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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.