“Summer Plans,” by Tweens

I had one of those idealized suburban childhoods that are the stuff of movies. A fierce little foursome consisting of myself, my younger sister, Celeste, and two girlfriends just a year older than I, Mindy and Kirsten, spent our afternoons and summers trolling around our horseshoe-shaped neighborhood on bikes or rollerblades, making up dance and gymnastics routines in the backyard, holding somber funerals for dead pets, and collecting mosquito bites and scrapes aplenty in the forested seminary property that abutted Kirsten’s and my families’ backyards.

Recently, thanks to my mom’s insistence that my sisters and I clear out my parents’ home of most of our childhood mementos, my younger sister came upon a list that we four had put together at the beginning of one particularly hopeful summer, even having typed it up on the still-at-that-time-special machine of the family computer. We guess that I was 12, Celeste just barely 11, and Mindy and Kirsten 13. And while a few items about body- and image-consciousness sadly stand out here and there, young as we were, what really strikes me about this list is how ambitious it was. 101 items? Who did we think we were? Continue reading ““Summer Plans,” by Tweens”

The Beginner Bike Touring Reading List (Pacific Coast and Northwest Edition)

Image: The required texts.

I’ve had numerous people ask me, “So… how did you land on bike touring?” Good question! To be frank, I am not sure the exact moment I was like, “Yeah! I’m getting on a bike for an undetermined amount of time and peacing out on the pretty sweet life I have in Seattle!” It started more as a helpfully distracting and time-consuming research project after a rough breakup, and it just sort of snowballed from there.

And then there were the books. And I’ll get to those in a second, but a few other reasons bike touring appealed to me include: Continue reading “The Beginner Bike Touring Reading List (Pacific Coast and Northwest Edition)”

Clip In, Clip Out: An Update

I would just like to (not-even-humble-) brag that I am a PRO at using the clip-in shoes—haven’t fallen over once. If I’d had a fraction of the success with driving stick-shift that I’ve had with these shoes, my life might have gone very differently. …Okay, not too differently, but still. And for the record, I’d make that trade any day. Bike shoes feel pretty badass.

And Then Your Awesome Cousin Visits

My cousin Maureen is a huge-hearted, hilarious, smart, adventurous, and gorgeous human who managed to squeak in a long weekend amidst her strange ER nurse shifts to visit her depressed, confused cousin and go camping for a couple of nights. Maureen is one of the few people in my family who a) is up for camping and b) does not care whether you have planned everything or nothing. She is up for anything.

We moseyed up to the Icicle Creek area in the borrowed Subaru of my friend and stellar colleague Keiko, finding campground after campground full until… Rock Island. What a win. Apart from the bizarre, tweaked-out camp hosts, we were in heaven, as evidenced below. Continue reading “And Then Your Awesome Cousin Visits”