On the 5 Boro Bike tour

I learned when you suffer, you suffer alone. Right towards the end of the 40-mile bike tour, you hit the Verrazzano Bridge, (the second longest suspension bridge in the world). The incline goes on for-ev-er! You just keep climbing and you think, “Surely, this is some kind of illusion. How can something just keep going up?” You cannot answer that voice in your head, because you just have to keep pedaling and keep suffering.

There were many people walking their bikes up the eternal incline. But not me, because we borrowed our awesome friends’ road bikes and my bike had a will of its own and the wheels just kept turning.

But during those grueling moments of riding uphill, that’s when I thought, “I’m suffering alone.” Surrounded by 30,000 other riders, still, I felt alone. Suffering makes you feel all alone. As if you will never reach the top. Fortunately, my son waited for me some ways ahead. I was not alone.

The coast down was pretty sweet. And we did it very fast together, whizzing by the signs the volunteers held that said, “Slow down!”

We enjoyed the finish and the festival and the ferry ride from Staten Island.

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That’s me and Hayden when we were returning to Manhattan from the ferry. This was taken only a few minutes before Hayden fell asleep like the rider behind us.
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We were still pretty chipper at the Queensboro Bridge.
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At the Brooklyn Rest stop. So nice!
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I discovered it’s hard to take a pic while bike riding.
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Thanks, Dara and David, for letting us borrow these sweet rides!
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Waiting to board the ferry
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We liked getting all the free samples at the rest stops. I especially enjoyed the sample grilled cheese. And Hayden liked the Red Bull.
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There’s no place prettier to bike than Central Park.

I did the 5 Boro Bike Tour in 2011 too. I didn’t do it last year because I didn’t sign up in time, even though I was going to join the Team Fox and raise money for Parkinson’s Research.

Next time I do the bike tour, I have to remind myself not to suffer. I have to remember that eventually the path will lead downhill.

I would like to write more about the bike tour, but, honestly, I’m ex-haust-ed. I have to go to sleep.

other cool posts: DIY cycling

bike new york

Happiness on Social Media

Life has been a bit of whirlwind. Only today does it feel like the the dust has settled. And it’s a rainy, dreary, depressing day.

After the kids’ and my spring break trip to Chris’s cousins in Boston and Nantucket, I led a blogging workshop at the Indiana Writers Center and a social media workshop at Religion Communicators Council, both in Indianapolis. Then I visited family in Chicago. It was all great.

I went solo on this recent trip to Indy and Chi-town. And the adage is true: you travel faster when you travel alone. But maybe fast is not always best.

Since taking this MOOC with MIT and last week’s keynote from Daniel Sieberg (I dig Bill Aiken’s summary of Sieberg’s Keynote), I’m asking myself these questions about my social media habit:

Is social media really making me more creative and connected?

Am I using social media only to market my stuff? Or do I really want to get to know you and your stuff too?

Am I oversharing with all my blogging, tweeting, Facebragging, instagramming?

See, I bumped into a friend on the street yesterday and she asked me how my spring cleaning was going. My first response was embarrassment. How did she know I was spring cleaning? But then I remembered my joke on my FB status. I’d updated, “While spring cleaning this morning, I found $3 – who says housework doesn’t pay?”

I felt a little flattered and a little naked. Truly, I write so people will read me.

So, on one hand, I worry if no one will read me, and then, on the other, I worry if people will read my stuff and react. (I write like I dance, like no one is watching me.)

In our last MOOC session on motivation and learning, Natalie Rusk mentioned that the keys to happiness are purpose and belonging. That these lead to personal growth. Maybe social media is for the social good when it encourages all of us to belong, to be purposeful, and to grow together.

Maybe when the rain stops and the dust settles some more, I’ll figure it all out.

Until then, here’s where I market my stuff on my social media — I’ve still got room in my Writing Retreat 4/25-4/28. And I need a few more good writers to make the weekend happen. We can discuss our digital diets over a nice long, leisurely dinner together.

One hour off technology

Writing and Mothering and Listen To Your Mother

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Across from my apartment, things are starting to bloom.