A bike ride in Santa Barbara

In August, I spent a couple of days in Santa Barbara. There was nothing special going on, just a mid-week adventure before classes started up again. I got to pack my BRAND NEW beautiful orange Juliana mountain bike (which I love for its style AND performance). I’ve been riding what I have been told is a “very unsafe” bike for several years now–plus the gears were noisy & the brakes were worn out. I was so ready for this.

I’m not much of an extreme sports kind of person. I love monotony. I seek out quiet stretches of calm nothingness in my adventures. So mountain biking is new for me. I’m the one on the mountain yelling “AHHHHHH!!!! NOOOOOOO!!! WEEEEEEEE!!!” I’m also the one going very very slow. Mountain biking can be scary, but the trail we found in a national forest ended up being pretty mild. We climbed uphill & then the downhill somehow turned into sand, so we had to walk some of it. As we walked down, we noticed a swimming pool. It’s not often you see a pool on the side of a mountain in a forest. We get closer, and it appears to be open to the public. Oh, AND a hot tub?! And it’s completely empty in the middle of summer? What is this?

I jumped into the pool with my bike clothes on, swam some laps & looked up at the sky and the mountains. It was one of those moments where I felt like the lucky one. I waited for someone to kick us out, but no one ever did. Just a quiet afternoon mid-ride dip in the pool with a view. No technology to keep us occupied, no wondering about what was for dinner, no worrying about the time. And all of it, completely free!

I don’t know how many silent thank you’s I have said to the outdoors for saving me, for making my day, for giving me a sense of peace, for teaching me how to slow down–for just being blindingly awesome. But this day was full of thank yous. And the new bike is a little more worn in now, but she’s ready for plenty more adventures! Let me know if you have a pool for me!