couldn’t feel anything below my elbows. We were all pretty much in survival mode when we got back to the cars. Our small group was shattered rolling along 64 as it was literally everyman for themselves just to get back to warmth of our vehicles. I definitely don’t miss rain and cold and crappy rides like that!
Removed from the area, I still had to provide directions!
The rest of the weekend was mostly spent hanging around Peyton and Reagan as much as I possibly could. Peyton is growing up so fast. He’s definitely inspirational. A fighter in every sense of the word with all that he’s been through. Leaving him was actually the saddest part of departing. I do wish I could be there every day with him to help him fight and give him strength. But I know he has his own and it’s far greater than the strength of most anybody. For the things that have been taken him, he has made up for with courage.
Peyton showing me how he gets around
Peyton and Reagan playing in the kitchen
Home wasn’t a set house, or a single town on a map. It was wherever the people who loved you were, whenever you were together. Not a place, but a moment, and then another, building on each other like bricks to create a solid shelter that you take with you for your entire life, wherever you may go
I’ll be back ‘home’ in August for more and already looking forward to it. Plus my sister’s baby ‘Oliver’ will be born. Can’t wait to get back!