The Ride of My Life

A couple of weeks ago, I was listening to NPR and they did a story about a feature from Bicycling magazine. The feature was about the bicycle ride of a person’s life. I’m not much of a cyclist. We do ride our bikes in the warmer months quite a bit, but we don’t take cycling too seriously. I realized that I had never scrapbooked the ride of my life or really much of anything about my own bicycle riding. I rode my bike to my classes in college, so cycling used to play a bigger part in my life.

I thought I would share the story of my ride of my life here. Eventually, I’ll probably make a scrapbook page about it, but for now, I just want to get the story recorded somewhere.

In the summer of 1999, me and a group of friends went camping. This one our last group outings before we all went away to college. We decided to bring our bikes on our camping trip. I’m not sure whose idea that was, but it was a great idea. This trip actually involves a couple of good bike stories, but I want to share the story of the ride of my life.

For whatever reason, we thought it would be a good idea to ride our bikes on the horse riding trail. I don’t recall coming across any horseback riders, but I do recall our complete lack of planning for this ride. The trail was 13-miles long and it seemed none of us realized how far the trail was until we were in it deep. We took no water and it was summer. And, none of were really cyclists. We all owned bikes and rode on the country roads, but nothing like this before. Fortunately, we were a bunch of healthy and evidently physically fit 17- and 18-year-olds.

I remember being really happy that women are expected to shave their legs in our culture because, us girls, had no problem with ticks. The guys? Well, every time we stopped, they had to get the ticks out of their leg hair.

I know I ended up with chigger bites all over my legs from the camping trip. I can’t recall if they were from the bike ride or not.

Amazingly, we all made it over that trail without any injuries or illness. It was fun and I suppose an accomplishment of sorts.

I still don’t know if I’ll make an actual scrapbook page about this ride or not, but I’m glad I have it at least partially recorded here. I know at least a couple of my friends on that ride occasionally read this blog. Let’s see if they have anything to add in the comments.

And of course, what about you? What was the ride of your life? Did you scrapbook it? Comment below or join the conversation on facebook or twitter. Don’t forget, you can always email me your questions and suggestions. Email me at stephaniemedleyrath at gmail dot com or contact me here and let me know what you’re thinking, what you’d like to see, and any questions you might have. I will personally respond to your emails and may use your questions in future articles.


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  • I can’t say it qualifies as “the ride of my life,” but reading your story reminded me of one year when I was in middle school (maybe 4th or 5th grade?? and this would have been around the year 1980). 

    Toward the end of the school year in the spring, they always held “bike riding” day, where kids could ride their bikes to and from school. I and a group of my friends wanted to ride our bikes to school that day- 6 miles away! (It was a rural school district; our middle school was the next town over from where I lived, and we usuallyrode the bus.) I don’t remember how we managed it; I’m guessing our parents drove us- and our bikes- to school so we wouldn’t be late. (I don’t remember how we got our parents to agree to it in the first place, to tell you the truth.) I do remember little bits of us riding our bikes home that afternoon in the sunshine, and us thinking we were so”grown-up” to be out there all by ourselves riding through the countryside.

  • Mandybond99

    I remember! I am pretty sure this is the ride in which I stayed behind and managed to lock myself inside the damn camper.  Great memories from that trip!

  • How fun! I lived in the country as a teenager and never rode all the way to town. It would have been do-able. That’s great you did it! Thanks for commenting.

  • Yeah, I was trying to remember who all was on the bike ride. I don’t remember  you getting locked in the camper! Wow, funny (well, not at the time)…thanks for commenting.

  • I hadn’t thought about that trip for a long time! That was a fun time. I was definitely almost devoured by ticks several times.

  • The ticks were terrible. Actually, those ticks were better than deer ticks. We were covered in deer ticks after mushroom hunting when I was pregnant. Those things are annoying!