Was I ever happy to be able to bike with my girlfriends this past weekend. My stupid knee had been in its unbendable state for a month (well I could maybe bend it but you would have heard me screaming in pain!). It miraculously got better a couple days before the trip. I met 8 Cumberland girlfriends for a weekend of biking, drinking, eating, shopping in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. I brought both my mountain bike and road bike because I thought if I couldn't bike with the girls, I could hop on the CO Canal and do an
easy ride alone.
The view above is from Rumsey's Monument, an overlook in town, looking down on the Potomac River.
Kate and Terry planned this trip, making reservations for the Inn and at various restaurants, planning the entire 125 mile route and making sure all the little details were attended to.
Because it poured rain on Friday, we cancelled the 25 mile ride and instead went shopping in the stores downtown. One shop had a cute bike out front filled with flowers.
We acted silly in front of this darling small house, a tiny replica of a stone house.
We took a walk down to the river...
saw pretty gardens...
and had good times eating at local restaurants.
And don't forget about the margaritas and wine! Shandy here is sampling the margarita for us. She went everywhere with us, having a fun time with the rest of us. She got as tipsy as we did.
But these girls have get up and go! Even though we ate, drank, and danced till midnight, they were up and ready to go to breakfast by 7:00, biking by about 8:30. No time for headaches!
The route was a century ride that was held 2 weeks ago, making a figure 8 with Shepherdstown in the middle. So our ride was 50 miles on Saturday, 50 on Sunday, both beginning and ending in Shepherdstown. It was mostly on rural backroads, passing farms, barns, and 1800's houses.
Sue stopped to watch the family of cattle, Ma, Pa and the two younguns.
We took many breaks, which I was thankful for. This group of women is in awesome shape. Some did a triathlon a week ago and some are doing the Gran Fondo Masochistic Metric ride in Garrett County (a brutal 62 mile ride with 8000 feet elevation gain!) in a couple weeks. They have been training for months now and could ride like the wind. I, on the other hand, have ridden my bike about 5 times in the last few months with an elevation gain of about 50'. Not by choice though. But, I was able to ride with them for the first 30 miles on Saturday, which I was quite proud of. My quad on my 'stupid knee' leg has atrophied so I have no power in that leg. Yay for my right leg!
At one point, Denise put her open hand on my back and 'pushed' me up the hill. We had our bikes side by side and I heard her whispering, "Come on Dalis! Come on Dalis!"
I tell ya...these girls are supportive!
We tried to keep it under 35 mph!
We stopped at this old clothing mill in Westernport. Part of it is an antique store but I was enthralled by the rest of the building.
It was huge! It must have been such a thriving business in its day. It would make awesome condos or a great art center.
Passing through Westernport, we came upon this small town event, the soapbox derby races.
There were dozens of these cars that the boys and girls had built. They started at the top of the hill on main street and rode down about a block and a half to the bottom. A truck with a trailer would pick up the cars at the bottom and bring them back up.
We talked to a few of the parents and everyone was having such a great time. Good to see that this still goes on.
I was lucky enough to have my friend, Judy, pick me up when I thought I had had enough. Really, I could have ridden all day, but my knee would have been very mad at me and I really wanted to ride on Sunday, so thought I should take it easy. Judy lives about a half hour away from where I ended, so she hopped in her SUV and rescued me. We went to her house for a couple hours where she fed me crab bisque soup and we sat out in her yard catching up while listening to the birds sing. It was a beautiful day and I was just one big smile. We passed under this railroad bridge and I snapped a pic looking up through her sun roof.
On Sunday I rode about 9 miles out and Kate said her knee was hurting so we both turned back then. We got back to Shepherdstown and drove her car to catch up with the other girls for lunch. Perfect timing. I said goodbye to everyone, hugs all around, and headed back home. I was content and happy, thanking my lucky stars that I have friendships like this and the time to spend with girlfriends and doing the thing I love best, biking. I was even happier when I spotted a yard sale and scored 3 fine chairs and an end table. A nice touch on a wonderful weekend.