I have been a slacker of a bicyclist recently. And, therefore, a slacker of a blogger. I biked to work one day last week and one day the week before. In my defense, there have been things preventing me. I had two events last week that prevented me from riding Tuesday and Thursday and Friday, I left for Tennessee right after work. That's right, Josh and I went to Tennessee to see the gator's SEC season opener in Knoxville. And, believe it or not, Tennessee is the only regular season sec team I had never seen us play. So what a perfect first away game! It was a lot of fun but also brought back weird feelings. We know no one in Knoxville so we were set up with Hadley's hospitable brother and his girlfriend whom we tailgated and socialized with all afternoon. We sat in the upper tier behind one of the endzones, surrounded by Tennessee fans but just a few rows below one of the larger gator sections so we could still participate in "we are the boys" and gator bait chants. Our seats were reminiscent of the seats my family and I had for the second game my freshman year of college versus Louisiana Tech, for which my whole family flew down to visit like three weeks after I moved in. I remember this strange elated feeling I had being at that game, not being in the student section but watching it from across the stadium, thinking about this new community of 50,000 students I was a part of and how this would be my life for the next four years and how it was scary and different and so exciting that I wanted to cry. This game in Knoxville made me so happy to see the gators play and feel fortunate to have been a part of that community that I will forever look fondly upon but, anyone who knows me can guess how painfully nostalgic it made me. Because that may be my biggest fault... that I am too nostalgic, always, and sometimes need to get over the past and just live in the moment. And the moment was so good. We won the game, despite a shaky first half, and I had Josh there to celebrate with. We had a beautiful, relaxing drive home through less mountains than I was hoping for because, according to Josh's vivid memory of 8th grade history, Davie Crocket or Daniel Boone discovered this Cumberland Gap as an east-west route through the mountains. We saw larger mountains in Shenandoah than in the Blue Ridge or Smoky Mountains. Perhaps my favorite part of the drive was the two hours we spent listing all 50 states, their capitals, their state nick names, and the mascots of their biggest schools. Does anyone know the nicknames of New Hampshire or Washington?
It was a good weekend but I gotta get back on those bikes! I am sick today so have yet to ride this week but it is finally fall and these are the perfect mornings to be riding to work. And as much as I love writing about the gators and Josh's birth, this is a blog about biking and I'd like to stay as true to that as possible. Josh still hasn't tested the waters of long distance riding with his new bike so hopefully this weekend we can make some happy biking memories for me to be nostalgic about in the years to come!