Ride on...

I'm writing this from Toronto - and it's SO overdue!

When I was 18 years old, in my first year of college, I got my first bicycle – a 10 speed Peugot. That was back when a “10-speed” with the ram handle bars was a new invention. I know, 18 sounds surprisingly late in one’s childhood, but we lived a very hilly area that was not at all bike friendly for kids. So better late than never. This meant I could ride to College of Marin, about 40 minutes from my house. I was hooked and have remained so ever since. It also coincided with getting my first SLR camera. This turned out to be a life changing one-two combo.

Though I was still living at home, my mother travelled a lot, so I was on my own. The ramifications of that were a bit too colourful and evocative to relay here given the 60’s had just ended and I was living in the San Francisco Bay area (you'll have to wait for the book). But what is relevant here is that I started spending days roaming the hills and roads of California on my bike – singing my heart out as I rode and taking photographs. It’s hard to describe why this combination was so life changing, but it was. It was the launch of my freedom and my creative life.

The next year, at the end of my first trip to Vancouver, I impulsively jumped on my bike and rode it back down to San Francisco. Pre helmets & pannier bags - no prep - no rain gear - just "go". Geez, now I would need to haul an airstream behind me now to carry everything I think I NEED to have with me.

My love of riding, the sense of exhilaration and the way my creative brain is unleashed as I ride, along with my penchant for taking photographs along the way has been a favourite life companion all these years.  

On that note….the photo of the tree above was a discovery on a ride the morning after a concert with Barney and Tom on Mayne Island. And the flowers below …from an afternoon ride along West Saanich Road on Vancouver Island, when the size of the tulips took my breath away. Mind you, with the warm weather, and around that beautiful farm land, one has to refrain from restrained smiling or swallowing bugs is a real and present hazard!

Hazards aside, (and of course, there are many!) it’s one of life's joys that runs so deep in me I’m almost reticent to divulge it. But you know me - always wanting to share!

On to the business at hand - so much info, so little time. 

Happy Trails to you - and see you out there!!

Julia GraffComment