Yesterday I took bebe Nina out for a spin in her Burley trailer which I am already in love with as it turns into a stroller in seconds. As much as I need to organize and fight in the current political storm, I need to pedal and write because the news is driving me crazy. Biking on the the Santa Ana River Trail – free of traffic and full of salty vagabonds, this is the very path where Cherry and I set off the first day of our 2 year rides to Ushuaia. I even spotted two cyclists tucked into wild camp spots. img_7859

As I pedaled, babbling bundle of joy in tow, Cherry is en route to ride Cuba with her husband who she met when both of their bike paths crossed in Argentina. In Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador…always the same question took priority- “solteras? tienes hijos?” We laughed to the wind at the thought of being saddled with marriage and kids. No matter how far we cycled, it seemed so important to others (as I pushed age 37) that we obtain those two life achievements which we had little interest in.

So true that “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans” and after a lifetime of not wanting to have children my trip completely changed the way I perceived family and home. I always believed kids would be the death of my freedom when in reality it has already gotten me out in nature on a consistent basis while teaching me to  appreciate the simple things in the wild and to see my surroundings with even more curiosity.

Breathing some life back into this blog, I’ll be sharing some kid friendly adventures in southern California and adding some South America links and info for any other cyclists looking to ride the treasure trove of routes down there.

After my last post I went back to Peru, rode more mountains and began to build a life there. I was working as a translator on tours in the Peruvian Amazon close to the borders of Brazil and Colombia- covered in mosquito bites, amidst the Zika outbreak, aaand pregnant. So back to the States I went. It was definitely strange to be back in the US but I eased into life in the Carolina woods and enjoyed being close to relatives again, my amazing Aunts.

I cycled daily with a bun in the oven, sometimes up to 40 miles until a week before Ninasisa was born. I found biking to be a tremendous relief to get weight off my feet. Any expecting Moms looking for a very upright and comfortable bike – the Townie is perfect.

Costa Rica- 7 months into my trip.                                         7 months pregnant.
Ninasisa rockin & rollin 

I am aiming to finish my book before Nina can walk; though time has a way of rushing by and slowing down at record speeds when it comes to kids. I’ll get my stories out into the world soon, either way. At the moment, I type one handed as she plays with a globe on the floor. Of course she has no idea what any of it means, I am looking forward to making sure that she sees some of what is on that globe. She is finding her voice- screaming, actually- with no volume control yet and her excitement is expressed in unbridled shouts. In many ways, I want her to express herself as loud as she feels.

There is still so much fear and misunderstanding in the US of other countries, walls being built and being knocked down. What I keep pushing myself to do, to teach my little girl is to get out there -walk, bike, get to know your neighbor and learn from experience, not from media that is intended to cloud our instinct.

Oh baby baby it’s a wild world
But just remember there’s a lot of good and those who care

10 thoughts on “Co-Pilot

  1. Leah, I absolutely love reading your words. You continue to inspire me and bring my 38 year old butt hope to still travel, have a famiky and enjoy the sinple things along the way. Thank you, I love you for ever.


  2. I agree with my sister, Leah, your words inspire me. I love to read your words and share your amazing experiences! Nina’s so lucky to have you as a mommy! Someone to show her the beauty of this world. To be in the moment, where real living takes place. Please keep sharing! The world needs more beautiful beings like you! Love you Leah


  3. Beautiful!! I love this post. Thank you for sharing all these thoughts and the new adventures with your co-pilot. What a wild world this is…and so many magical things happen without us planning or desiring them…


    1. Thank you for the photo I posted. What an honor to see you at both those moments. Que locura la vida. I just know we will cross paths all throughout our lives!


  4. There’s something about cycle touring’s constant exposure to new people, casual pace, and walls-and-windows-free context that is, I think, a perfect antidote to the isolation and political ranting at electronic shadows that so many people have spent so much time doing lately.

    Three cheers for being part of the solution!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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