Back when I was a LOT younger, I used to ride my mountain bike everywhere. It was a Diamond Back that I bought after saving up a week's worth of tips. I used to make mad cash as a hot 20-something waitress. Those were the days...
When I moved into working in sales in hotels, I didn't have a functioning car. That job, although more respectable according to my parents, didn't pay as well as serving drinks. I took a bus for a while, but then OCTD decided to knock out half of the buses on the busiest line in Orange County, so rather than squeeze myself between the masses, I began riding my bike to work. It was a mostly picturesque seven miles each way, going along the Newport Coast and then through beautiful Back Bay. The ride was a great way to decompress after work.
Between rides to work, I would ride the coast on Saturday mornings. Newport, Laguna, Dana Point... the more I rode, the stronger I got, and the healthier I felt, mentally and physically. It was great feeling the wind and the sun on my skin. Whatever was happening in my life, good or bad, I always had a ride to look forward to.
Fast forward to my forties.
I still have the same Diamond Back and I still love it just as much. Unfortunately, I don't take it out nearly enough. In fact, until this morning, I hadn't taken my mountain bike out for about two years. So when I planned a ride with my husband for this morning, I checked out the local trails that would ease me back into riding. I found a trail that was perfect for getting back into shape, with just enough texture to the trail to make it fun.
When we got to the parking lot, we weren't really sure which trail head to enter. My husband, being a man and not one to ask for directions, lead us down a narrow trail and quickly landed on his ass. I'm not really sure how I was able to turn my bike back around, but I was soon back out of that trail and pulling out my Nokia Lumia 822 to look up the notes on Yelp to find the right trailhead.
Apparently, we were on the wrong side of the lake.
Once we crossed a bridge and got to the other side of the lake, we knew to take the trail to the left, and where we'd find some turns, rocky terrain, areas where there were some deep ruts from recent rains, and a stream that we were going to enjoy checking out. After about an hour, we had to turn back to go back and pick up the kids. We had just enough time to drive around to the way other side of the lake.
Hubs and I love taking drives and getting lost, but I don't quite love it so much when we have to be somewhere on time. Still, I was enjoying being beyond the boundaries of our regular day, so I didn't resist. Eventually, we came up on a small cantina that we recognized. We had been to it on a poker run once about ten years ago, so we sort of knew where we were.
We figured we had just enough time to go in to split a machaca plate before heading back out to pick up The Boy. Since we were going to need to be efficient with our time to get to my son on time, I pulled out my Nokia Lumia 822 to find the quickest way home. I opened up my favorite driving app, Nokia Drive... only to find that we were outside of cell coverage.
Okay, for real... that almost NEVER happens!
We rarely venture out to any places that don't have coverage. So after my initial irrational panic, I thought maybe we could ask the waitress how to get back fastest. But before she even came back, I remembered that I could pull up my downloaded maps from Nokia Maps. We were able to pull that up just to refresh our memories as to where we were and to plan our route for the quickest drive back. That route took us past an old reservoir that I'd been wanting to ride around, so I pulled up Nokia Lens to see information on the different trails. Hubs and I made a plan to return later in the week, weather permitting.
After all the getting lost in the back roads of San Diego, we eventually got back to the real world just in time to get The Boy. I thought about how different life is now. There's so much more to deal with in life, but thankfully, there are lots of ways to simplify it in order to get back to the things that we put to the side when life gets too busy.
It's ironic how much I use technology to enjoy unplugging for a while. :)
Images captured with my Verizon Nokia Lumia 822.