Moms Aren't Perfect
Mamas aren’t perfect; they’re only human. And while a mother might feel horrified at her own mistakes in the moment, they can be pretty entertaining to remember later. Enjoy these memories from Diana, a mom who continues to ride bikes with her children even after they reached adulthood... whether it’s a good idea or not. :)
Thank you, Diana, for sharing these five stories of motherhood and adventure with us.
1. There is a picture of my three year old sitting on a curb on a very hot day when we were riding a trail in Northern Virginia. My oldest daughter snapped that photo of him for her senior project. Years later, I would concede that it might have been too hot to ride that day...
2. There was the time I got lost with my children and their friends in Northern Virginia traffic. They still talk about that one. My middle child never returned to ride with me, LOL.
3. 8 years ago, I bought a pair of mid-grade hybrid bikes (Fugi), as a graduation present for my daughter when she finished college. I bought them in an honest-to-goodness bike shop, as opposed to Walmart. I got a real big eye roll from my daughter, with this quote: “Ay, Mom, why do you always give me presents that you like?” I’m emotionally attached to them. Those bikes go on every camping trip with us.
“Ay, Mom, why do you always give me presents that you like?”
4. My oldest daughter Kim and her new husband were going to join me for a ride on a trail in Northern Virginia, but at the last minute he stayed and decided to shuttle us instead. Some miles later, Kim asked me if I thought her tire was ok. I said it looks fine (this is before I even knew that there is correct tire pressure that needs to be checked, I just did the hand test if it felt inflated).
The whole ride she was lagging behind and I kept turning around and she would have this hateful look on her face. At one point I busted out laughing and she yelled at me “F**k you mom! I hate riding with you.” That only made me laugh harder. When we got to Arlington, her husband looked at the bikes and asked, “Which one of you rode the bike with the flat tire?” I fell on the floor laughing. She still holds that against me, I swear they bring that story up quarterly.
“Which one of you rode the bike with the flat tire?” I fell on the floor laughing.
5. Eventually, I got inspired to start doing multi-day trips. One day, as I’m sitting at work, I start thinking, what can I do for my birthday (47) that does not involve cooking and hosting a group of people? So I started researching bike trips and The Virginia Creeper Trail popped up. I called my daughter Kim, and told her I was going on a 32 mile bike trip in South Western Virginia. I was going to stay in a town called Damascus and shuttle to the top of the Creeper trail, ride to the end, and then shuttle back to Damascus . “Who are you going with ?” Kim asked.
“OMG mom, you can’t go by yourself.”
“Okay, you can come with me...”
So off we went to stay in Damascus in a “no frills” hostel, because after all what the hell does a Puerto Rican from the Bronx know about hostels (they sounded cool)? We get there July 28th, and noticed the town has a church on every block, on either side of the block: You will get saved in Damascus. There was only one open restaurant. “No frills” starts to take on a whole different meaning for us.
All of this is part of the adventure for me, so I’m still smiling and just avoiding looking at Kim. I don’t want to risk busting out in laughter. We get through the night with no wifi or TV, and then catch our shuttle to the top. It is a wonderful trail full of beautiful scenery. We are having a great time, since the first 17 miles are downhill. We get to the middle, and I decided that we will ride to the end and back to the middle (Damascus) since the first 17 miles we spent no energy, so I cancel the shuttle back from the last trailhead.
The next 15 miles are a little more challenging as the temperatures are soaring into the mid 90’s and there are very few riders on the trail. In the description, I had read that the trail passes through private farm land so you have to open and close gates. Again, that does not mean much to me , given where I come from. I was unable to form a mental picture of what this really means . We arrive at a gate, Kim goes to open it and I shout “Wait! There’s a cow on the trail! We can’t go on!!!”
She looks at me like I have grown a second head and says “What do you mean we can’t go on? We only have a few miles to go.”
I go, “Nope. I’M NOT GOING TO GO BY THAT COW!”
Now she’s laughing. “Seriously, mom, you’re going to let a cow stop you from completing this trail? It’s not like they move fast.”
But I’m not going any further. We sit and wait for someone to ride by and then explain my dilemma to him. He chuckles, opens the gate, and proceeds to ride between me and the cow, so that I can safely pass by.
I mean, cows are really big. I consider them to be wild animals.
We finish the trail, turn around, and head back to Damascus. My daughter started grumbling about canceling our shuttle back, because our 32 mile trip had turned into over 50 miles. At that point, I feared she would throw something at me.
Diana was born in the South Bronx in NYC. She now lives in Virginia, where she is a substance abuse counselor for the Richmond Behavioral Health Authority. Diana has lived through some rough stuff... learn more about her story in tomorrow's post: "From 'The Projects' to the Bike Path."