Practice Makes Perfect

Winston Churchill stated, “Perfection is the enemy of progress”; my husband has said to me numerous times over the years in his attempt to slow me down, “Perfection is the enemy”–it was his way of encouraging me to accept, not mediocrity, but “good enough” or “the best I could do” or “this is not the outcome I intended but I will take it”…Progress is good, of that there is no doubt, and I suppose that as we ready for our first true outing in Vanda — two weeks to Florida and back, I’ll take progress.

I always knew that it would take one or two or five trips until we understood the most efficient manner of storing our belongings in both the van garage and kitchen, but we wanted to feel proficient in getting our bikes onto the new bike rack (our first DIY project in a while, it was a perfect install!) before we leave next week. Surprisingly, this required an understanding of spatial engineering to fit a tall bike and a short bike on the rack in regards to the position of the metal arms that secures each frame, but we got that done after a few attempts with reconfigurations. The bottom of the rack is at my shoulder level, rendering me to be of no help to lift the bikes onto the rack–the best I can do is to guide the wheels onto the trays while John lifts…Next up was getting the heavy-duty cover for the bikes over John’s handlebars (his bike is an XL frame!), then fitting the cover around the bottom of the rack, and finally securing it with bungees to prevent the cover from flapping as we drive. John is tall, we are not traveling with a step stool, but he eventually thought to use his tripod–which will always be with us–to drape the cover over the bars and pull it down into position. Viola!

We may do some tweaking in the future, but we can see well out of the backup camera and there was literally no flapping of the cover material. Yay us! It may not be perfect, but I will take it.

The bike ride was perfect, however! The entire experience was a manifest of what we have been dreaming about, prior to retirement — we got to ride our bikes for 20 miles on a rail trail, through an exquisite winter forest, dressed in our warmest riding gear. It was the first long ride on our new bikes, and given the cold winters temperature, we had the trail to ourselves. We rode over trestles, and through dark (and creepy) tunnels, and by the time we returned to Vanda, we had worked up an appetite. Our lunch was a warmed up split pea-barley soup from home, accompanied by cheese and crackers, and finished with chocolate chip cookies. As we looked around at our surroundings, our bellies filled with a delicious meal, we expressed deep gratitude for having chased–and found–our dream.

FYI, I took my bike back to the shop today for a fitting adjustment. Even though I have a small framed bike, I found that I was having to lean too much into my wrists, arms, and shoulders during the ride. The bike shop crew adjusted the handlebars up and back a bit, and slid my seat forward a smidge. I’ll have ample time to check out that new fit during our upcoming 2-week trip to Florida. Stay tuned!

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” –Vince Lombardi (it is totally ironic that a sports guy’s quote would catch my eye, but it did! I’ll take it! xo

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