Yesterday was a great day despite the heat – the 44 mile Team in Training ride was sociable and went well, then The Mechanic and I played tourist in the Chesapeake Bay area.
The nice thing about doing group rides is being able to ride with a group. So far, on the TNT rides, I’ve floated between groups, too fast for some, not fast enough for others. Yesterday I found a group to pace with for most of the ride, which was very pleasant. It was nice to be able to chat a bit with my teammates, ask questions about cycling and fundraising, and discover others with a love of Broadway shows. We were very pleased when we discovered that part of our route took us on the Three Notch Trail, so we were off roads. I think we lollygagged a bit on that part. But at the very end I powered up the last big hill, and then just kept going – it felt good to really crank out those last few miles. And I appreciated my teammate who stuck right behind me through that last push.
The route for the Hughesville “Hidden Amish” TNT ride.
The ride had been titled the “Hidden Amish” ride, and I was surprised, not realizing that there would be Amish outside of Pennsylvania. Shows what I know! We passed farmers in a field on a tractor of some kind pulled by horses, saw an Amish boy mowing the lawn with a non-motorized lawnmower (the kind my dad used to have!), and then saw a woman driving her horse and buggy towards us, small girl asleep in her lap. She looked very unconcerned about all the cars and trucks pulling around her. I guess we must look equally unconcerned, as cyclists, with the cars and trucks pulling around us, but she looked much more Zen than we probably do.
The Mechanic and I had planned on spending the day in the area, so we bought a 5 gallon solar shower to rig up behind the van, so I could shower after the ride. I have to say, I was pretty excited by this idea! In fact, I probably jumped in the shower too soon, since I continued to sweat for a long time afterwards. But it felt nice to rinse off and put on a clean, dry dress.
You can just see the solar shower bladder on the roof of the van behind my head.
On our way further south, headed for Calvert Cliffs State Park, we passed a huge farmers’ market, and decided to go back and check it out. I’m so glad we did! It was the most diverse, unusual market I have ever been to. One side was farm stuff – produce, livestock, baked goods, jams and jellies, while the other side was the cheap plastic junk you see at flea markets, with some antique furniture and law mower parts thrown in for good measure. On the flea market side, we agreed that we felt like we were in another country.
Parking at the farmers’ market
But the best part was the bunnies! Some of the farmers were selling bunnies, as well as chickens, chicks, and even puppies (puppies of the smallest, roundest, fluffiest kind I’ve ever seen, soooo cute!). I love bunnies, and can’t wait to have another, but not this weekend. Or any time soon.
We escaped with a loaf of bread and mini fruit pies, leaving the gorgeous produce, the python, the junky stuff, and the furniture behind.
We picnicked at Calvert County State Park before the short 1.8mile trek to the beach. The hike was along side a marshy, swampy area that was full of water lilies of some kind, and dead trees.
The beach was not what I expected at all – the side where the cliffs are was shut down because of land slides, and the rest of it was pretty small, and full of sunburned people clearly unconcerned about the number of jellyfish floating in the surf. We didn’t linger long.
Although we had seen a “no bicycles” sign on the trail when we started, there was a bike rack at the beach, so clearly there are trails somewhere in the park that can be ridden. But it was late, we were so sweaty, and it was just too hot to figure it out. So The Mechanic’s mountain bike and my commuter bike stayed in the van. I did have one last ride before we headed home though – how often do you get to ride a dinosaur?!