Today I got to ride a brand new kind of ride for me. J. was leading a training ride up to Oregon Ridge State Park, and I have to admit, I was kinda a-skeered to join her because of all the hills. I ride up the hill and down the hill all the time in Baltimore, but this was going to be different, all rolling hills, and I didn’t know what they’d be like AND WHAT IF I HAD TO GET OFF MY BIKE AND PUSH IT UP THE HILL. The best way to figure out if that’s what would happen would be to give it a go, and today was most perfect for it–we had blue skies, sun, barely a whiff of wind, and it was almost 60 degrees out. I met J. and D., our trusty sag driver, at the farmer’s market and we spun out from there, up one hill and down another until we were out of the city and on roads I’d never biked on. I could tell you how pretty it was, or how rich some people are (private tennis courts? really?), the dead animals we pedaled around, the woman who passed me jogging on one stretch of a hill (no worries–I caught her on the downhill), or the park where we turned around and its nature center filled with animals, the opossum in the box, and the bridge welcoming you to the Eastern Deciduous Forest. I could tell you about the ride back and its hills and hot dog carts, and the pleasure of figuring out where you are again. Mostly, though, what I have to say about the whole thing is that it was kind of hard, but I did it, and I didn’t have to push the bike up any hills, not at all. I can’t wait to do this route again now that I know I can so I can look around a little more. I got home, chugged down some water, and felt grateful for the kindness of strangers.