Bicycling and kayaking have a lot in common. They allow you to cover distance at a human-scale pace, enabling you to actually see and even engage with what you encounter on your journey from here to there. Many serious sea kayakers we know are former (or current) bicyclists. Both sports require a similar delight in repetitive motion and resilience to boredom.
A few days ago, we pedaled our bikes on the Illinois Prairie Path, a local rails-to-trails path. As you bike along this 61-mile path, you pass through small downtown business districts, past parks and gardens, over bridges and along rivers. You see kids on trikes and riders far more serious than you are on bikes. You pedal past walkers and joggers of all ages. It's a magnet for people who need a quick dose of nature and some exercise.
Along with Sharon's siblings, we've planted two trees along this path in honor of their parents on their 75th birthdays. Those are some of the best gifts we've ever given, and we suspect among the best gifts they've received.