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.
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.
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.