Then, the biggest suprise came later on in the day. For a month, he has asked me to measure my body (i.e., leg length, inseam, waist, chest, etc.). I thought a.) he was buying me a new car racing suit for when I finally get to race his car (or my own); b.) he was buying me a new jumpsuit, which I thought was strange since he didn't ask for my opinion on colors (it's very important for us skydivers to be all matchy matchy when we have picked out our colors); c.) he was buying me a bunny suit, cat suit, or any furry animal suit, which just perplexed me, but he's English...whatever. He walked me in to the garage where I saw two bikes. I didn't think anything of it since the plan was to borrow his neighbor's bike for our cycling adventure that day. Then, he told me it was my bike. At first, I didn't get it (jetlag, lack of sleep, he talks funny, etc.) and then it clicked what he was saying. Jim bought me a bike. WOW! HE BOUGHT ME A BIKE. How freaking cool and sweet is he? I think I jumped on him with a big old hug and kiss and then, kept repeating, "You bought me a bike!" Of course, I texted images to some of my friends and parents to show my new bike that Jim had bought me. If you didn't get it...Jim bought me a bike. He also bought me a new helmet. It was black; it was beautiful; it was mine o' mine.
|My new bike. I have named him Grease Lightening. And of course this song will be on my biking playlist.|
The plan was for both of us to cycle up to the Sykes House Farm (about 3 miles maybe roundtrip) to purchase meat for the Sunday Roast Dinner and give me a chance to see this farm. Everytime I come to England and see the sign, I always want to stop. Sykes is part of my family name. I'm not sure if they are actually related to me since Sykes is apparently a common name in England.
I couldn't wait to ride with Jim since he could help me with the gears. Granted, I was ill prepared for a new bike with a new way of displaying the gears; it took awhile to get used to it. As you know from previous posts, I have struggled with the gears and well riding in general. Plus, I've got to say, I have been bored and lonely. So, it was nice to have someone there.
Jim and I started out riding on his street so that I could get used to the bike, the gears, and well riding the bike on the wrong side of the road. This includes looking for traffic coming from a direction that I am not used to at all. Thankfully, I am used to looking the other way when we walk up to the village, but now I'm riding a bike. It's just different. Also, I had to get used to sharing the road with parked cars and two lanes with cars coming and going, all in a narrow space.
When we reached a hill, Jim would yell out what gear to to be in at this point. Most of the time, I just plum missed it, but I remembered it for the next hill. And speaking of hills, wow, was I mistaken about the inclines that I dealt with in Houston. Holy moly, England has hills. I struggled. I mean, I am already slow, but I felt massively slower here in England. Poor Jim had to go slow to stay with me and would lose his balance trying to look back for me.
Finally, we made it up to Sykes House Farm and it was as lovely as I pictured (only saw the sign). The meat was excellent and inexpensive and the guy that helped us was awesome. He even made me a special bottle of Sykes House Farm Yorkshire Sauce.
|That's me at the Sykes House Farm sign.|
|Thumbs up for a good bike ride.|
|Yeah, I'm rocking the velcro pant holders with my new bike and new helmet.|
|Jim stopped for a good photo op.|
|Coming back from the Sykes House Farm.|
|You may be used to it, but I'm not. We have lots of cows in Texas.|
|Loving my bike, my helmet, and our bike ride.|
squeeze in another cycling adventure on Sunday before our Sunday Roast Dinner. We couldn't decided between riding to Tadcaster or Wetherby. Each one had their selling points.
|How could you not want to have a beer at this pub in Tadcaster?|
But in the end, we chose Wetherby since we could ride on this bike path that used to be a railway. Not only is that just cool, but it would also shield us from the wind and light drizzle. So, we headed out.
|Jim and I getting ready for our bike ride.|
|It was cold and raining when we started.|
|I'm having a Beck's Beer in front of the sign.|
|I swear he asked me to do this.|
It was about a 7 mile roundtrip bike ride...I think. Well, I'm going for it anyways. We came home and made a delicious pork tenderloin with crackling (spelling?) and my first ever homemade pecan pie.