It Is About the Destination Sometimes

A visitor to my blog might wonder where the name Life on the Bike came from considering that I haven’t written much about riding lately.  Between the campaign and starting a new business, my 2015 time on the bike was limited.

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2016 will be different! And in fact it already is.

Last weekend, I took at 500 mile ride to Virginia’s capital city of Richmond to have a reunion with friends.  It’s about 250 miles to get there and for efficiency in time, I took the interstate.  Bikers can often be heard to say “it’s the journey, not the destination” and sometimes that is true.  Every now and then though, time is of the essence, and the interstate is the way to go.  I was just glad to be on the bike.  It was a beautiful day and I was a happy woman.

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A quick stop on Afton Mountain, Virginia’s main passage across the Blue Ridge, offered a break for water, a handful of almonds, and a beautiful view.   Meanwhile, my roommates from Old Dominion University were waiting on me, so I was off and riding again in no time.

I met Jan and Angie 38 years ago, and we have maintained contact in one form or another ever since.  Isn’t it amazing how friendships can endure the test of time?

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Soon enough, we were sitting on the porch of this lovely Richmond home, reveling in the fact that even though it had been many years since all three of us had been together, we were completely at home with one another.

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It was a very late night, filled with lots of talk, laughter, and wine and I was glad that we didn’t have to do any driving (or riding).

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While opportunities for photography were limited, this curved brick wall caught my eye.

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The next morning, we enjoyed a delicious, homemade brunch,

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and of course, made time for pictures!

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Back roads carried me home to Radford, and while I didn’t have much time to stop for photography, something about this salt and pepper shaker made me bring out the camera.  You know me!

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So, sometimes it is about the destination, happily so.

Lookin’ For Adventure

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If you need me this weekend, just head out on the highway.

Hope the next few days offer you the chance to do something that brings you joy.

Monochromia: Riding the Storm Out

My contribution to Monochromia this week.

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The Roanoke Sound

This was the sky that met me as I left the beach on the bike a couple weeks ago.  Even though the rain threatened (and eventually soaked me), I could not resist stopping to take the shot.

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So many things at the beach are camera worthy, and let me tell you, I sure do have a lot of  photos to work through!

The water!  The sunsets! The wildlife!

and yes, the signage!

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No Pets, No Fires, No Parking

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So many places you can’t go …

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and things you can’t do.

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Don’t litter,

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pick up after your furry friends,

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and be sure to call 473-5252 if your vehicle is gone.

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But you know what?  It’s all worth it!

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More photos from Nags Head soon!

 

Nags Head, NC

This woman is on vacation!  Woop Woop!!

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The 420 mile ride to Nags Head, NC included

*wonderful views and roads,

*a downpour that thankfully lasted only 15 minutes,

* riding in the dark with my way illuminated by lightning (which also illuminated the “Bear Crossing” signs –  I SO want to see a bear!),

and as always, a cold beer at the end of the ride.

I wish I was better able to express myself with words so that you would understand what it felt like to ride across the Intracoastal Waterway in the dark, to smell the water, and to see the lights in the distance, but not see the water.  To see the huge orange moon and not be able to stop and capture it with my camera.  To know that somehow I had to share the glory of that ride in words instead of photographs.

You’ll just have to trust me.

Pittsburgh: Rivers and Bridges

Venice is known as the City of Bridges, but Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania actually has more.  Three more in fact, for a total of 446!

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Ruth and I planned our trip to Pittsburgh with a primary goal of watching a football game, but we had plenty of other fun things planned as well (see the posts about Fallingwater and the drive through southwestern Maryland and western Pennslvania).  We spent most of Friday exploring the city, walking over bridges, and soaking up the history, architecture, and culture of Pittsburgh.  Over 6 miles, and too many photos to count later, we felt we’d gotten a real taste of the city.

Many of you have posted photos of locks of love on bridges from around the world, and it appears that Pittsburgh is getting into the act, too.

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Some of the bridges in this river city have pedestrian walkways which join a riverwalk. The Three Rivers Heritage Trail evolved from five separate trails and today comprises several unique sections over 37 miles.

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The confluence of the Allegheny River and the Monongahela River is at Pittsburgh’s 36 acre Point State Park.  It is there that they form the Ohio River.  As we walked along the riverwalk, we passed a vibrant collection of runners, walkers, cyclists, and dogwalkers.

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Expansive views of the city can be found from many vantage points, including the Monongahela and Dequesne Inclines (more on these in the next post).

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Three of the 446 bridges are known as The Three Sisters.  Similarly built self-anchored suspension bridges that span the Allegheny River, the bridges have been given formal names to honor important Pittsburgh residents:  Roberto Clemente, Andy Warhol, and Rachel Carson.

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We walked over 2 of the 3.

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We were never at the right vantage point to catch a photo of the 3 Sisters in one view, so I downloaded this one so you could see how beautiful they are.

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The melding of the historic and the modern are everywhere.

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What a fabulous city!

Next post:  Pittsburgh – Buildings and Architecture

Fallingwater

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Continuing our ride through western Maryland and into southwestern Pennsylvania (see On the Road), we reached Fallingwater in Mill Run, PA with a few minutes to spare before our 10am tour.

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Fallingwater, “one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most widely acclaimed works, was designed in 1935 for the family of Pittsburgh department store owner Edgar Kaufmann Sr”. (comments taken from Fallingwater literature).

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Wright designed and built the house to rise above the waterfall rather than face it.  Fallingwater “exemplifies Wright’s concept of organic architecture: the harmonious union of art and nature”_MG_9080

Constructed between 1936 and 1939, the home was made of sandstone quarried on the property and was built by local artisans.  The stone serves to separate reinforced concrete trays that were cantilevered over the stream.

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Our guided tour (no indoor photography allowed) lasted about an hour and while a bit rushed, was fascinating.  We enjoyed hearing about Wright’s architectural themes, the extensive process involved in making this masterpiece, and the occasional design disagreements he had with the Kaufmanns.  New York Times architecture critic Paul Goldberger called Fallingwater Wright’s “most sublime integration of man and nature”.

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Fallingwater was the weekend home of the Kaufmann family from 1937 until 1963 when Edgar Kauffmann, Jr entrusted the house, it’s contents and grounds to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.  The home was opened to the pubic in 1964 and over 5 million people have toured the home since that time.

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After our tour we walked the trail to the Visitors Center, Museum Store, and Cafe.

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We enjoyed lunch in the environmentally friendly cafe with food that was healthy and locally sourced.  Reusable dishes and utencils! Recycling! and a relaxing view.

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If you are anywhere near this National Historic Landmark, I urge you to go.  Definitely a highlight to our trip.

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Next Stop:  Pittsburgh!