My Other Bike


Those of you who have visited before know that I spend what little free time I have on my motorcycle.  Before I bought that bike, though, I used to ride this bike.  Sadly, the bicycle has been neglected these past ten years.  Until last year, I would only get on the bike for the Ride of Silence.  After last year’s ROS, I made a commitment to ride more often, and I kept that commitment until winter, riding at least 20 miles weekly.  That’s not much for serious cyclists, but it was good for me.

Every year, my community hosts the Wilderness Road Ride, and cyclists can choose the 29, 38, 58, or 79 mile route.  I’ve ridden in the WWR a few times since it’s inception 26 yrs ago, but it had been many, many years since I’d participated.

 Three weeks ago, I challenged myself to ride the 38 mile route even though my training has been non existent.  I decided that I would go alone so as not to have to keep up with anyone, to take my time, and to shoot photos for a blog post.  As expected, I saw many people who had better gear and were in much better shape, but I was determined!

After just a couple miles, I stopped at the memorial garden in our local park where there are several monuments, one dedicated to each of the wars where men and women have served and lost their lives.

Then I continued on down The Riverway, our city’s bikeway / walkway.

Soon enough, I was out on main roads, and thankful for a respite from a week of rain and flooding.

This was a long steady climb (at least for me)

which led to roads with this expansive view.

The route took us over Interstate 81, where flags are always placed in preparation for Rolling Thunder, an annual motorcycle ride to DC.  The ride to the nation’s capital is held to honor POW and MIA service members and thousands of  bikers participate.

I hit the 20 mile mark around this time, and these very friendly women glided on by with no effort.

That’s okay though, I kept my spirits up knowing that the rest stop was just a few miles ahead.  The scenary just kept getting prettier, 

and these two probably wondered why I didn’t keep riding on by like everyone else.

FINALLY! At 22 miles, a rest stop! I was able to refill my water bottle, eat my PB on pita, and take a short breather.

I have to confess that while I was having no problem on the flats, the hills were proving to be a bit challenging.  Despite my “I can do it” attitude, my lack of training was showing.

I stopped to take this image, and the two farmers standing near by said “you didn’t really want to take that photo, you just needed a break”.  I laughed and told them not to tell anyone as they were partially right!  They also offered to put my bike in the back of a truck and take me home, but I declined and kept on riding.   It’s a great image, though, right?

I didn’t stop too much after that, deciding that my energy needed to be focused on getting back to the truck.  Then I saw one of my favorite signs, and had to stop for a picture.

At about the 34 mile mark, the clouds started moving in and the breeze picked up.

BUT it NEVER rained, and I finished the 37 mile ride.

Did you notice that I said 37 miles vs 38 miles?  I had to bypass one big, big climb, but all in all, I was really proud of the accomplishment.

#shepersisted took on a whole new meaning today 🙂

39 thoughts on “My Other Bike

  1. Ha, yes I did notice the discrepancy – and I thought you were even more amazing for the honesty 🙂 Walking up hills still gives me bother and I confess to avoiding them where I can (which considering where I live is pretty skillful of me 🙂 ) Kudos for doing a 37 mile bike ride, without much if any preparation and for still being able to hold the camera steady and take these lovely shots – the best one for me is the one where the farmers kidded you about stopping for a rest – What is that tower in the background? And the sign – FABULOUS!! Everyone should adopt that signage!! And here’s the real question – the one that reveals just how persistent you were, could you walk the next day? Or did your muscles just flat out turn to jelly at the thought of making any movement? #MyShero ❤

    • Hi Pauline. I’m not surprised that you picked up on the 37 vs 38. You are so observant!
      The tower in the back is a grain bin (or it could be a silo, not sure). Check out this link and let me know which one you think it is.
      http://www.ilfbpartners.com/farm/the-difference-between-grain-bins-and-silos/
      I feel very good today! Just a hint of soreness … at least at the moment.
      Isn’t that sign wonderful? They started popping up after 45 was elected and all the devastating things he is done. Ugh!!

      • Well that little link clarified it. It’s definitely a silo-bin! 😀 You are impressively fit my dear! And I love those signs – I would love to see them proliferating greatly right now!

  2. I couldn’t even imagine riding my bike 37 miles Laurie I give you a lot of credit. I probably top out at about 12 miles, LOL. I love all the great images you took along the way 😀

    • Thanks, Jim! I’m going to try to stay on the bicycle more this summer so I can do a longer ride with friends in the fall.
      Have you seen one of those signs? I’ve seen them around Virginia and they make me glad to know how many are resisting the policies of 45.

  3. Way to go, lady! Kc also sends his congratulations. Unfortunately, he is off bicycling and running and is limited to “normal” around the house movement at least for a month more….

  4. Laurie, you know how much I love your post, right? Congrats on finishing that long ride and thanks for sharing so many gorgeous photos. I especially love the second flag photo. Would you mind if I used it as the header photo on my Facebook page?

    I have not been on the bike as much as I want. It’s been raining too much here and the mornings have been too cool to ride to work. We had a beautiful day on Saturday, but then I was busy with family. Maybe this coming week, the weather will improved.

    • I’d love to have you use it, Mary. Honored, in fact!
      We got lucky with that one sunny day. It’s been raining non-stop here, too. Hoping you get a break and see the sun!

  5. What a great post, Laurie. Congrats on getting back on (the other) bike! I love your storytelling and your images– a delightful combination.
    I stopped riding my road bike a few years ago and am itching to get back to it. I loved doing those rambles. Thanks for the motivation.

    • Jane, rambling was the only way I was going to manage that 37 miles sans training 🙂
      It was fun and I am ready to try to find time to do more.
      Let me know if you get back on the bike!

  6. Good for you! What an accomplishment and what a great job of documenting the beauty of the route you took. My mom and I did a bike tour of the Netherlands a number of years ago and I learned that biking is the perfect way to see a country. I need to go put air in my bike tires . . .

  7. Love, love, love this post!! 🙂
    … and I love the “She Persisted” bumper sticker! You’ve proven – again – that so much can be accomplished with determination.
    I think stopping to take photos is sometimes the best part of riding 😉
    Congratulations and kudos for doing it!

  8. I love the image of you pedaling and swearing, determination as your guide. Well done! I can feel that special burn on the top of my thighs (muscle memory?) as you pumped your way up those hills. Well done, Laura. You have much to be proud of. Your photos always tell an interesting story. I’m glad you got your first bike out for a spin. What an amazing day.

    • In addition to the thighs, it was my arms! My road bike requires leaning over and my arms were really feeling it (plus the camera weight after 37 miles).
      Now the challenge is to continue the ride!

  9. I’m thoroughly impressed! Haven’t been on a bike in more than 30 years and not allowed anymore. I tip over walking so on a bike I’m a hazard but would NEVER, EVER be able to do 37/38 miles. I know you didn’t fly the last mile so if you walked it, you still win in my book. Those are some wonderful photos. Cows always get top billing for me. Not sure why I love them so much. The mailbox is next. I can hear those swear words and would probably echo them louder if I were on the ride. 🙂 She persisted is a sign I would love to earn. You should be proud! You are an inspiration and I shall be thinking of you on my 1.5 m.walk in the morning which leaves me huffing and puffing all the way up the hill. By the end of the summer, I plan to make it without stopping and huffing and puffing. Somehow you make me want to add another . 5 to that walk. ;/ Groan.

  10. Laurie, good for you in challenging yourself and hanging in there, like the sticker says. Looks like the day stayed pretty nice for you. Clouds near the end might have been appreciated by anyone who was getting overheated. And your photo of the men resting turned out great, even though the farmers saw through your ploy. I definitely appreciate all the photo time when I’m backpacking – for the same reason! Even your bike looked a little happier there at the end, after some attention. My fave photo this time: the bike and the silo. But I just LOVE that yard sign. I wonder if my neighbors could bear it if I put one like that in my own yard?

Because Boomdee dared me: Lay a little sugar on me :-)

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