For our final sibling assignment for 2018, brother Bill posed this assignment to the three of us:
Write about a discovery you made in 2018 that brought you temporary or lasting happiness and, if it has, how this discovery helped change your thinking or your feelings about something in your life.
I want to ride my bike.
I made this discovery in early July when Paul and I decided it was time, after about 17 years, to get new bicycles for ourselves. We had purchased mountain bikes back in the early 2000’s after we moved here, and our bikes were damaged in a fire as they were transported here from Meridian.
Because my bike was old, and not comfortable, I had stopped riding my bicycle.
But this summer, I rediscovered my love of riding a bike.
When I was growing up, my days were filled riding my bicycle. I spent hours riding the streets of our Sunnyside neighborhood, riding to the Kellogg pool, and hanging out in (what was then) the Mormon Church parking lot with a group of kids my friend Kellee and I named “The Bike Gang”, because of how much they rode their bicycles.
This summer, I rediscovered the joy of riding my bike. We purchased the bikes at the end of June. They were a combination birthday present for both of us (my birthday was coming up in July, and Paul’s birthday is in November), and our anniversary, which we celebrate in July also. After we got them home, we took a quick ride out to Smelterville and back to break them in.
Throughout the summer, we would often ride them down the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes, (known locally as the bike trail), and attend the Farmer’s Market. The first weekend in July we took our daughter Zoe and her boyfriend Jason up to the Idaho/Montana border to ride the Route of the Hiawatha. I had not ridden on this bike trail for years. It was absolutely breathtaking, and a wonderful ride.
My goal was to ride the whole length of the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes, which is a 72 mile trail beginning in Mullan, Idaho and finishing in Plummer, Idaho. I had never ridden on the part from Mullan to Kellogg, so Paul and I rode this section of the trail on our anniversary. What beautiful scenery from Mullan to Kellogg.
Over Labor Day Weekend, we rode to Cataldo and back. Again, the scenery is so beautiful. I especially like it when the trail is parallel to the Coeur d’Alene River.
We had hoped to do some more riding together on the trail beyond Cataldo but life happened, and we couldn’t find a day that worked.
I did get one final, beautiful autumn day back in early November to enjoy the bike trail. I rode from Kellogg to Elizabeth Park and back. I loved being able to just jump on my bike and enjoy the beauty of my surroundings and the fresh mountain air, right outside my front door.
Bike ownership and bike riding, I believe, will bring to me a lasting happiness. And getting a taste of the beauty that surrounds us here in the Silver Valley, and north Idaho, will motivate Paul and I to continue to explore and experience bike rides on the numerous bike trails in our area. I can’t wait for the snow to melt this spring so we can start getting out and riding more around this beautiful area we call home.