I did my 75km bike ride for the MS Grape Escape Bike Tour yesterday. I can safely say that it lived up to all of my expectations: It was difficult, it was long, I was stinky at the end, but it was ultimately rewarding. I can also safely say that, even though I'm proud I did it, I will not be doing any more bike events. I did it with the hope that I might finally find enjoyment in cycling, but I really didn't. I'd say that a few months of training and a 3.5 hours riding in rain and drizzle was enough of a trial to know that for sure.
That is not to say that it wasn't an interesting ride. I started out with my teammates at the start line, but we quickly got separated as most of them were doing the shorter route. The tour is designed for people to stop at different wineries along the way for short rests and wine-tasting to make it fun (with careful monitoring by the organizers to make sure nobody was on the road riding impaired). I decided to forgo the tastings and just ride as long as I could to get it done. I did make one stop at about two-thirds of the way through at a beautiful winery called Zanatta for a bathroom break, water refill and snacks. Apart from that, it was ride, ride, ride, often all by myself on the road, with nothing but the rain and the road markers for company.
This is not to say that the others had it easy. We all had our fair share of soggy feet, sore bums, and wet hills, especially the particularly inspiring hill (?) on the second-to-the-last kilometre. In the end, it was wonderful to meet all my teammates at the end to give them hugs and congratulations on a challenge completed.
Today, I'm taking it easy. We just took Rascal out for a short walk. His health really is a roller coaster these days. Sometimes, he looks like he's at death's door, barely eating, barely able to walk, barely sleeping. Other days, he's a totally different dog, eating, trotting around, even playing with his toys, just like he was back to normal. He has seen a specialist, and we are discussing treatment options, as surgery for his tumour is out of the question. I am grateful that we made the decision to have pet insurance, as it makes decisions about his health slightly less stressful to make. Right now, we cuddle him and talk to him as much as we can.
Later on, we'll go out for lunch, get some groceries, and then I'll sit down and work on some amigurumi toys that I promised I'd make in return for some pledges for my bike event. They're not my favourite thing to make, but the little legs make me smile with their weirdness. I still need to get a couple more supplies to finish them up, but I'm finding that I'm enjoying making them more than I thought I would. It's a challenge in and of itself.
Maybe I'll take a break from challenges for a while... except I'm starting a paddleboard yoga course tomorrow. You'd think I was finished with being wet and soggy, but apparently not. This could be interesting...