Life on a bicycle is the ultimate in simplicity. And coming to the end of a cycling tour always evokes mixed emotions. I’m sad to see the daily cycling end, leave behind the days of being outdoors all day and finish our 12mph sightseeing. But once back in the car with home looming ahead, it is ever so alluring. Now that we’re home again, there are so many simple pleasures to enjoy.
- Sleeping in my own bed. No more bouncy motel beds, noisy air conditioners or too-thin camping mats for a while. This is where I sleep best.
- Choosing and making my own food. The first thing I did when we got home was to fire up my bread machine to make a loaf of 100% whole wheat cinnamon bread. Toasted and slathered with peanut butter, it’s the best breakfast food ever. You don’t find that on any restaurant menus. And I had to shop at Trader Joe’s on the way home. Just because I could.
- Getting reacquainted with my wardrobe. Clothing choices return! I’m no longer limited to the one set of “civilian” clothes in my panniers. Oh, what to wear?
- Housekeeping. There is a place for everything with plenty of room left over. Drawers and cupboards are great inventions. No packing up each morning. No squeezing air out of zip lock bags. No checking for items left behind. It’s all right here.
- Driving a car. I can now cover 30 miles in 1/2 an hour instead of 1/2 a day. I can pack it full of groceries, and not even care if it’s raining. Novel.
- Just hanging out. I lingered over my coffee and toast this morning. Sitting by the fireplace (yes, it’s cold in Minnesota), iPad on my lap, I thoroughly read all the local news. No need to hurry to be anywhere at all.
- Weighing in. This is the fun part. Cycle touring is the best fitness plan ever. I dropped 8 pounds and definitely toned up. Without even trying.
- Reconnecting with family and friends. We stayed in touch virtually over the last 6 weeks, but there is no substitute for the real thing. Being with them is best of all.
Of course all the usual trappings of home life also await. My to-do list is already getting longer, I have meetings to attend and material to read. There are clothes to wash and dishes to be done, but I now have machines for those tasks.
After five weeks of cycling to follow the Spring North, it appears we finally overshot it. The leaves are just beginning to pop out on the tree limbs in Duluth, my garden is barely starting to show life and morning temperatures are just into the 40s. I’ve had to dig out my jeans and sweaters again. But it will be sweet when spring finally blossoms here too.
Oh, it’s a joy to be home.