I don't think people believe me when I tell them that I used to mountain bike. A lot. I am not sure if it is the fact that I wear make up or that I express negative feelings about sweating profusely, but I get incredulous looks a lot when I tell people that I used to be a semi-hard-core mountain biker. Clip on shoes, jerseys, the works. I used to bike for anywhere for one to four hours a day in the desert, sometimes in temperatures that reached into the triple digits. "It's a dry heat" makes it better... I've done my fair share of wiping out on bikes, too; I've done the head-over-the-handlebars-move more than once (and yes, it is as painful as it looks).
I went out on my bike today for my scheduled rove. I biked down to Fortress Rosecrans along the greenway and back mid-day. I knew I was giving the caravan tour at 2pm, so I worked my way back to the visitor center in time to prepare for that. I am not sure what possessed me to make my next decision, but while I was dripping with sweat, racing down a slight incline, I thought, "Why not give the tour on my bike?" Jim has given the tour before on his bike and the van was in use for the afternoon (so I wasn't going to have a place to put the water cooler, anyway). And if you know me, you know that I make a decision and run (or, in this case, bike) with it.
So I gave the 90 minute caravan tour on my bike. I raced between stops, engaged in more conversation at the start of each stop (to allow for me to catch my breath), and enjoyed doing it. Unfortunately, I was not able to carry all of my usual items- no water cooler or artillery pieces for demonstration.
The tour was a personal accomplishment. Jim accomplished it last fall to prove that it could be done. I wondered if I could be an effective interpreter if I was gasping for breath at each stop. I liked the idea of promoting energy conservation (even in small steps, like leading an auto-tour on a bike) and sustainability. And I like biking. I just had my doubts about my ability to do it.
I wasn't as tired as I thought I would be, either. I think I was most nervous about Dr. Frisby ("the D-Friz") accompanying the tour. I know he didn't want to make me nervous, but when a freakin' military history professor accompanies the tour, I can't tell about the helicopter campaigns or the importance of SONAR's use during the battle to fill that time. Ha ha. That was just a joke because I know he reads this. He didn't make me too nervous, after all. And I completed the auto-turned-bike-tour in one piece. I had a good day and will sleep well tonight.