I went out for a ride this morning (38 miles) with overcast skies and balmy 70 degree temps (according to my bike computer). I had a weird feeling about the ride today. As I started out I saw that the trail was unusually rocky only the side I needed to ride on so I thought for sure I was going to get a flat. And funny thing is... I still don't know how to change a flat. So that would have been a really unfortunate incident were that to occur. But it turns out that I had nothing to worry about in regards to my tires. Instead I should have worn a hockey mask because then I wouldn't have gotten stung in MY LIP by a bee. Yes, a BEE (at least that's what I'm assuming it was but who knows... it's not like I saw it or anything so it could have been a wasp?! Or some other stinging flying thing)! I was going along... at one of my favorite parts of the trail. I was going at a nice pace. I felt good about things because I had remembered to top off the air in my tires. I had made it a a certain checkpoint faster than usual. And then all of a sudden I felt something slam into my face (strangely this part is NOT unusual going as fast as you do under the cover of trees... insects and stuff are always hitting my face (thank goodness for eye protection in the form of my cycling sunglasses), but never before a BEE. I guess that little bee was scared for his life because the split-second he made contact with my face he stung me. And it HURT!!
I pedaled a little more until I thought it'd be a better idea to stop and put some ice on my lip (which I just happen to have in both of my water bottles). While I was stopped a woman passed me that I had passed by earlier. After my bottom lip was sufficiently numb I figured I should keep on going. So I pedaled up to the woman that just passed me and asked if she minded me riding with her. I figured if I started not to be able to breathe then she could at least call Mike and let him know or call an ambulance. No such calls were required but I thought it was a safer bet than riding alone.
We got to talking and it turns out that she loves to knit (which is the hobby that first got me into starting my own blog - seriously - check the archives). She used to run but now bikes (hello - me too! And this is her Plan C or D.... and I have a layout on this being my Plan C!). She has two kids (me too!). When her youngest was in first grade she went back to school. Guess what she did? She went to CULINARY SCHOOL!! No, I am NOT kidding (this was a dream of mine). Do you know which one? L'Academie de Cuisine which is in the same city I used to live in when we were in Maryland and is the SAME SCHOOL that I took recreational classes at ALL THE TIME! And I always wish there was a location out where I am now because I LOVED taking cooking classes there and miss their kitchens and the instructors and haven't found anything like that here (and I'VE LOOKED!)!! Her KitchenAid died recently (so did mine but she replaced hers and I got a DLX for the wheat breads). She worked at Inn at Little Washington, which is #1 on the list of local places I want to take Mike if ever someone offered to watch the kids for a weekend. She started a garden this year using heirloom seeds (hello - do you remember my indoor seedling racks?) and she's read lots of Michael Pollen, owns Laptop Lunches lunchboxes, loves Alice Waters' Edible Schoolyard project!!
So basically I have more in common with her than almost anyone I know (hi Heather!!). We are SO going to get together to cook up some grub some time soon!
I guess it was worth being stung by a bee because otherwise I probably would not have tried to befriend some stranger out on the trail.... some stranger that could turn out to be my future best friend!