300 Miles for a Beer


The text came in on Friday: Meet Saturday morning, 10:30am for the first long ride of the season.

Well, it would be the first long ride for me, anyway.  Lots of travel, civic events, and weather have kept me off the bike for other than short trips, and I was determined to devote at least one day of the weekend to riding.

It was a beautiful day for the bike, and our destination was Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company in Lexington, Va.  We rode through multiple counties and across several mountain passes.  Lots of curves and twisties which made for fun riding.  We didn’t stop for photo opportunities along the way, so I’m sharing this photo from a similar ride in 2011.

I was able to pull out the camera at the brewery, though.

I crawled underneath the tower to capture this one.

And a friend took these as I climbed part way up the tower.  I was nervous about going further, not because of the height but because I didn’t want to get fussed at.

Devil’s Backbone Brewery has 2 locations and the one in Lexington is called the Outpost. According to the website, the Outpost “houses our custom built brewery featuring a 120bbl Rolec Brewing system, SBC bottling and canning lines and Tap Room” (I have no idea what those brewery terms mean).  “You can belly up to the bar in the Tap Room for a pint or sampler flight seven days a week”

“or bring some of your favorite local food and have a picnic in our bier garden out back”.

It was a great day on the bike AND I got to wear my new Women’s March hoodie.  Yep! I’m a feminist bike chick and proud of it.

300 miles later, I was home in time to watch my Gonzaga Bulldogs win their Elite Eight match up with West Virginia, which sent them to their first Final Four in school history!

The riding season has officially begun.

It’s also March Madness and this basketball loving biker is happy.

Happiness

What is it about sunflowers that make us happy?

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My sister and I spent a few hours in downtown Roanoke this past Saturday while waiting on my motorcycle to get it’s 10,000 mile check.

Breakfast. Exploring the Farmers Market.  Just being silly.

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In addition to all that goodness, I found out that it was the Voltage Regulator that was draining my bike battery. Problem Solved!

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It was a beautiful ride home!  Next time I’ll bring the camera!

Cycling the Riverway

If you’ve followed along over the past (almost) four years, you know that I am devoted to my motorcycle.  Some of my favorite moments are spent exploring the countryside on my HD Softail Slim.

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What you may not know is that before I fell in love with my motorized bike, I was a regular cyclist.  No, not one of those athletes that you see riding the roads in their colorful jerseys, but I’d ride 10 – 12 miles in the mornings before work, and would take an 18- 20 mile ride almost every weekend.

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Sadly, over the past 7-8 yrs, I’ve averaged just 8 miles per year as an organizer of, and participant in, the Ride of Silence.

The motorcycle definitely rules my heart!

In my determination to rekindle my love with the bicycle, and to get in better shape, I was up and out early yesterday, cycling The Riverway (all images were captured with my cell phone).

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The Riverway is Radford’s bikeway / walkway system.  18 years ago, a group of citizens worked to secure federal and state grant funding, which when matched by Radford’s local government, led to the development of our wonderful bikeway.  As a founding member of Pathways for Radford, it is still a thrill for me to ride on the Riverway, and to see what the City of Radford, and the Citizens of Radford accomplished together!

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One of our fundraising efforts was the brick Pathways Plaza.  Several of my family members are remembered in brick, including my paternal grandparents.

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Benches, situated along The Riverway, also provided fundraising opportunities.

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The bikeway / walkway runs right along the New River, and is a favorite place for walkers, runners, cyclists, and dogs walking their humans.

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The Riverway runs right under Main Street through this tunnel.  The approach to the Tunnel on either end is preceeded by a climb, so  the tunnel provides a chance to catch a breath!

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While I am just getting back on the bicycle, it already feels great, and I am committed to improving my health by riding at least once weekly.  I figure if I get up early enough, I’ll find time to ride both bikes each weekend 🙂

Promises, Promises

The promise that sunshine and summer will arrive: Done

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The promise of a short but oh so sweet 75 mile motorcycle ride to soak in that sun, and this view: Done!

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The promise of getting back on the bicycle and completing 22 miles (after not having ridden more than 8 in years): Done!

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The promise of a meaningful Memorial Day Service: Done!

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The promise to visit all of you: Unfulfilled … Yet!

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The Fullness of May is over, and it’s time to play catch up!  I promise 🙂

February Ride

Sixty Degrees on Feb 28th.  Guess where I was?

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For at least a few hours, I was able to ride, to breathe, to smile, and to soothe my spirit,

Then I parked the bike and wandered along the train tracks,

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visited an old historic school building,

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and had a little fun shooting some interesting architecture.

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After a quick stop at the local Pizza House, which I’ve written about before, it was time to head home for the day.

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Hope you were able to spend some time this weekend doing something that brings you joy.

Thunder Ridge

The Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP) is a 469 mile drive that connects the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, and I’ve ridden every one of those miles on the bike.  In fact, I took my first solo ride on the BRP, celebrating my 50th Birthday, 4 years, and 2 cameras, ago. You can read about that ride here and here if you’d like.

Even though I’ve ridden on the BRP many times, I still see something new with each visit.

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 Yesterday’s 230 mile ride, part of which was on the BRP, included a stop at Thunder Ridge, at Milepost 75.

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A very short hike reveals a view of the Allegheny Mountains and Arnold’s Valley, elevation 3485 ft.

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The view made me think of a blanket made of mountains.

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We stood there admiring this incredible view, feeling the sun on our faces while the wind blew with gusto, and then took the trail back to the bikes.

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What an incredible gift it is to live right near the Blue Ridge Parkway.

“Celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2010, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a product of the New Deal’s efforts to provide jobs to the unemployed of the Great Depression. Construction began in September 1935 at Cumberland Knob near the North Carolina and Virginia state line.

The idea was to create a link between the Shenandoah National Park to the edge of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Completed in 1983, the Parkway’s history has been highlighted by documentarian Ken Burns in the six-part “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea” series originally aired on PBS”.

These Boots …

…represent so much of me.

Please checkout our new blog Monochromia.  If you love B&W images, this is the blog for you!

Monochromia

LaurieFour (1 of 1)
… were made for fighting wildland fires, and I wore them while battling the flames in Idaho over 30 years ago.  Now, they serve to protect me while riding the bike.  They’re just boots.  Worn, scarred, dusty, and bearing remnants of fire retardant still … but they are precious to me.

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