Wednesday, April 4, 2012

like riding a bike

Last weekend, I had the distinctly awesome opportunity to visit the city of Austin, Texas with my sister Jane.

I know! Austin! With Jane!

I was in town for a conference, and wished for a sister to come and enjoy my bodacious hotel room,  and Jane made my wish come true, because she is a magnificent superpowered uber fabulous rock star. Plus, Austin is a really cool city. Plus, it was me and all.

It was a quick visit, but we packed it with fun. Jane knew the city from her years as a Texan, and she was great about researching and finding seemingly endless options for our entertainment. I highly recommend my sister Jane as a travel buddy, she is really good at it.  Plus, she's adorable and silly and wise and fun, and what more could one want in a travel buddy? She's the real diz, fo shiz.

We didn't have a car and the hotel was in sort of a dumb spot, so Jane suggested that we rent bikes and tool around. I'm a big fan of tooling, and jumped right on the bicycle bandwagon. On Friday morning as I bravely endured the morning workshops, Jane got all the world's woes figured out and planned our day. The moment I was done, we made our way over to the bike shop with a spring in our step and a song in our heart! I sort of casually reminded Jane about how I really wasn't the world's best bike rider. She didn't remember it being an issue when we were kids... I kinda did.

Learning to ride a bike is one thing,  riding in canyons is another. I've been avoiding bikes pretty successfully for the last 20 years or so. I just don't feel quite safe up there, I can't help but fixate on the likelihood that I'm going to fall or crash into something or get hit by a car or somehow otherwise end up similarly maimed and/or dead. 
Last summer I was in Monterey, and that place just screamed for bike touring. I spent an afternoon with this rig...

...and it was awesome. Sure, I had my moments of silent(ish) screaming when facing imaginary potential peril, but once my dainty bits recovered from the indignity of prolonged exposure to that ungodly triangle of doom, the overriding emotion that lingered after that gorgeous Monterey day last summer was bliss. I  knew I could handle Austin.

We didn't take enough pictures, partly because we suck but also because some of us were busy maintaining a death grip on both handlebars while internally(ish) keening on the verge of certain catastrophe. But look, here is evidence of the adorable young Jane with one of our adorable twin Schwinns.

And the pretty river we rode all up and around and over, but never into (although I imagined that scenario vividly)

It was great fun to follow my girl Jane through the beautiful trails and neighborhoods and even the scary streets were manageable as long as I could keep her bum in my sights to follow. Every time she turned to look over her shoulder, my heart rate increased in anticipation of a maneuver that I would have no choice but to follow. Jane was a great and patient guide. Despite the fact that she actually owns a bike and has been known to ride it in things like triathlons  while my level of bike expertise is best described as scaredy cat, we made a great team and the times we spent tooling around Austin will be forever preserved in my memory.

I love you, Janey girl! Know what would end this post perfectly? That photo I made us stop and take right in the middle of that busy intersection that took an hour to get across. Remember? With the invisible city and the poison oak? That was fun. 


Me, You, or Ellie said...

I love this so entirely much and the thought of the two of you tooling (of which you are *such* a big fan, jacquie!) around Austin on your bi-cy-cles makes my heart sing with love.

And I'm *so* glad you didn't end up maimed and/or dead!!

Congrats on your prowass. Today, Austin. Tomorrow? The world.

Love you.

Anonymous said...

OMG Jacq I had no idea you were in such a constant state of terror! Or perhaps I just ignored it! In any case, it was SO fun to tool around that town with you. Just pure awesomeness. I miss you! Jane

Me, You, or Ellie said...

I so did not know this about you, Jacquie, but thinking about it now...I'm not sure if I've ever seen you on a bike....

Good job on wo-maning up in Austin. It looks so, so lovely, as does that tiny sister of yours.

Can't wait to hear/see more about your Austin travels. (I wanted to ask yesterday afternoon when I saw you, but held out for this here blog post. And for the others that are hopefully to come.)


Me, You, or Ellie said...

Jane, send me that photo!

Anonymous said...

I will! But I don't have the cord to connect my camera to my computer at work - i'll do it when I drop Noah off at home!

Mom C said...

Bike riding is way overrated. Love the blog Jacquie, love my girls getting together... xoxo mom