July 29, 2013

Day 11: Summer 2013 Drive N Bike — Seattle (Day 1)

Yes, you can leave the island!

Seattle 072813 (4)I am not normally directionally challenged.  My family will attest at my remarkable ability to find my way without a map, leveraging only my instinctive skills to safely arrive at the defined destination.  Even my youngest son, Brandon, once exclaimed, “Dad do you have a map in your head?”

With my navigational prowess as background, it becomes a funnier story when, in the middle of my first bike ride on Bainbridge Island (Seattle), I had to admit I was ridiculously lost.  I had completely lost my sense of direction.  Worse, I drove off the island without giving this act a second thought.

Now I know how Gilligan must have felt.  What started out as a 32 mile bike ride — a simple loop around the island — turned into a 42 mile adventure.

Now for the rest of the story and my tips to help others avoid losing their way:

Always trust your instincts.  When I got to a point where I wasn’t certain where to go, I decided against my first instincts and took the other path.  It took at least an hour for me to realize the enormity of the mistake; but, I overrode my gut and took the wrong road.

Never lose your sense of direction.  Going around an island can be a wonderful experience until one confuses north with south. When that occurs, all kinds of trouble ensues.  I thought I was headed south, when in fact, I had started heading north.  Nothing better than heading full force in the opposite direction.

Remember what an island is! Taking a bridge over a very large body of water is likely a clear indicator that you may be leaving the island you are on.  It is even more likely that this is an indicator that you are leaving the island if crossing a bridge was not on the original route.  Despite this obvious flag, I proceeded on my journey as if everything would work out.  After all, I am the master of direction with a map in my head.

When you feel like you are going in circles — ask for help! Unfortunately, it took me an hour to decide I was lost.  Fortunately, I was willing to ask for help when it was obvious I was in trouble. When I asked a couple of fellow cyclists the best way back to the ferry — an sensible, popular island landmark — they looked at me with a very puzzled look.  With that, I knew I was in trouble.  When I called my nephew and asked him for help, the enormity of my problem was clear — “Uncle Dave you have left the island!”  With that news, my phone died.  As if it couldn’t get any worse.

It was official.  I was lost.  I was not on the island.  And, I needed to find someone who could guide me home.

Fortunately, I found a fellow cyclist who, when asked “Do you know the way to Bainbridge?” he exclaimed “Yes, I do” and proceeded to guide me back to the infamous bridge that returned me to the island.  Whew!

I signed up for adventure on this trip.  Little did I expect so much on a simple bike ride.  Despite all the excitement, it was a great workout, a scenic ride, and a fun story.  Tomorrow I will tackle the island again – this time paying closer attention to my instincts, bridges, and any other warning signs that may derail or detour me.



About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.