Thinking ahead to the empty nest in our near future, my husband and I took up a new hobby: We purchased road bikes and signed up for a three-day charity bike ride.

We asked our teenage daughters if they wanted to ride with us, but they were busy with their friends and jobs. They played field hockey, soccer and softball and they were often tired on the weekends. They said they needed to catch up on their sleep.

Cece Colpitts

Our trek training began in March when it was cold and wet. Every weekend we mounted our bikes while our daughters seemed perfectly fine to be left at home.

In June, the bike trek coincided with Father’s Day. We hoisted our bikes on the bike rack fitted to the top of our car and hugged our daughters. We’d reserved rooms at a resort close to our final destination. The girls would drive up for a mini-family vacation with us after the trek. “See you Sunday,” they chimed.

On the third day, 150 miles later, I climbed the last hill and pedaled around the last turn in the road. What a celebration! The road was lined with people of all ages.

As I crossed the finish line, one man said, “Thank you.” I blinked tears and my heart broadened. The Trek Across Maine made a difference to this one person. Maybe the man said “thank you” to everyone who finished, but he made my day. His two words spoke directly to my aching muscles, my sweat and fatigue. It was worth it.

I parked my bike under a big tent and looked around for my husband and our biking friends. Feeling appreciated and thankful, I looked for our daughters. “Do you suppose they didn’t see us cross the finish line?” I questioned my husband. “We’d better call them,” he said. “I hope they’re all right.”

Yes, they were fine. All aglow and eager to swim and dine, they arrived late in the afternoon. We found out they had been partying with their friends in our home.

As teenagers we’d partied, too, but until our daughters left for college, we weren’t cavalier about leaving our home for the weekend. Now we can laugh.

Read more stories from Maine at www.pressherald.com/meetinghouse

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