Despite a dry September, the foliage in October popped with color.
When they are not emptying the trash or barking at squirrels outside the window, these two are a source of much joy and love.
October came and went in a blur. I did enjoy many opportunities to combine cycling and photography! October weather varied greatly.
On Facebook a friend challenged me to post a B&W photo from my life for 7 days. These are the result.
For my younger son, each summer should include a camping trip. For me, each summer should include a bike overnight with my family and a camping trip. By bending the concept of camping, I attempted to combine both around busy schedules before school started. We recruited a family friend who has accompanied us on many bike adventures and departed our house riding our bikes.
After 6 miles, we stopped for an early “lunch” at an ice cream store before continuing down the Capital Crescent trail to Fletcher’s Boathouse. At the boathouse, we picked up the C&O Canal towpath and biked north. http://bikewashington.org/canal/canal_b.php
The D.C. area has experienced a great deal of much needed rain this summer, so I was apprehensive about the condition of the canal towpath. The National Park Service has the towpath in great shape, at least miles 3-19 that we rode. The boys took periodic breaks at a few of the locks and looked for turtles and other wildlife.
Home for the night was Lockhouse 22. The C&O Canal Trust preserves a few of the remaining Lockhouses and rents them out on a nightly basis: http://www.canaltrust.org/programs/canal-quarters/ Most have neither electricity nor indoor plumbing. There was a picnic table and fire ring behind the house to eat and cook on respectively. A stream flowed next to the cabin and into the Potomac River about 100 yards away. The day had dawned overcast and humid. As we rode, a cold front passed by bringing cooler and drier conditions. The evening was lovely with a hint of Fall in the air. After hotdogs, baked beans, and s’mores we fell asleep to the sounds of the stream.
Overall it was a great s24o adventure. My youngest son said the primitive Lockhouse with a campfire was pretty close to tent camping. It also spared us from carrying tents. To save us from retracing our route, my wife picked us and our bikes up in the morning. One realization for me was that the “boys” are now 17, 16, and 14. They ride faster and harder than they used to. And, I ride more leisurely than I used to. While my stamina in the saddle is still better, I was pushing it to keep up with them over the 27 miles! Here is an image of our route with mileage.
So my birthday was last week. It was not a milestone number divisible by 5, yet, as I mature, I celebrate each year as an accomplishment and a gift more than I did when younger. My family knows I like bike riding and spending time with them, so they gifted me a family ride. As we were vacationing in Cape Cod, we drove our bikes down to one of the parking areas along the Old Colony Trail.
My younger son rides a Rivendell inspired hybrid from the mid 1990s that I had powdercoated to his specifications. I even found black albatross bars through Blue Lug.
Careful viewers of my photos might notice the lack of a front fender on my Rivendell Romulus. It cracked during the car ride to the Cape. I saw it in my side mirror vibrating in the wind. When we arrived, I noticed the damage.
All-in-all a great day, which was followed by a great week at the beach.
For the second year in a row, my wife, a friend, and I rode the the Firefighter50 near Westminster, MD. We chose the 35 mile route. We arrived Sunday at the fire station, unloaded the bikes, registered, and were riding before 7am. We wanted to finish before the heat set in. The morning was cool and damp. Fog hung in some of the valleys as the country roads meanered passed farmhouses and fields. I rode my Rivendell Romulus which I converted to a 650b. It superbly handled the rolling hills.
By mid-morning the sun burned through the low layer of clouds and fog. This is a lovely area in Maryland to ride and a well-organized event supporting a worthwhile cause. After the ride everyone is treated to a delicious lunch buffet prepared by family and friends of the volunteer firefighters. It’s a real community event! The make your own ice cream sundae bar was my favorite! Next year we will try riding “The Dirty 30”-the 30 mile dirt road route. Promises to be equally fun!
A few more photos from the morning: