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!
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...
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!