When our daughter got married, I called upon my photographer friends to help me snap a few photos. I would have taken them myself if I wasn't in the wedding party, so I left my camera at home. No one came to my rescue and thus I had to hire my own Wedding photographer just like everyone else. You may ask, what's this got to do with being a riding instructor and giving up all my free weekends training new riders ? Same analogy, just differing skills.
The first crossroads was exactly like the Man of Iron mentioned before. I too reflected on my free time, and all the stuff I did helping others on my free weekends, some appreciative, and others not so much. Ever since I made the decision to act upon my own priorties, over the whims of others who infringe upon my free time, I feel happier as I am steering my own course.
Lately I am feeling like I am too old. Nothing has changed, I still feel healthy except for my foot, but I can still walk under my own power, and I can still ride my motorcycle but I have come to my second crossroads. Thus, a good friend recently said to me that . . .
"I think too much"
And this is probably true because I came to a major crossroads in July when I should be retiring, except for the fact that the economy has collapsed again and we are dipping into another recession. I am a bit worried about the future and lack of income, so I trudge on and continue to work like many others of my generation. I have been issued a Gold Care Card which signifies that I am receiving my CPP: Canada Pension Plan and OAP: Old Age Pension and the fact that I am now officially an Old Person. I didn't really feel any different when I turned 65, but when I received my first pension payment, things changed. I call it Retirement Mode and I am using this transitional time to try and do things that cost less (or free), and I have been staying at home more to watch the grass grow.
This week I am on Vacation but I decided that I would stay close to home and find out what it would be like to "pretend" that I was retired . It is very rare that I would not plan to go anywhere when I have time off work. Of course the idea would be to do things that were cost efficient.
This morning I got my V-strom ready to go for a ride
I had no plans but ended up Downtown on Denman Street, then rode around our beach areas over to UBC: University of British Columbia where I parked in the motorcycle area
It was still early in the day. I was planning on going down to Wreck Beach to spend an hour or so but it was still cool and windy so I continued my ride to a viewpoint overlooking the Fraser River
The YVR: Vancouver International Airport is in the distance (left horizon)
There is not much beach access on this section of the UBC endowment lands. There are dangerous steep cliffs on the south side.
I decided to return home and park my bike. It was suggested to me to ride out to Alouette Lake in Golden Ears Provincial Park but that is nearly 2 hours for me, each way and I didn't feel like navigating the traffic mess to get there. Being officially old I thought that I would prefer to keep a closer radius and just enjoy the day at a slower pace
I know it's not safe to sit on the railway tracks, and there are No Trespassing signs warning of danger but today I wanted to be a daredevil
Yes, we have a helmet law here for cyclists. I dread the thought of having to ride home from this spot as it is 5 kms all uphill and my legs are feeling like jello
and I had to stop a few times to catch my breath and rest. I must have looked like the walking dead, for one of my stops a lady came out of her home and asked if I was Okay. As I neared the top of the hill I noticed a red deux chevaux 2cv
Well, I managed to ride all the way up the hill under my own power. Not bad for an Old Guy, even though I had to stop a few times. I suppose it will get easier each time. I used the bike route and I was passed by a few other cyclists who "left me in their dust" . It's not easy to see them pass and a block later they are nearly out of sight.
It was a pleasant afternoon for a ride, a chance to get a bit of exercise and to build up my sandal tan