Biking at the edge of town/ the edge of the world.
Don’t try this at home kids. Action shot!
My baby. Pre-basket and fancy computer thing.
When we moved in this house in April, Jamie gave me the best present ever… a bicycle. My trusty Schwinn and I have traveled all over this town and regularly take trips to the outskirts. Never having gotten my driver’s license, I have always relied on either my feet or others’ kindness for getting to and from. Riding my bike everyday has given me a new sense of independence and freedom. I imagine it is similar to how a 16 year old feels when they first get behind the wheel without an adult in the car. I cruise down the hilly roads of Viroqua, zoom past those on foot, and become intimate with the changing of the seasons.
My bike has given me the confidence to explore corners of town I never would have seen otherwise and to even head out of town to explore the beauty of country roads. The Driftless Region, known for its ridges and valleys is a surprisingly bike friendly place. I have never felt threatened or unsafe while riding on the roads here. I like the attribute this to the high volume of Amish in the area. I think that people are used to being on the look out for slower vehicles and know how to give ample space, etc. With the shorter days I find myself riding in the dark a lot so I picked up some fancy blinky lights from the Halloween clearance section in November and keep my headlamp strapped to my helmet and on high in front on me.
With an uncertain future of oil scarcity or extreme gas prices, it seems smart to me that everyone has a bike. A couple weeks ago I went to an event sponsored by Transition Viroqua where Mike Frank said [something along the lines of] every step we take towards resilience and away from oil dependence is making a transition. I really like that and sometimes reflect upon it while on long solo rides. How are you making transitions? Riding a bike or walking whenever possible is not only healthy but taking an active step towards weaning ourselves from oil dependency. It’s also super fun, low impact on your muscles, and pretty freaking hip as well!
Trying to find a new home is stressful and having to do it quickly is just plain overwhelming. It’s times like these I feel completely and utterly blessed to be in Viroqua. Each time I go into town someone will ask me how the house search is going and offer up suggestions. We haven’t found our new home yet but we at least have a temporary home for the next month or so where we can continue the search. There are a lot of people looking right now and some streets seem to have half the houses for sale but rentals are harder to come by. It’s a buyers market people keep saying and we are in no way ready to buy a house. Last week Jamie and I put up a desperate plea on the town list-serv (yup, the town has a list-serv) saying that we needed immediate housing to continue our house search. Within 24 hours we had been offered rooms in over a dozen strangers’ homes, cabins, or otherwise. The generosity in this town in amazing. As we continue our search, I do so with a renewed positive outlook and faith that everything is going to turn out alright.
Also, just as a fun “I love Viroqua” anecdote… With all the stress lately I have become quite scatterbrained and have been leaving stuff everywhere. The other day, without noticing, I left my coffee mug at the register at the food co-op. That night I got an e-mail from a lovely gal who works there– who I just happen to have a HUGE friend crush on– letting me know it was in the office and that I needn’t cry myself to sleep. It pays to have your e-mail address plastered all over town on looking for rent posters! When I went to retrieve it the next day I was delighted by its cute label. Everyone working immediately knew it was my mug and someone went and got it for me in the office.
Talk about being held by your community! I love it here. I can’t wait til Jamie and I have a house so we can invite people over for tea and cupcakes.
Move out day from the cabin is fast approaching and Jamie and I really need a new place to live! We are looking for house or cabin or really anything decent near or outside of Viroqua. I’d love to be able to bike into town– with the new bike trail that means Westby is also a possibility! We would like to have enough space to grow lots of veggies and raise a couple of chickens. Ideally we would also be able to hold a couple Driftless Folk School classes there but we are not attached to that anymore because we really just need to find a place! Please keep us in mind with ideas of any kind!
Tags: adventure, chickens, community, gardening, help, housesitting, personal projects, photos, rent, viroqua, wisconsin