It’s About the Journey

CHARLES TOWN, WV

Day 3 of Bike Virginia and I didn’t know what the day would hold. And that was part of the fun. I had seen my friend, Vince Amodeo, and had texted my friend, John Dockins, but had not yet seen him.

Tents at the Middle School
Flowing Springs Rd in the background

I rolled out and over to the Bike Virginia campus. I thought I’d meet my cousin, Kay Walborn, but she wasn’t out and on the road yet when I rolled out. So I took off by myself.

Riders turning off Flowing Springs Road

On the road I teamed up with some riders and ended up having a slow day – truly enjoying the journey, as I like to say. The first rest stop, after a harrowing ride on U.S. 11 going to Williamsport, Maryland, was at the Williamsport United Methodist Church. Most rest stops had the same water and Gatorade, fruit and snacks. I suspect Bike Virginia buys the food and the rest stop simply provides the space and volunteers.

Outside the church they had a “blessing of the bikes.” I skipped it since I had already been hit. Inside the church they served noodle soup, fried potatoes, and hot donuts, in addition to the normal fare. Bike Virginia also sponsored a contest for best rest area and this one got my vote. Extra points for not subjecting us to live bluegrass music too.*

Part of the journey was swimming in the Potomac River, although my participation was limited to wading. I didn’t want a squishy butt full of river water in my shorts.

But a number of people did.

Some of these roads were new to me and some weren’t. But most were new to the riders around me and they loved the road in Antietam National Battlefield. Perfect asphalt and no traffic. Nice.

We rode through the park then stopped for a photo op.

Antietam Battlefield

Actually, I was waiting for the all clear sign so that I could absolutely bomb the descent. I put my gear in the big ring and pedaled hard and got in my tuck. It felt like 50 mph. I looked down and my Garmin was — off.

Oh well. I will have to come back on my own and try that one again. The road is perfect – smooth pavement, no traffic, straight as an arrow down then rises on the other side. No turns.

After lunch in Sharpsburg, those cyclists “in the know” went back to Nutters for ice cream. It was an excellent way to finish.

At the end of the day I turned a planned 57-mile ride into a 73-mile ride but didn’t feel like stretching it beyond that.

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*EPILOGUE – This rest stop did win best rest stop award. Noodle soup, hot fried potatoes, and freshly cooked donuts in addition to the blessing of the bikes. Wonderful job!

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