In Autumn last year I decided to check out a new bike trail along a freeway close to home. I had purchased a pair of “Skikes”, which are like cross country ski’s on wheels just before Easter.
It was a beautiful Autumn Sunday after a period of cold weather and rain (this is Australia). I had to do quite a few chores on Saturday and had not been able to really enjoy the last of the sunny days before Winter, so by mid afternoon, after a few internet distractions, I could no longer delay the urge of boosting my vitamin D stores and put my Skikes, poles and the dog in the car to drive to the new trail. I realised that I only had a short window of time left before the sun would set, so a sense of urgency crept in.
Next my phone beeps with a message. This does not happen frequently, because I am a bit old fashioned and still use my landline more than my (“ancient”)mobile, which I only carry for emergencies. I waited till I got to the car park to look at it. It was a friend for whom I was looking after her place while she was away. She was helping a friend of hers clean up a rental property and everything was a lot worse than expected. She felt that this was putting a strain on their friendship. She was stuck there with no other transport options back besides her friends car. I suggested to look into bus fares or catch a train, via texting, which takes me a long time with the old phone. Then I proceeded to strap on my Skikes quickly.
The dog was very keen to go for a run with me and showed the typical signs of impatience and anticipation. Next, my phone beeps again! I look to see another message from my dear friend in need and am starting to get annoyed by this delay. Looking at my watch, I now have only an hour or so before dusk is going to set in! I did not plan on taking the phone with me because of the risk of it getting damaged in a possible fall, so I had to finalize this conversation quick. I text her back as fast as I could (not very) and locked the car to get going.
The wind had picked up a lot during the afternoon, which usually happens when there is a change in the weather on it’s way, but it was still not very cold. I did not have a lot of experience with my Skikes yet and there was a fair bit of debris from the huge pine trees on the path to watch out for. Cautiously I tried to find my rhythm, whilst keeping my eyes peeled for obstacles that could possibly trip me up (I have since learnt that when I am zipping along that the large pneumatic wheels on my skikes will actually roll quite easily over sizeable sticks, stones and even small tree roots, without a hiccup). Being such a nice weekend there were a few families out riding their bikes giving me smiles along the way, probably because they had never seen a cross country skier without snow before!
My dog was having a ball, running along and sniffing here and there. Next I hear a sound, not too far ahead, as if a bulldozer knocked down a tree. I remember thinking how strange it was on a late Sunday afternoon, that they were still working on the new trail!
I happily kept on going, feeling really good about the fact I was finally out here doing my training for Winter. After about two to three hundred meters, there was a little rise and as I got to the top of it, I suddenly realised that in front of me across the path was a massive old pine tree, that must have come down just moments before! It appeared that the wind had blown it over. With quite a bit of effort I managed to bush bash around it to continue down the path as fast as I could to get out of the pine tree lined area. Then slowly, as I recovered from the shock, the realisation set in, that I could have been right there, under that tree, if it had not been for my dear friend with her “annoying” messages!
Next time I am annoyed by something, the first question I ask myself is: I wonder why this is happening? I can’t wait to see and am so glad for being alive!
PS My friend resolved the issues she had soon after and everything worked out well for her too.
Also: For people interested in finding out more about Skikes, check out their website: http://www.skike.com.au
(There is even a picture of me having fun on my skikes at http://www.skike.com.au/gallery.html )