On Thursday, two days after my spill, I went to walk a few miles at the lake to make sure I'd be ready for the Saturday bike trip I had promised my younger son. Sore knees or not, I planned to go.
And go we did, renting bikes and taking the shuttle up to Whitetop Station to ride the 34 mile Virginia Creeper Trail.
The first half of the trail is downhill most of the way, so you are coasting and braking much of the time. I was glad I was putting the wear and tear on the rental bike and not my own! It's a beautiful stretch, along an old converted railroad track through the mountains.
Later you enter hilly farmland, and pass barns and hayfields.
We could not have asked for more perfect weather. A slight chill in the morning, but warming up to sunny and breezy all day long.
At the half-way point in Damascus, Virginia, we stopped to grab some fish tacos at a place I'd spotted during our shuttle ride up. We left our bikes in the rack outside, and got both their classic catfish tacos and grilled salmon tacos.
I snapped this photo of my son giving me a serious look, because the contrast between him and Jimi Hendrix made me laugh.
Back on the trail we passed into flatter land, where we actually had to peddle. We passed over 47 trestles and bridges over the course of the ride. This was my favorite.
In several places you had to go through gates. Many could be pushed open with the front wheel of your bike, but the cattle crossings were a little trickier to maneuver through. You can see through it the beginning of a loose gravel path where some construction is underway. It included a steep downhill slope and then a difficult uphill, where there was no choice but to get off your bike and slog through.
I was glad when we got past that and could be back on our bikes again.
The final part of the trail was back through shady woods and then into Abingdon.
I earned this beer! We ate an early dinner at a nice little restaurant in town that seemed used to serving grubby people carrying bike helmets.
My surprise temporary tattoo. When I looked at it, I had a little revelation about myself. Who knew that at 50 I'd become the sort of person who could take a really hard fall and then overlook the ache to follow another adventure? I hope this is also a metaphor.