So part of the joy of working at my current school is participating in May Term. I can honestly say that this is one program I am truly going to miss as I venture to my new school in Taiwan. The students and teachers in the Upper School get to participate in an experiential type of learning for the last two weeks of school. I can actually say with a straight face that I get paid to mountain bike with students to close out the school year. Other teachers and students are participating in Dance, Film, Water Studies, and Electric Bike Building, but I think I got the best one. That is until your bus breaks down on the 4th of July pass in Northern Idaho after a 60-mile, 8 hour bike ride. As I drove 20 miles to Coeur d’Alene, ID with one of my students to pick up 8 pizzas and some water for the stranded students, I told him that these are the things we remember and laugh about as we get older. The bike ride was amazing and seeing a moose and later her likely calf was incredible. But I can’t explain the pain that the nether regions experience on a road bike covering 60 miles. I don’t think you would want me to anyway. We started our journey at the Enaville Trailhead and road about 30 miles to the town of Harrison, ID. Along the 30 mile journey, we saw osprey, eagles, and other amazing birds that I unfortunately can’t name. About 10 miles in, we encountered a pretty good rain that lasted for only 10 minutes, but seemed like an hour. Upon reaching Harrison, I had what appeared to be the world’s largest scoop of ice cream at The Creamery. Maybe not the best idea given I still had 30 miles to go. After leaving Harrison, my phone rang and it was one of my students saying that a fellow student had a minor crash and broke his seat. There are a lot of things you can fix while biking (i.e. flats, brakes, etc), but a seat isn’t really one of them. Luckily, a fellow student had a roll of duct-tape. This is where a little good ol American ingenuity comes in handy. A little tape here and a little tape there, and my student was able to ride 25 miles back to the trailhead. Go figure. At one point on the way back, I got separated from the group (Pit stop what?). During this solo time, I got a little emotional, not misty eyed, just emotional. It’s hard to explain the feelings of emotion that are rolling through me right now, especially when I have such amazing and picturesque adventures such as this one. I love this part of the country and all it offers, but I’m also super excited for the adventures that await me in Taiwan. I mean when you see how excited my wife gets at the thought of noodle nirvana, how could I not be. I have a good feeling I will be back to this part of the country in the future. Upon finally arriving at the trailhead around 6:15 pm, I thought, it’s all down hill now. I will be home soon and watching some basketball. Not if the bus blows a coolant hose trying to go uphill. This misfortune caused us to sit on a broken down bus until 9pm waiting for the new bus. Climbing into bed at 11:30 pm, all I could do was smile about the long strange trip I had been on. Some people might ask, “Why are you talking about a bike trip on a Biology teaching blog?” What I’ve learned over the last four years at SGS is that teaching more often than not, goes beyond the walls of the classroom. I’m excited to take the learning outside of the classroom for my new students in Taiwan. The opportunities I’ve had in my recent teaching career will make that all the more likely.
- 4 Easy Tips to make Group Bike-Rides More Fun! (sunbeamnutritioncenter.wordpress.com)
- Make a Wallet from Duct Tape (crafts.answers.com)
- A Ride To Be Remembered (inpraiseofmysteries.wordpress.com)
- It’s Like Riding a Bike – Mentors Matter (faceyourtalent.wordpress.com)
- Since I’m on a roll right now…. (dontquestionfate.wordpress.com)