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Saturday, August 9, 2008

V5: Downhill All the Way!

Let me remind you that Rick is the one in the family who bikes. My relationship with the bike ranges from great discomfort to semi-loathing.

After trying to readjust my attitude, I decided to name my bike, thinking that if I could make friends with the bike, we might enjoy more time together.

I dallied with the name Osama. But naming your “friend” after a despicable bad guy didn’t seem like getting off on the right foot.

So, I chose “Levi” after Levi Leipheimer, one of last year’s Tour winners and the creator of the Let Levi Ride website, after which Rick modeled his Let Rick Ride site.
So, when I learned we were going to do an 18-mile bike ride on a mountain (I also have a dicey fear of heights), I was, shall we say, apprehensive.

Fear and loathing. But you don’t conquer till you try.

So, Friday morning we drove to Damascus, VA, to ride the Creeper Trail. This is an 18-mile trail that is (fortunately!) downhill all the way!

We suited up at a bike shop.

It was there that I found the bike of my dreams. Truly. Big tall handlebars that didn’t hurt my back! My physical therapist and back doc would have been thrilled!
A van took us to the top of Whitetop Mountain, where we hit the road.
We were a most happy band! Skip and Kathy looked great.
Even Rick (whom we worried might think it a sissy trail) was having fun!)
It was unbelievably amazing – gorgeous scenery everywhere you looked.

We went from the woods...

... often beside a river that ran alongside much of the path.

Areas with gorgeous pastoral vistas seemed around every corner.

We even encountered groups taking the trail by horseback (and fortunately learned not to ride in the horse droppings, which can come back at you from the rear wheel!)

Lots of fun spots to stop along the way.

I especially liked the general store at Green Cove. It reminded me of my friend Jane's personal packaging collection!

But I wasn't so thrilled with the snake, although he was seemingly harmless, sunning himself on the bridge.
We ate sandwiches and shakes at a little diner on the trail.
Then mounted again for more scenery.

I was especially enamored of these yellow butterflies First one...

Then two...

And then three! They were posing!

It was more fun than I could have ever imagined in all the world! And I felt as though I had conquered a bit of my height issues because the grade down was so very gentle, I was pretty shocked when we looked up the mountain from about halfway down and I realized I'd come from there!

I loved this photo of Rick and his dad.

And Kathy looked great!

We simply could not have done anything that was more fun. And I learned things, too -- like braking only with the rear hand brake (this, I was taught) and keeping your mouth closed while riding (this I learned!).

After, we went to Boone, where we heard an outdoor concert at Jones House, the community center.

That was followed by dinner at the Mellow Mushroom.

Rick and I had the Magical Mystery Tour pizza with feta, spinach, portabello, mozzarella, pesto and button mushrooms.

It was great fun to watch the cooks, though this is a lousy photo.

Even the bathrooms were cleverly titled!

Home to bed. It was a long, wonderful day!

Next time: Another mountain to climb!

(Remember, anyone commenting on any of the posts marked “V” (This is “V5”) might be chosen to receive my vacation souvenir packet with items from West Virginia, Myrtle Beach, and Banner Elk, North Carolina!)

It includes small shells picked up by me on Myrtle Beach (not pictured), rustic color pencils, some playing cards from the beach, some mini-flipflops that y ou can use as an ornament or embellishment, a packet of folk-art notecards, a lovely quilt card and of course the obligatory souvenir postcards!

10 comments:

Quiltmoose - Dagmar said...

Like you I never habe been an ardent biker (in fact I hate biking ;-)). But apparently you had a lot of fun. I would have enjoyed the pizza part, though...
Great pics as always!

karlascottage.typepad.com said...

Looks like biking gave you a rosey glow! Isn't Boone a lovely place to visit? Part of my husband's family used to live there, I always loved to visit.

JessInFocus said...

I used to bike all the time when my family would go camping, but I never thought of naming my bike. I do have something funny to tell you though. I have that bike helmet. yup it is a purple and black Bell just like yours. How funny is that?

Looks like you had a wonderful time on your back ride. I makes me want to oil up my bike chain and go. I love the picture of you with your bike.

Joanne Huffman said...

Your photos of the bike trail are enticing (not enticing enough to make me want to bike, though), You really do take great pictures. What a great visual journal you have of this trip!

Joanne

Artsy said...

You look very "official" in your bike helmet. Gosh..If we had scenery so pretty, I'd be on my bike daily. Lucky you. We just have the flat old prairie.

Herzblatt said...

My dear
it took me some hours watching all the lovely pictures and reading your texts.....great.....I love biking down or straight.....I hate biking up the mountains, even a hill is terrible.....where I live the countryside is very hilly and steep...but I see you had a lovely joyful trip.....and I am very happy that you close your mouth while riding....*lol*....I don`t like breaking only with the rear hand break....but I think it is only a habit.
Thanks for all the marvellous pictures....when we will come one day to see you I want to go by horse the mountain up and by bike down....*lol*....and then 3 pizzas for the horse, 4 for me and 5 for Eggi, my husband.
Iris

Beth said...

I would have loved to been on that bike ride, espiecally downhill all the way. I want a bike to ride in the neighborhood but would much rather have been on your beautiful ride!!! Wonderful pictures, you are a great photographer!!!
xoxooxoxoxoxoxoxooxo

jet1960 said...

You are very adventurous! Don't know if my bottom would hold up to 18 miles on a bike anymore! You take some great pictures and share them in such a way that I can get a taste of what fun you had. Makes me wish I had been there, well, for the pizza part anyway!

robin-bird said...

oh i really liked this post because i could just get right with you on the enthusiasm and thrill of the day. the riding made easy/fun, the scenery which is gorgeous and who couldn't enjoy a downhill 18 mile ride. i could pretend i was a id aging because it seem so easy compared to UP HILL!
i could really feel your happy energy jeanie

Rosa said...

Look at you go! I bet your butt was sore the next day. So proud of you. Everything looks so good (except that snake, of course). We have a mellow mushroom here and I've never gone. That pizza looks soo good right about now (dinner time).

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