Lael’s globe of adventure

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She carries a globe of adventure and has taught me more than anyone how to let go, give up, and go!  She’s the one that gives away clothing and books like she never cared about them; and in a moment, they’re of so little importance that they never existed.  It’s smart not to clutter your mind with such trivialities.  She likes strong simple bikes that don’t fuss, and she rides them.  She rides more than you or any of your friends, and wore out both of the rims on her Surly Long Haul Trucker this past year.  She rebuilt her front wheel just as the old Rhyno Lite rim bulged outward with 45 psi.

She’s the same age as I, for a month.  Yesterday was her birthday and I remembered on the 17th, forgot on the 18th, and remembered in the middle of the night– technically, it was the 19th already and I was sleeping by a river without internet or a way to connect with Corsica.  I presume she’s cycling and hiking along Corsica’s mountainous spine, or lazing along it’s azure coastline and having a good time of it.

She will drink more water than any other human and will pee on every road shoulder– on top of Boreas Pass, on the Knik Glacier, or in a snowbank on the Coastal Trail.  When the weather gets bad, she burrows deeper in a sleeping bag leaving me to sweat the details that don’t need sweating.  She never gets tired or sore on the bike and she never rides beyond her limits.  If you don’t call it “mountain biking” she loves it, and riding to work through six inches of snow at 7 AM is just another day.  And then she rides home, and runs to yoga in six inches of snow, and runs home from there.  And with nothing to prove she will out-run, out-ride and outlive most of us.  That’s Lael.

Happy birthday!  See you in a month for the Colorado Trail.

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Kick, kick, and the Colorado Trail.  Below is Lael’s second day of “mountain biking” on the Monarch Crest Trail, a diversion from the dirt roads of the Great Divide Route.

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Consider this a virtual birthday party by leaving a comment celebrating Lael and wishing her a happy birthday, even if you don’t know her in person.  In a month, we’ll be lucky to see photos of Lael riding her bike above treeline on the Colorado Trail.  In a month, I’ll be lucky to be riding with her.  Here’s to another year of acting like kids and riding bikes.

Globes of adventure, like “globes of boredom” from John Steinbeck’s Log From the Sea of Cortez.


23 thoughts on “Lael’s globe of adventure

  1. Happy Birthday Lael! I was up late looking at all these old photos in my tent on the banks of the Elk River, south of Fernie. Montana today, and Colorado in a month. See you soon.

  2. Were I to live a thousand years, never could I pay better homage to a soul mate. Lael, I know you not; but this Gypsy does and and this I say: one hundred glorious returns on your good luck to be born on the seventh month, as was I; one hundred high honors on your adventurous soul and safe and dangerous travels until you hit the Rockies! Happy Birthday!


  3. Happy Birthday, Lael! Happy, memorable and safe travels!! Hope you are having a great time in Corsica! Hugs to you!

  4. You’re made of special stuff, Lael, and we’re all better after you’ve come around. My memory of you jumping out of the car to run a leg at Hood to Coast and promptly picking up a piece of wood to punt it will always make me laugh. So random but so necessary. Happy Birthday!

  5. Happy birthday Lael! I don’t know you yet, but this guy knows you like any man could wish to know a woman. You lucky people 🙂

  6. Nick and Lael, I don’t know how you do it – everything you do both together and apart amazes me. You go, Lael! Conquer Corsica, and the world next. Bonne route, et bon anniversaire! Gros bisous, Diane and the boys

  7. Happy birthday!!! I’m jealous, envious, and motivated by the life u lead!! Can’t wait to get back in the saddle!!

  8. Photos are awesome Nick, makes me miss snow a little when its 96 degrees out side and im working in the kitchen. HOpe your ready to tackle some michelin stars in less than a month,
    Happy Birthday

  9. Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday dear Laeeeellllll, Happy Birthday to youuuuu 🙂 (as Babsya would continue “You belong in the zoooo”….)

    Mnohiya Lita (Many happy years!)

    Too bad I don’t have any Jeremiah Weed and sparklers to celebrate for you … but I am certain you had a wonderful day. Wishing you all the best for the next year. xoxo, Katya

  10. Happy Birthday Lael! Nick’s writing and the things all the others have posted are better then any birthday card I have read or speech commemorating one person’s life I have heard. I thank you both for the inspiration you have given me to make cycling a large part of my life. Cheers!

  11. Ma belle demoiselle Lael! Remember all the things I wrote in my letter of rec for you, then add to them that you’re one of my top three all-time favorite students, and you begin to come close to expressing how great I think you are. You’re one of those oh-so-rare people who transform from top student to good friend of mine. Cheers; lift a glass for me to toast your birthday! Bisous, Steve

  12. Thanks to all for the kind words. Lael was so happy to hear from all of you. She’s traveling to Berlin for a week, Paris, and then a week in the French countryside with some friends from Annapolis, MD. Soon enough, she’ll be back in Colorado for some bike riding.

  13. I came across this blog post again. I find you both so amazing ! I hope Lael is enjoying Canada. Lots of love to both of you. Matthieu Bienvenu

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