Sunday, May 15, 2016

One Mother of a Weekend

Some moms think Mother’s day is a day to be surrounded by their kids. But if we are surrounded by our kids, how is the day different than any other day? Is it wrong that all I wanted to do, as the Honored Matriarch, was…..NOTHING?

Actually, both my kids were elsewhere. Not because they wanted to be but because that was how fate would have it. I missed them but I reveled in the freedom of a warm spring day with abundant opportunities to do…..NOTHING.

As much as the day was grand, I was weary; the day bright, I was dismal; the day inviting, I was sluggish. Why do we do it? We know we have, and will, achieve great things each summer so why do we let that vision wane through the winter.

It’s the same cycle year after year.

April – look in the mirror with disdain and say, “Look what you’ve done.”
May – hit the cycling circuit hard to train.
June – Finally dig out last year’s kits, the ones that didn’t fit in April.
July – Achieve great things:
·         Conquer that hill you’ve been avoiding all summer
·         Effortlessly complete that century
·         Show the many layers of bike-short tan lines
·         Improve concentration and endurance
August – look in the mirror with euphoria and say, “Look what you’ve done!”

 We had plans to ride on Saturday but I was feeling the disdain from the previous season. Having trouble finding a jersey that fit my forgotten winter body I settled for a technical t-shirt. Fortunately, for Velojunkie, I was on a mission that required me to go to the market. For his part in this whole conundrum, Velo stayed positive while staying out of my way (probably because he knew there was a beer garden to visit). A true credit to his gender.

It truly is amazing how riding your bike can turn a bad day into a good one. It can turn a frown into a smile, and a chore into an adventure.

We departed from home mid-morning, the sun instantly evaporating the grey cloud over my mood. We took an awesome new route through Northside, over the Ludlow connecting bridge to Central Parkway. With the majority of the construction complete, Velo and I enjoyed our ride into Over-the-Rhine. I should mention Central Parkway follows the old canal route.  Recently the city installed a protected bike lane on this route and it makes for an enjoyable ride.

About 7 miles into the ride it was time for beer and chocolate. Velo bought me a Maverick Bourbon and Sea Salt dark chocolate bar and a Moerlein Purity. I did taste the lemon and lavender bar, but Velo being a left brain was more interested in the bourbon bar.  As I sat enjoying my delicacies and libations Velo showed up with some bones and jalapeno cornbread from Eli’s. Eli’s has possibly the best barbecue in the queen city. If you have never been to Findlay Market, or haven’t been in several years, you are missing out on a true urban gem.  On Saturdays and Sundays they have the beer garden, music, plenty of food vendors along with some interesting booths selling locally crafted wares

I think I could have sat in the open beer garden all day but then I wouldn’t have accomplished what I set out for. I was at the market to pick up a Bandi for a graduation gift. Mission accomplished we decided to add miles by riding south on Central Parkway to Plum Street and on to the riverfront. This was one of those journeys you make up as you go, but Plum St. has some extraordinary buildings. First we came across City Hall. Cincinnati City Hall was designed by renowned Cincinnati architect Samuel Hannaford and was completed in 1893. Next is the Isaac M. Wise Temple built in 1866, and the St. Peter in Chains Cathedral, completed in 1845. We were graced with a light sprinkle of rain as we rode past the religious houses but it subsided as we headed toward the river.

I told Velo I wanted to see if the roses were in bloom in the International Friendship Park. A slow ride through the park’s winding path was just what the soul needed to realize the gift of nature we have here in Cincinnati. I am including many pictures of the park because I do not feel my words could do it justice. 

In addition to the many flowering bushes, colorful trees, and spring blooms we met two very well behaved dogs taking their people for a walk through the gardens, making sure to stop to smell the flowers. Proof positive that dogs are our best friends!

A short video of my ride including a trip through the International Friendship Park and views of City Hall, the Synagogue, and the Cathedral. 

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