I’ve Got The Music In Me

Being “the baby” in a family of 7 siblings, spanning 14 years, I grew up surrounded by music. Pretty much any song from the 60s & 70s connects to a family memory. Tonight it was a song from a bit later, Marc Cohn’s Walkin’ In Memphis. When I hear Marc Cohn, I think of riding with my brother John in his car, with him playing Silver Thunderbird. “Don’t you give me no Buick …”

One of my proudest moments as a father was when I was riding my youngest son and The Grass Roots’ Heaven Knows came on. This was a sibling favorite that always puts a smile on my face from the first note. But this time was extra special, because my son was singing along … every single lyric. I had to pull to the shoulder so that I could text my siblings a “clearly I raised my son right …” text.

Mental Teleportation … to get to Mom | Ride | Strava

There is a time for many words …

… and there is also a time for sleep.

This was a common theme in my recent visits with my siblings who I hadn’t seen in over a year and a half. There was so much to catch up on, that we commonly were all sitting around talking until we started falling asleep in our chairs and couches.

It is soooo good to sit together and just talk until we drop.

PA: Walkin’ with sis and co. | Hike | Strava
NC: 2 brothers, 2 sisters, and a lot of trail | Walk | Strava
SC: Cruising Charleston | Hike | Strava
OR: Full Crew, Full On, Falls and Beyond | Hike | Strava

Road (Rarely Really) Closed

On a bike, “Road Closed” means “Traffic-Free Thru Road for Bikes”.

Rarely does it really mean closed.

So proceed with caution … and prepare for some adventure:

Be creative … and ride on:

This one looks like a pretty legit closed. But it turns out there was a path on the other side under the intact support.
Three mile detour averted. Car-free road enjoyed.

Perseverance | Ride | Strava

“Road Closed” sometimes means … “Road Gone”:

This Road Closed exploration ended at the Ram pickup truck in front of the track hoe, where the kind southern gentleman stated, “Ain’t no bridge.”

VT to OBX, Day 2: Freight Train | Ride | Strava

Play the Pause

“One love. We get to share it. Leaves you, baby, if you don’t care for it.”
“One life, you got to do what you should.”

– “One”, U2

When I head out on a solo ride, I put the buds in and queue up a good playlist. But as I start off, I pause the playlist to listen to the bike to make sure everything is good.

This morning was my first ride on a fixie in about a year. I had forgotten how quiet of a ride that is. No freewheel purr. No rattle anywhere. All you hear is the rubber on the pavement.

I was a good five miles down the road before I realized the playlist was still paused.

KISS | Ride | Strava

Distance Makes The Riders Grow Fonder

The riders I meet five miles outside of town are not the same riders I meet fifty miles outside of town. Five miles out, we wave and exchange hellos. Fifty miles out, one rider turns around to join the other.

I wrote this in 2012. In 2014, it actually happened. It was day three of my ride from Richmond to Virginia Tech (RIC to VT, day 3 | Ride | Strava), riding along the Blue Ridge Parkway. I passed another cyclist also carrying panniers and we waved and nodded, but kept pedaling past. I kept kicking myself for not turning around. Ten miles later, a pannier-less rider approached. We waved and he turned around, saying, “Looks like your in for a long haul.” He rode along with me for several miles and we exchanged stories. Eventually he said he had to get home. We said our goodbyes and he turned and rode off. It was a wonderful meeting, and it made me regret it even more that I hadn’t done the same for the earlier rider.

I was given a second chance on my 2019 East Coast retreat. It was day two of my ride from Charlotte, NC to Harrisburg, PA (NC to PA, Day 2: Greensboro, NC to Lynchburg, VA | Ride | Strava), about 80miles into a 120mile ride. On an open road cutting farmland, a biker approached. We waved and then I turned around, asking, “You want some company for a bit?” He said “sure” and we rode along for a short bit. Then he said, “with your bags, you clearly need to be somewhere, so how about we turn around and head your way?” I happily obliged. As I told him about my planned route for getting into Lynchburg, he gave me several pro-tips about the roads ahead. Several miles later, he turned back to head in his original direction.

In both cases, after the ride I went to Strava Flybys to find them so I could reach out and thank them for the conversation. Unfortunately, in both cases, I came up empty.

If I turned to join a fellow rider five miles outside of town, I’m sure it would be deemed creepy. Fifty miles out, it felt natural.

Looking forward to more run-ins with “out there” riders.

Game Face

A black cat crosses my path and I’m like, “Really? That’s all you’ve got?”

That’s a scribble that I came across that I haven’t been able to match up to the ride it was from. That’s because, with year-round riding comes the necessity to ride through some pretty unkind weather. So there are many rides to choose from. Here are two potential fits: That Which Does Not Kill Us… | Ride | Strava and Must Ride | Ride | Strava.

Audubon A-hole?

(Hey John, if you don’t know the answer to this, can you relay this question to your parents who I’m sure will?)

I’m pedaling down the Snoqualmie Valley Trail early on a Sunday morning. It’s beautiful. It’s remote. It’s quiet. Up ahead, I see several people just off of either side of trail, cameras in hand, looking out away from the trail and up at the trees.

I pedal by with greetings and cheer and volume. They are all turning to me to respond (a rapid run-up of my “Wave Streak”), in many cases with equal cheer.

Another quarter mile down the trail, it occurs to me I don’t know the etiquette here. Is bird watching like fishing where you want quiet and calm? Oh no, I think I was an a-hole!