I pedaled. Sometimes with vigor and energy and sometimes as if I was Jack Tripper on the intro to Three’s Company (Google it Millennials) through more corn and soy bean fields. I pedaled past a pleasant view of Lake Anna as I departed early this morning around 7:30am. About 9:30 I decided to detour to the world’s busiest Hardee’s for a cup of coffee in Louisa, Va. The locals had kind of a cool thing going on here with people of all walks of life just showing up at Hardee’s to socialize. The employees were even in on it. After the loud record scratch and the music stopping playing when I walked in, the place quickly went back to being downright loud. No one on their devices. Just talk of health (irony given the location noted), fishing, work and spouses from what I gathered. There were multiple spouses attending together (not sitting together) but instead sitting separately with their group of friends. A funny little slice of life that I’m grateful for encountering.
I also crossed a bit of a milestone. A meaningless one but one nonetheless. My 1,000th mile. Carysbrook, Va is 1,000 miles from Bar Harbor, Maine. As a reward, my route allowed me to ride 27 miles from there on the world’s busiest logging highway, VA-15. Winner, winner, chicken dinner. This road was home to multiple logging company operations which resulted in sore shoulders and neck muscles for me from the bracing to my little bike that I performed each time one of those trucks raced by. Most of these trucks moved over properly, but the wind coming off those things was still immense. That section was mentally and physically draining. Although I did enjoy the intoxicatingly pleasing smell when the trucks carrying fresh cut wood chips passed little ol’ me.
Someone asked me what do I do with my mind when I’m riding and I’ve been thinking more and more about that question. I meditate on the quiet roads. I pray on the louder ones. I count exhales going up large hills (150 breaths or more is a long pull uphill). I think about Cindy and the kids a lot. I wonder whether doing something this selfish will have a positive outcome on my kids. I believe my Dad’s indirect influence on me was even more resonating later in life than his direct guidance/influence. So hopefully the same holds true with my kids. I think about my parents and whether I am giving them enough support and spending enough quality time now that they are so nearby. I have also spent time thinking about my relationships with my friends. I’m a doer upon request but rarely someone who reaches out to others to make plans. I could probably step out of my comfort zone more here. I also think about communities. I’ve ridden through quite a few and they all have shared qualities. I’m fascinated by the smallest towns having a community center and the various ways those centers get used. The inequities of all cities and towns seems to be also be a shared standard. What if more were done by community members to raise up those who have so little? I wonder how much of this is being done that we rarely see too.
There are many more thoughts. Today’s most frequent wondering was trying to understand what makes people post “No Trespassing” signs all over their property – seen mostly outside of the town limits. Are people just wandering onto their property at such a rate that they just have to put a sign up? Seems odd that the first thing you see when turning into someone’s driveway is a sign basically saying stay out. I bet over 75% of the homes in the countryside of Virginia have these.
Here’s the brief rundown:
What I loved today: The state park shower. The days are certainly warmer than they were last week and a shower after 7-10 hours of biking feels awesome.
Oddity: A beaver on the side of the road near this state park. That dude was large and scared me big time.
Zen Moment: Hardee’s. Who would have thought it?
Not-So-Zen Moment: VA-15 – not for bikes.
Who did I meet today? A Food Lion cart getter who told me a few days back a guy riding from GA to MI came in the store. Richard, the State Park manager at Holliday SP and his beagle Anastasia.
Food I Ate: Nutella, PB, banana wrap, Skratch drink mix, coffee and egg/cheese biscuit at Hardee’s, banana, powerbar and chipotle chickpeas at lunch, fish filet sandwich and an egg/cheese biscuit at McDonalds for lunch #2, apple on the bike, pepperjack cheese and pickle wrap (homemade – I had a craving while in Food Lion), more chickpeas and a scoop of Nutella for dinner. And…now I’m hungry again but alas the food bag is hung.
Pictures: 1) Top – Lake Anna, 2) Flipping the Odometer, 3) Slow moving vehicles sign and 4) Holliday Lake SP.
Here’s hoping for a dry night – it would be the first in a while.