Monday, May 07, 2012

Biking Babes

Between my two spring shows, I squeezed in a little biking retreat. Seven of my girlfriends from Cumberland invited me to join them on the Eastern shore to bike, kayak, laugh, (eat, bike, love).

Kate and Denise had done their homework, doing a reconnaissance mission back in January to plan the trip. They found this fabulous B&B, Whitehaven Hotel right on the Wicomico River in the tiny village of Whitehaven. 

Who wouldn't want to have breakfast in this charming setting?

And what yummy fare there was!
The rooms were large and had super comfy beds.
Val and I had a suite, equipped with a kitchen, although we didn't need it as this was a 'no cooking' getaway.

Our view out the back.
The third floor offered fantastic views from the deck. I loved the detailing of the scallops on the mansard roof.

An ospry nest is right of the pier, complete with a pair of osprey guarding their eggs.

Whitehaven is an historic village dating back to the 1700's. The Whitehaven Ferry runs every day, transporting cars (bikes too!) across the river. It is spitting distance from the inn and was fun to sit on the porch and watch it putt putt across the water. Some of the women arrived a day earlier and got to meet the ferry operator, Billy Bean, who regaled them with stories.

Four of the women arrived a day early and got a few miles of biking in before the 'Tale of the Flats' began. When the rest of us arrived the next day, we got to some serious wine drinking and gift giving. I made 'Bike Slut' pins for everyone, Donna handed out wee little purses, Amy got a flamingo sippy cup for our kayak trip.

Donna was featured on the latest muscle mag.

 Sue got a teeny bikini.

Val received a pair of salt & pepper shakers. (there's back stories behind all the gifts)

Terri was honored with a diva mug. Smiles all around. 

Thursday was a bit drizzly and cold. A kayak trip had been arranged, leaving from a local winery.
My knee had a knot in it that day, so I wasn't going to go an was prepared to just sit, knit and drink fine wine. But I got talked into going and Stan outfitted me with extra large paddling gear.
Donna brought her halo along on the trip. She truly is an angel.
Good times.
This is the view of the manor house, right next to the winery.
With this massive (see me pointing up) outdoor fireplace tower. I would LOVE and outdoor fireplace, but maybe not one this grand.
Apre kayaking, we settled in to some wine tasting.
Nice atmosphere and good wine was a recipe for fun.

Now onto where the fun really begins. On Friday, we awoke to high winds, 20-25 mph with gusts up to 35 mph. Of course it was a headwind or sometimes a crosswind. The trip was divided up into two segments, the shorter morning version (30 miles from Whitehaven to Cambridge) and the longer afternoon session, 40 miles from Cambridge to Easton). We had two cars that two of us had to drive so only 6 of us could ride at a time. The plan was to meet the drivers for lunch in Cambridge, then two other drivers would take the cars to Easton. Great plan.

Since I am so out of shape and my knee was misbehaving, I opted for riding the shorter morning version and driving in the afternoon. Along with the wind, it was really quite chilly, but sunny. A nice day to ride except for that pesky wind. As you know, I HATE wind, growing up in South Dakota (the wind state), where we have 15 words for wind.
At times it was so gusty that I asked Sue if I was moving forward, even though I was pedaling hard. These women are strong riders and I was always the GIB (girl in back). I tried not to slow them down too much and was quite surprised that I could actually do this. Thirty miles, not very far, even in this wind. The only thing that saved me was that it was totally flat. Not a hill in sight. Bliss.  So after many hours and over 30 miles of pedaling into the wind, we stopped for a wee break at a shop and asked how far to Cambridge. Oh about 20 more miles!  OK,  I can do this. Pedal, pedal, pedal through beautiful countryside and into the wind still. The drivers had gotten to Cambridge hours earlier of course, had lunch and rode 10 miles out to meet with us to ride the last 10 miles to Cambridge. So about 52 miles total. What we thought would take us 3 hours, took us 6 hours, due to the extra mileage and the strong headwinds.

We were pretty damn hungry by this point. Only four of us rode on to Easton (Val and Kate, the two morning drivers, and awesome Sue and Amy who biked the entire day). All of us others had knee issues so opted to have a leisurely lunch and to do a tiny bit of window shopping. We all made it to Easton to more wining and dining. I had to leave on Saturday morning to come back to continue getting ready for Maryland Sheep and Wool Fest while the other 7 girls took off for two more days of biking on the Eastern shore. I felt so lucky to be invited to join these women for a couple days of biking and so thankful that me knee would bend enough for me to do thousands of rotations on my pedals. I am so happy when I'm biking and especially happy that I have these women to share this wonderful experience with. Just next time, no wind please!


Diane E said...

You have such a fun life!

Diane E said...

You have such a fun life!