Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hell on wheels.

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.

33 comments:

  1. That is a real bike ride! Interesting about the cattle gates and that they trust everyone riding through to obey the sign.

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    1. It is kind of like cmapgrounds - I think the assumption is that people who do things like ride bike trails are not the thug sort.

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  2. hey you were not too far from me...i know those locales in damascus....i love those old trussel bridges....cool trip...and nice tat...ha....

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    1. If I were a tattoo person, that would be a fun one to get.

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  3. A Jimi-themed taco joint, aptly named. That's also quite a contusion also.
    Nice photo's, very bucolic looking area.
    First snowfall is expected tomorrow here, supposedly 6"-12" here in town, more in the mountains.

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    1. I read this and then dreamed that there was snow in the forecast and I woke up thinking that I needed to check and see if school was closed. But no, light rain and high of 70.

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  4. That's actually a pretty cool temporary tattoo. It has a kind of symmetrical appeal and could be considered a social message.

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    1. Isn't it? Be a great tattoo for an avid cyclist.

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    2. And for people who wish they were.

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  5. "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."

    Sounds like you had the PERFECT weather for a bike ride!

    "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."

    Awesome photos. Especially loved the one of the hilly farmland. Stunning capture! Also, I love the photo you got of the Hey Joe's sign!

    "I hope this is also a metaphor."

    Loved that! And I think it is metaphor because the older I get (being 57 years old) the more adventurous I've become. I truly enjoy getting older, because there is a certain fearlessness you acquire.

    You go, girl!

    X



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    1. Thanks! And it's true about getting more fearless in many ways. I think you develop a "well, what have I got too lose?" approach.

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  6. I love your son's expression! And that looks like a fabulous bike ride.

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    1. I think he wasn't pleased that I was aiming my camera at him!

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  7. Great pictures, as always. Very cool for you and your son to have that adventure together.

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    1. I'm thankful he's willing ot spend that kind of time with me.

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  8. Looks like a great adventure and fantastic bonding time too. I also get that same tattoo when I go biking and can't figure out how it happens without my noticing. You've got some impressive bruises and some impressive spirit. Carry on!

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    1. Isn't that funny? I don't remember my leg ever hitting the chain.

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  9. What a wonderful time to share with your son. He's lucky to have you for a mom.

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    1. Well, thank you. I feel equally lucky to have him for a son.

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  10. I bet those fish tacos were good and yes you deserve that beer after your ride; but it looked like a great ride and the time with your son I'm sure was precious!

    betty

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    1. I liked them. My son says he's not crazy about fish tacos but he like seating in restaurants so he was okay with the choice.

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  11. I have never had a fish taco. Wow that is a bruise.

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    1. Hi and welcome. They are worth trying (the fish tacos, not the bruises).

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  12. What a great ride you had. It looks like a fantastic place with so much to see.

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  13. Thanks for taking me along on this bike ride, great pics and quite an impressive length of mileage under your belt through incredible countryside.

    heal!

    XO
    WWW

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    1. You're welcome - nice to have you along! :-)

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  14. after just writing a post about how lazy I was all summer, I get caught up with your strenuous activities!
    but, I had my first fish taco this past week - never heard of them before you started writing about them.

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  15. sounds like a fun day. i can't believe how grown your son looks! as for your personal metaphor, doesn't surprise me a bit. you're a survivor.

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