Friday, July 25, 2014

7/25/2014 Creeper Trail Bike Ride

(Damascus, VA)

The ten of us, plus nieces, Katie from San Antonio and Rachella from New Jersey who are here for the family picnic, met in town at the bike rental place at 9:45 this morning.  We had the most perfect day for this ride.  If we custom ordered the weather it would be exactly what we had!
We set right to work getting everyone fitted for a bike.

Son, Tim, tweaking the fit on his bike.

It took a little bit of time for everyone to get fitted, after all, we weren’t the only one’s there going on the ride.

Brandi, below, had reservations about making this trip from the get-go but we all assured her it was a downhill ride and would be a piece of cake.  If we could read her mind here I’m sure we would hear her saying, “What hell am I doing here???”

Rachella and Katie getting signed in.

Shannon, waiting for the shuttle and bike trailer to load.

I knew the road we had to travel to get to the area where we would start our ride.  I knew that it was twisty and winding and that I had to be in the front seat of the van or I’d be sick.  I secured that seat for myself with the driver in no time flat.

Our group was spread out between the three vans  going to White Top Station.

Once we got up there Jasmine decided she didn’t want to go.

For a little while she was not  a happy camper!

We finally got her settled on her tag-along bike.

We had all circled the parking lot several times and it was time to hit the first of our 17 mile ride.

(Shannon, Brandi and Briana)
The first half mile was on flat ground and I’m thinking to myself that this downhill part better start really, really fast!
We were told to be sure to check out the building which was at the beginning of the ride and I can tell you I was glad to stop even if we had only gone 150 feet.  After checking everything out the last thing  I asked the lady behind the counter was, “How long till we hit that downhill part???”  She assured me that right after the stop sign, which I could see from the step, would start our downhill journey.
Within minutes we were sailing down the path and yes, it was a gentle downhill ride.  For the first five miles or so.
The scenery was outstanding!
Our next stop was Green Cove.  We’re about 8 miles into our ride at this point.

This building was a stop for the trains that used to travel this trail.

Son, Jonathan, waiting under the apple tree for everyone to catch up.
Bob wondering why he ever thought it was a good idea to bite into an apple off this tree.
Our granddaughter, Briana, keeping a watchful eye to make sure no more apples fall from the tree while she’s under it.

Jasmine showing us the little green worm she found.  This child loves bugs!

Back on the trail, Tim and grandson Derek.
A tree farm we passed.

Sometimes the trees were dense and made the path dark.


We finally hit the 9 mile mark and we were all glad to take a break to get something to eat and drink.  We stopped at Taylor’s Cove where you can eat their world famous chocolate cake.  I’ve been hearing about this cake from our campers every weekend and I, for one, could not wait to try it.

Most of our crew had a meal with hamburgers, hot dogs, chili dogs, BBQ and chocolate cake.  Well, let me tell you, the cake was good.  That’s as far as I can go with a rating.  It was good, no better than one I make.
Brandi just found out we’re only at mile mark nine.  She’s not a happy camper.



Jasmine turned into quite the little trail rider.  She even called out, “Passing on the left” when Jon overtook another biker.


We stopped on a wooden bridge to check out the water.  Jasmine was thrilled with the fish we saw and the snake too.

The rest of the ride was uneventful for most.  Brandi took off like a bat outta hell because she just wanted to get to the end.  She wanted this to be over with!

Derek, Katie and Rachella were miles ahead of us.  Jon and Jasmine made out just fine and the last time they passed me she yelled, “Grandmom, this is like flying!”

Tim, Shannon, Briana and Bob all pedaled to their hearts content.  Some stopping to take pictures along the way and some just pedaling to watch the miles disappear under their tires.

Now every group has to have one who brings up the rear.  Guess who that was?  Yeah, yeah, it was me.  Speaking of rears, my rear end HURT!  I don’t care if I got that extra padded seat, I was hurting!  I got off at times and walked the bike but now looking back I see where that was a mistake.  I’ll also admit I was tired.  Biting off a seventeen mile trek was a bit more than I could chew comfortably.

That last mile was a killer!  People were passing me like crazy as I walked my bike.  I just couldn’t sit on that rock hard seat any longer.  Well, I hit the three quarter of a mile to go mark and a shuttle van pulled over on the road.  It seems that one of the ladies I had talked to briefly as she passed me recognized me from the van ride and when she returned to the rental place told them I was out there and struggling.   I was never so glad to see that shuttle. 

So I made it 16 1/4 miles of the 17 mile Creeper Trail.  I’ll take it!

The girls and I went to the store after we got back to our vehicles.   I had a whole list made out of everything I had to get and darn if I didn’t leave it at home.  I thought I could remember a good portion of it.

When we got home the girls and I had a lot of food to prepare for the family picnic we are having tomorrow.  It’s a good thing everyone ate at the cafĂ© because no food would be coming out of my kitchen tonight.

This was an absolutely wonderful day all things considered….one sore butt!  Actually there were several sore butts by the time we got home.

It was a great day with the kids, we loved spending time with every one of them.  It was so incredibly special having our boys and their families here doing something so fun, for the most part, for most of us.

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