Missions Accomplished!!

Today’s tale is one of rockets, Trikke hill climbs, and spontaneity.  As I checked two items off my bucket list this weekend, it was a spirited reminder that life is about more than to-do lists.

Susan riding Rokk-it Red
My Friday commute home is never fun, but I got out a little early and for once I thought I could get ahead of traffic on the Blue Route.  How wrong I was!  As my car crept forward on the freeway at Trikking speed, I turned the radio on for a traffic report.  What I got while waiting was a report that a rocket launch in Virginia would be visible from Pennsylvania later that night.  So I stayed up late, and from a ridge overlooking the Lehigh Valley, I saw the glowing orange trail of the LADEE rocket as it reached for the moon.  Check one lifelong wish off my bucket list!

I started Saturday morning on a high note.  I awoke to a beautifully sunny day, and looked forward to Trikking at Rodale Fitness Park with Susan, Dan, and Pam.  But for the second time of the year, I arrived to a troubling sight at the park.  Last time, the trail was ravaged by damage from Hurricane Sandy, this time it was overrun by hundreds, if not thousands, of bicyclists for a cyclocross event.  My heart sank as I realized my friends had just driven nearly two hours for a non-event.  But they took it well, and we weighed our alternatives.

Pam riding one of her Triplets
So my second spontaneous weekend event took us out to the paved portion of D&L Trail along the Lehigh River.  This is one of my favorite riding spots, and I knew my friends would enjoy exploring it.  We started at Riverview Park and Trikked westward towards the boat launch.  The air was fresh and crisp, and we nearly had the trail to ourselves.
We came to the fork in the road where the D&L meets the Palmer-Bethlehem Rail Trail.  Beyond that fork was another bucket list item – climbing the “Two Mile Hill.”  My friends were not up to that challenge, but graciously agreed to part ways as they saw my hunger for doing the climb.  As they headed for the boat launch, I launched my T12 upward.
“Two Mile Hill” hill is not the steepest climb I know of, but it is the longest.  It’s a narrow stretch of aging asphalt that hooks around Route 33 as it heads back towards Easton.  The grade is only 1 degree for most of the run, but there are no breaks in the climb save a slight dip as it crosses a driveway near Hope Road.  The summit is a metal bridge spanning Freemansburg Avenue, and I reached it after about 25 minutes of climbing.  I’m proud to say I rode the whole way, stopping only for a few pictures and to let a few bicyclists through.
I find hill climbing to be one of the most challenging yet fulfilling things I can do on a Trikke.  Perhaps this was because two years ago I could barely do a 25 minute walk, let alone a 25 minute hill climb.  I savored my leisurely ride back down the hill, and was greeted by my joyous friends as I neared the bottom.  They had begun climbing the hill to greet me, and I hope to see them back for the full climb again someday.
All told I Trikked 11 miles that day, but my joy came from the spontaneity of the ride and the company of my friends rather than just the number on my odometer.  In my stressed-out life of jam-packed workdays and horrific commutes, I need more days and weekends like this where I can just take a deep breath and savor whatever goodness life decides to send my way.
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