What a cold, chilly, rainy Sunday it is here for the Memorial Day week end. I am thinking back to all the great Memorial Day weekends we had in the past. My family was really in to dirt biking so holiday weekends were for camping out and doing as much riding as we could. My Dad, Uncle, Aunt, brother, sister-in-law and tons of cousins and their spouses rode, plus our boys. So we would load up the truck and bike trailer and head for Cle Elum, WA where there were big coal piles to ride on and lots of trails. We all camped out together in the woods and had a big campfire that we sat around at night, drank wine and told about the falls we took, the trails we rode and the hills we climbed. The hills seemed to get higher each time the story was told and the trails harder! We did that for all 3 big holiday week ends every summer for years. We went from a small tent to a small camper so really felt like we had gone up in life style!
We would head for the eastern side of the mountains because it was always better weather there. We did camp on the west side of the mountains years later, when we switched from dirt bikes to ATV's, 4-wheelers or what ever you want to call them. Then our sons, wives and grandsons, brother-in-law and his wife would take small camp trailers and camp and ride. The first thing you do on when you camp in western WA is put up some blue tarps cause you know it is going to rain at some point, or most of the time. But we got used to riding in rain gear. My cousins and families would camp in the same general area and they always had the biggest camp fire so we would ride over to their camp. We used to spend many hours under blue tarps telling stories
I really miss that. I miss riding my road bike on good summer days, heading across the mountains on Highway 20, getting away from work, phones, etc.
I don't like riding in a car and haven't for years. I am not one to just sit and do nothing for very long and that is what you do when you ride in a car. When you are riding a bike you have to watch out for deer, drivers and anything that might be in the road. Traveling at 70 mph you don't want to hit any rocks, etc. So it never got boring and was always exciting. I always felt more alive when I was riding. One of the hardest things I have had to do was quit riding. I guess I was lucky because I was strong and kept in shape so got to ride till I was 71, but I knew that year was my last. I just didn't have the strength in my arms anymore. But it was really hard knowing it was my last ride. And I still get jealous when we are going somewhere in a boring car and I see riders out on a beautiful sunny day.
I guess these are my golden years but they don't feel so golden this week end.