Usually when Friday night rolls around I’m daydreaming about sleeping in a bit on Saturday. The days of sleeping in until 11 am are few and far between but George will often leave me to sleep in until at least 9:30, usually 10, and that feels really great compared to my 7:00 am wake-ups during the work week (especially since my night owl self still has trouble getting to bed before 12:30 am, sigh).
However this past Friday night found me setting my alarm for 8:00 am. It was a bit tough getting up on Saturday morning when all I really wanted to do was curl back up under my comforter and go back to sleep, pretending the loud BEEP BEEP of my alarm had all been a bad dream. There was no time for drifting back off though, I was on a mission and it was such a good cause that it was hard to complain (much) about getting up only an hour later than I do for work.
A group of my co-workers and I had banded together to ride the Big Bike, a fundraising bicycle built for
two 30 people. It’s part of the Heart & Stroke foundation’s way of raising money to help in the prevention and treatment of strokes and heart disease. Considering I have seen first-hand just how much a stroke can take away from someone – my father had a stroke almost two decades ago and it affects him negatively to this day – I was happy to get up early.
One of my co-workers told me that she rode the Big Bike for the first time last year and that it was insanely fun. I was sure it would be mildly amusing but nothing more. I was wrong, because it was so much fun that it was ridiculous and the first thing I said when it was all over was that I was definitely doing it again next year.
The bike really is meant for 30 people, including a “driver” who still pedals like the rest of us but has the only steering and braking ability. The bike has three bike seats, pedals, and handlebars per row, and it has a sound system to blast upbeat music to get us moving. We did two laps around part of downtown Halifax and we had such a great time.
Our driver had instructed us on a few cheers and also announced groups of pedestrians for us to scream and wave at as we pedaled by (then again he also had us waving at mannequins in storefront windows…). We must have been quite the hilarious sight. I sat right up near the front, directly behind the driver and on the outside so I got a great view.
Parts of the ride were really easy; I’d often find myself pedaling with very little tension in the pedals because we had a large group filling the bike almost to capacity. The downhill portion required no pedaling at all but was mildly frightening as we hurtled down the street. The guy sitting behind me insisted on standing up on his pedals, arms spread out to the side as he yelled, “I’m the king of the world” a la Titanic and it was hilarious but crazy!
Of course if you’re going down you eventually need to go back up and while the incline wasn’t too tough it definitely required all 28 or 29 of us to keep it moving. It was tougher than I thought it would be. It probably didn’t help that I ran 5.8 km on Friday night so believe me, my quads were feeling it by our second lap.
Getting off the bike when we were done found me overflowing in adrenaline. It was just such a great time and the best part was that we raised over $3000 for a wonderful cause.
As a bonus, I was back home before 11 am so I managed to get all my housework done by lunch time really, and was able to relax before my sister came over with my niece for supper. I’m an awfully big fan of sleeping in, but getting up early sure can do a lot for your productivity!
Between the bike event, having my sister over for supper, having the kids’ friends spend the entire day (literally; they came with us to the event and stayed until after supper!), and having George’s cousin come show us how to bottle the wine we made with the wine kit he and his girlfriend gave us as a wedding gift, it was a mighty wonderful Saturday.
(And my Sunday was wonderfully lazy, thank you very much!)
Hope your weekend was great too!