“The Crazy Bike Adventure!”

It was a beautiful day – – we put off going on a bike ride as we did our daily chores, working outside on the landscaping, vacuuming and Schuyler playing with legos and helping with his chores too. We finished the lawn and weeding and now were finally free to go out on the bike path that went goes from Belchertown to Northampton ( 25 mile round trip). We loaded the bikes in the back of the truck and off we went. Schuyler has not ridden his bike much this summer as we haven’t had much of a full day to get outside, but today was so nice and we set aside the time… I got him some new bike gloves from Pearlizumi on our trip up there for the mountain run and he was so excited to get on his bike. We parked the truck got our bikes ready and off we went on the path. Schuyler was doing so well managing the balance on his bike (the bigger challenge was to stay focused!) Only one crash our final desination before turn around was the ice cream stand in Hadley – – once we got to that point we found the shop had closed down. So – – next decision was if we wanted to go to Northampton where the boat is parked and there is another shop. After looking at the clock and Schuyler’s desire for ice cream moved us forward. We got to Hadley common and looked to the sky where you could see the dark clouds rolling in… hmmm … should we keep going or turn around. I, myself hate thunderstorms with a passion and we had battled a few of recent on the boat, so I pushed to turn around and then get ice cream at Cindy’s in Granby. “OK” said the boys and we headed back along the path.

The clouds began to roll in and the wind started to blow the trees – – we realized the wind was coming in and the clouds were getting darker. Before you knew it the rain was coming down in sheets… Schuyler was scared and I frankly was trying to keep the pace to get him moving faster toward the shelter and take the mind off his fear of the thunder. It was the wind that made it worse, blowing the trees and then “crash!” down in front of the bike path a tree fell – – Steve was the calming nature behind rallying Schuyler and I found my way and took the bikes over the top of that tree – – we continued… rain, wind, thunder and lightning were in the sky. We pedaled faster and faster… CRASH!!! another tree slammed into the ground in front of me, I looked back to see that S&S were ok and with wide eyes looked at Steve and said “what now?!” – he in a calm manner said climb around it – – I went down into the gutter and found an opening to climb over the base through branches… Schuyler followed and I tossed the bikes over the tree with all my adrenaline… it was crazy. Schuyler was really pretty scared and that scared me more than maybe I would be as we kept pedaling faster to get to the tunnel where we would be safe. Finally we made it there. Schuyler was soaking wet, as all of us were, but he was shivering, so we huddled together to get him warm. We waited until the storm passed for the most part before we headed out (about 15 minutes or so….). Some people were out walking and riding on their way home too. We saw a police man checking the weather without any fear in his eyes… so it was ok. We got on our bikes and the more we pedaled we were able to stay warm. It was another 4-5 miles to the truck so we kept on going. Schuyler became an amazing bike rider dodging in and out of branches and jumping over small trees, Steve was amazed. : )

We made it back – there was one last tree to get through, which is the picture i posted here. We were so happy to be in the heat of the truck – – we went home, had a hot shower, Schuyler had a hot bath and we went out to ice cream as promised at Cindys! : ) Schuyler kept saying “this is the worsted day of my life” because of his fear, but we have turned that around to him appreciated the adventure of the survival tale being out in the crazy weather!

1. In the tunnel, undercover for safety
2. Schuyler taking photos right before we turned around (I love that pic!)
3. The last tree we climbed over and through that crazy day!

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Nancy Cook 2021

About Nancy

Nancy Peck Cook is a trainer and speaker who has presented in front of large and small audiences for the past 25 years.  Her work as an executive and volunteer trainer for the American Cancer Society during the growth of the signature activity Relay For Life trained professionals to be more confident and successful in their roles. 

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