My Drug of Choice

It’s not what you’re thinking.

I have a difficult time tolerating certain prescription medications and over-the-counter cold medications. Many induce wooziness and nausea. Therefore, there is no wanton desire for illegal substances that would only torment and terrorize an otherwise healthy well-being.

No, that stuff is not for me.

This, girls and boys, is the drug of choice.

Trails and Flowers 042
Handsome Boy. I have not named him as I would rather he be a mysterious fellow who continually taunts with the lure of a ride.

It never makes me queasy, gives me a headache, or makes me throw up in the grass outside the apartment (that is for another post about colonoscopies)(or maybe not).

Neighbor Biking Buddy and I were discussing controlled substances for a bit on Saturday as we enjoyed an absolutely gorgeous ride on the Mariner and Rawley Point trails. These trails run next to or close to Lake Michigan on the eastern side of Wisconsin, between the cities of Manitowoc and Two Rivers (T’rivers is the native pronouncement). Our two-wheeled trek took us a total of 27 miles past the cool, blue waters of the great lake; around city buildings and down narrow sidewalks; through a lush forest of pine, various hardwoods and vegetation; and, finally, to a State Park that boasts campgrounds, sandy beaches and an overabundance of weekend warriors.

Trails and Flowers 035
An amateur photo bug, capturing an amateur photo bug.
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The beach at T’rivers, on the shores of Lake Michigan. The water is not warm, but the sand will burn your feet.

Why would anyone need drugs, when this is available? Why get high on a green leafy substance when I can get high amid the splendor of conifers that reek of top-shelf gin? Why lay around in a stupor, when I can breathe warm summer air with eyes wide open? Why induce midnight pizza roll munchies when I can induce healthy behavior?

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A piece of the Rawley Point trail.

Riding down this path brought Joyce Kilmer to mind…

“I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast; 
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray…”


The afternoon sun cast its flickering light on leaves of deciduous suburbs that, in turn, shaded the explosion of resting fern and purple clover underneath. We stopped on occasion for water and food, a butt break, a bathroom break, and to pick wild raspberries.

Neighbor Biking Buddy and I need not answer questions of why we ride. The bike is our drug of choice, the instrument that gives us the power to feel strong and invigorated. We move like powerful, menacing tigers after the prey of a new or beloved bike trail. The urge to “kill” the pavement and stone beneath us is stronger than the urge of a bad inhaling habit. The sights, the sounds, and sensual pleasures of nature coax us into a euphoric state of mind.

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Heading north on the Mariner’s Trail, we were about to meet Texan Tom and dog Holly, reverse snowbirds in search of cooler weather.
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Bridge over the River Kwai? Nope, merely a way to get over the creek, through the woods, and to a final destination.

Toward late afternoon, after visiting a nearby public garden (adjacent to the Mariner’s trail) and soaking in the many colors of roses, daisies and impatiens, we had to call it quits. It was approaching dinner time. NBB and I were starved to the core. Bike riding for six and a half hours in the summer heat finally took its toll. The bikes were carefully strapped to the car carrier and we headed into town for any resemblance of sustenance. Texan Tom had suggested Courthouse Pub, where I have dined before. The food is delicious (albeit a bit pricey). Oddly enough, Tom and wife Bev appeared beside us at the bar not too long after our arrival. We chatted for a while until we were called to our waiting table and a plate of food that was almost as deliriously yummy as the day’s bike ride.

This is what it’s all about, people. Two wheels that I pedal with delightful freedom. Of course, having a biking buddy (Natasha fills that role as well) who is willing to join me on such adventures, crafts an extra special day of memories. I have found the mountain bike to be an honorable replacement for the loud motorized version. Since my brother gave me this treasure three years ago, I’ve replaced a few parts and added a few others. I’ve been on short and long rides…alone and with friends. I’ve said “goodbye” to the handsome boy in the fall, only to joyously welcome his appearance in the spring. I dream of the next ride or a bike-until-I-fall-down trip of epic proportions with a friend or two.

Trails and Flowers 022

No, there is no room for illegal green foliage in my life.

I have an orange-and-black-is-the-new-drug bike.

So…if you’ll excuse me…

I have to go down to the garage now, sit on a bike seat and sniff the essence of my drug.

28 responses to My Drug of Choice

  1. Damyanti says:

    This sounds like heaven. Here in Singapore, they are trying to connect the whole city through biking trails– there are none near my home, unfortunately 😦

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Perhaps Singapore will make a trail in the next year or two that is closer to you. I am waiting for the town here to finish a new section of trail that would allow me to bike to work. There’s a busy stretch of road that’s holding me back – I’d be taking my life into my own hands. I pass the new section of trail every day, wondering when they are going to pave it. I keep yelling, “Hurry Up!”

  2. Dan Antion says:

    That’s a sweet ride. I know that feeling. You have some wonderful places to ride. Keep rolling on two wheels Mary.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I will! I hope we have a warm fall well into October. I heard on the news there’s an El Nino forming, which means a milder winter. Maybe I could ride through December…

  3. M-R says:

    Wotta life ! I see youse carry a shitload of stuff, so I EXPECT you to travel a looong way !

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Actually, I was packing pretty light that day. Snack food, gloves, a light jacket (not needed), small tube of sun screen and my cell phone. There are bags that unzip from both sides and hang down (like saddle bags), so I could carry a whole shitload more. Stay tuned for the next adventure!

  4. Sammy D. says:

    Great post !! My bike and I are best buds too even though she’s chucked me a time or four!! I can’t imagine my life without my bike. Hub and I took a 20-miler this morning. I can’t burn through the miles as fast as I used to but that just means I stop a couple extra times to smell the roses.

    I hope you post more riding adventures. I never get tired of hearing/seeing this love affair!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Not to worry, there will be more adventures! I haven’t been chucked yet, but I suppose now I have jinxed myself 😉 Twenty miles is better than nothing, right? I hope I can keep going on the bike, as long as the knees don’t scream at me. This is too much fun. Wish I would have discovered this love 20 years ago, although I don’t think we had all of the available trails then. I’m not a big fan of road biking, I prefer the peace (and somewhat safer environment) of a trail.

      • Sammy D. says:

        Yup the knees have been given a 65-year workout and they’d rather be home on the couch but the rest of me overrules them. I ride in a lower gear and cut yeast out of my diet when they start to hurt.

        I agree – the roads are no longer safe. We used to ride 80 miles on country roads but there is no country anymore; only lots if fast drivers. Fortunately most Colorado towns and counties provide a plethora of trails.

        Stay safe!

      • bikerchick57 says:

        Yeast? Is that the same as cutting out gluten (which I’ve tried to do)? You stay safe as well!

      • Sammy D. says:

        No the gluten doesn’t bother me (and I’m not sure it’s not overblown as a culprit these days unless one is dignosed with celiac disease) but yeasty products – beers, breads etc. are things I cannot eat without consequences and for some reason a major symptom is my knees start to hurt. (Also bloating and headaches or muddled concentration).

        I eat pasta, tortillas etc. but not yeast products.

  5. joannesisco says:

    This post makes me want to get my bike out RIGHT NOW … and it’s 9 pm 🙂 I couldn’t agree more that time spent outdoors in nature testing your body and feeling the wind is simply the best!!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Ha! If you can get here by Tuesday night, 5 pm, you can ride with the neighbor and I. Or you can wait until tomorrow and go for a ride then. Are you back from your driving experience with the bikers? Did you have an excellent time?

      • joannesisco says:

        I got home a few hours ago and I’m exhausted … physically and emotionally. I’ve tried to write a couple of posts but the words just aren’t coming to me. Experiences that touch our heart have a way of doing that sometimes. Hopefully the words will come.

        I’m hoping to get on my bike this week to unwind a bit …. not to mention the fact that I have training to do!! I have to scramble because we leave in a week for Sweden. So much to do.

        I wish so much that riding with you was on the agenda!!

      • bikerchick57 says:

        You can never force the writing of a special moment. Perhaps after you clear your mind with a long bike ride, you’ll have the words. I would love to ride with you, Joanne, that would be a good time. But first…you have to go to Sweden! 🙂

      • joannesisco says:

        We’ll have to make a cycling date. The trails in your corner of the world sound amazing!
        … but first I’ll have to get a trail bike 😉

      • bikerchick57 says:

        Absolutely! Get going on that bike! Actually, a lot of the trails are so flat and well groomed that you can ride a street bike and be okay. I’m trying to talk H into a trip over in two years when we both hit milestone birthdays. She wants to see the doors on the tunnels 🙂

      • bikerchick57 says:

        Same here. I didn’t get serious about a regular exercise routine until I was in my 40’s and discovered yoga and weights. I’m probably stronger now in my 50’s than I was in my 20’s.

  6. I love riding my bicycle too. It’s my favorite form of commuting, plus to get around in the city in general. I used to do trail biking and some downhill riding too, but now I usually ride around in the city or on dirt roads.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thanks for stopping by Cardinal. I will make it more of a habit to ride my bike to work. They finally finished the trail that will keep me off the busy roads here. I’m excited! 🙂

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