Ride Like A Girl Cycling

Learn ~ Laugh ~ Love it!

Idaho Day 6: Daybreak Drama Inspires Haiku


When three hundred people embark on a seven-day bicycle tour, it is not surprising when they face some form of drama. Potential issues can arise from equipment failure, not eating enough or dehydration, relational tensions, extreme weather conditions, or the dreaded bicycle accident. Day 6, on the other hand, presented a threat that none of us could have imagined.

Though we bedded down for the night under clear, windless skies, I awoke to sudden gusts whipping the walls of our tent. My husband, Michael, slumbered under a steady snore. It was  4:45 AM; I had thirty more dreamy minutes before our morning cycling preparations commenced. Ignoring the trembling tent, I snuggled further into my feathery cocoon, but I couldn’t fully rest with lingering concerns of our friends’ canopy outside. It had served as our shady oasis beneath the sunny 100-degree days and by night it kept the morning dew off our bikes; but would it withstand this startling windstorm?


John and Susan’s canopy protected us from the blistering sun.


Soon I heard John and Susan moving about; Ahh, they are taking care of it, I thought.  I didn’t know the first thing about taking down giant square umbrellas so it was easy to justify my inaction.

Four, five, … ten minutes passed and they were still rustling about. Something must be wrong; I thought, so I stepped outside to find them holding down a wrangled aluminum structure. “The canopy got caught by the wind …”, Susan’s wide-eyes revealed that they had battled a frightful force. “It flew up in the air and I grabbed one leg; it was flying over your tent!”

One of the legs had bent under the opposing forces of this determined couple, who grounded the tent in-flight, forcefully folded its unruly tentacles and prevented a potential piercing of friends and neighboring tents.

Fiery sky following the wind and thumderstorms. Mangled canopy lies beneath.

Our activities director had been inviting our tour group to write a Haiku about our experiences; she would post them in camp for others to enjoy. Haiku is a short form of Japanese poetry, consisting of three phrases with 5, 7 and 5 syllables, respectively. I had felt completely uninspired by this idea – until now. Before I left camp that day, I had the first phrase written and the final two before I biked to the first rest stop. It goes like this:

Canopy airborne

Sues’s grip stopped sleeper spearings

Jens’ bike days roll on. 

John and Susan each crafted one as well.

Wind fury grab tight

Blow whip blow scary morning

At last peace returns.  

– Susan Keys

Storm rise is sudden

Shelter torques, bends now to junk

Next camp the sun bakes. 

– John Keys

Michael, being of Taiwanese descent, scribed a Chinese poem which is composed of four phrases of five words each. English translation follows.




Canopy attracts big wind

Single handed pulled it down

However leg is broken

But save my good friend Jen. 

Have you ever written a Haiku? Would you like to share it with us? Please post it using the comment section.

Author: Carolyn @ RideLikeAGirlPortland.com

I am an avid cyclist, passionate about training and encouraging other women to discover the joys of cycling. I believe that if women have a learning environment that feels safe, is fun and includes the support of other women, they will naturally Learn, Laugh and Love it!

4 thoughts on “Idaho Day 6: Daybreak Drama Inspires Haiku

  1. Day Six Perfect Storm
    Desperately Seeks Susan
    and John — “Save our kids!”

  2. Haiku by grateful parents

  3. Love how you describe the “canopy episode” and the beautiful haiku and Taiwanese version. Thank you for sharing! Maura (BRNW Activities Spoke)

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