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On such a cold winter's day...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

...when I want to pull up the covers and want to stay in bed. A long time.

...when I slog through the slop and slush and pull the collar up against the harshest of winds.

...when the sun is mired by gray, mottled skies and barren trees have curled up and tight-fistedly withhold their life deep within.

It is on such a winter's day when I will reach into the deep, wrinkled recesses of my brain, pull out a flask, push the cork up with my thumb, set it aside and allow this summer day to spill into my senses once again:

The indescribably perfect weather! Mid 80's, sunny, blue-skies...sends a thrill down my spine and gets my legs twitching for action!

The knowing exchange of grins with my cycling buddy...UP for a challenge, excitedly venturing out into unknown territory, even if there WERE two HUGE climbs! We were OFF to the Delaware Co. Fair!

The rolling green hills, lush with LIFE!

The serendipitous meeting up with several other bike club members out enjoying a stretch of cycling in common with our path.

The salty upper lip.

The goose-bumpy thrill of savoring what I knew was a beautiful and unique day which could never quite be replicated.

The banana butt break at the convenience store, DOWNING a cold soda on top of yet more water.

The drenching sweat while stopped and the cooling chill as it dries with the breeze once we start up again on our bikes!

The delicious foot-long turkey sub, split between us and devoured...perfectly hitting our mutual cycling appetite's spot and drenched with LOTS of iced tea!

The black-eyed Susans, marigolds and other flowers planted around some homes, breaking up the gorgeous variations of rolling green and random lavender patches.

The struggle of the uphill climbs and even the one walk when I strayed too far into the gravel on the shoulder and could no longer manage to stay upright. Joining my cycling buddy who had already been walking due to the limitations of climbing posed by her steadfast, but old 10-speed bike and enjoying our hike to the peak. Smiling, chatting, not a shred of what I've referred to in the past as "the walk of shame."

A large bumble bee bonking off my sunglasses as I streaked down a hill, surprising us both.

The lazy Susquehanna river winding and twisting along, following us for much of the ride.

Pedaling alongside a doe and her fawn, startling it into a gallop wondering what this two-wheeled behemoth was doing moving almost as fast as she when she LEAPS across my path nearly crossing the entire road in a single bound! My cycling buddy was ever-so-pleased I was in the lead as she is positive she would have freaked and warped us all into one big road-kill!

Getting lost and *almost* loving it...! (A street / road sign had been twisted causing us to go straight instead of turn.) With the help of passers-by not straying TOO far off-course and finding our way into Walton.

No flats, falls, mishaps of any kind!

And although this was a trip to the Delaware County Fair, the fair was...meh, an afterthought. It was the stupendous one-way ride TO the fair that made this a day to savor for years to come...!

Yes, bottling this for the coldest, most unpleasant days of winter, when I've hit my nadir. This will be the cure for what ails me...!

Today's ride wasn't the longest of rides, 54 miles, but it was one of the steepest, with over 3,000 feet of climb! AND it was done after a 7-day hiatus from cycling as I had a return of the piriformis syndrome, causing me earlier in the week to hobble my way through my lawn-mowing duties, thinking horrible thoughts and fears that I had developed some crippling arthritis in my hip that was going to limit my cycling journeys!

Then after a day or two it dawned on me: this had happened to me before! Piriformis! Stretches! I needed to double up on and revive some of the old stretches I'd done before to correct the problem. My massage therapist sister would smack me upside the head if she knew: DOH!

So after a week of minimal cardio, MAXIMUM stretching and keeping up with my upper body ST I returned to the road, unsure of my capabilities.

Piriformis? Piri-POOF! I'm baa-aack! :-)

Here's the GPS of today's ride:
bringing my 2011 total up to 1290 miles.

Sending out wishes for everyone to have summer days of your own to savor. Bottle it! Cork it! The days are shortening ever-so-quickly! Make 2011 will a vintage, full-bodied year for yourselves!


Member Comments About This Blog Post:
MYLADY4 9/16/2011 9:24PM

    Oh, I am so jealous. Just got a new road bike and so would love to go on a really long ride like that. Next year. 150 mile trip is my new goal.

When I am in my basement in the middle of winter on my stationary bike, I sometimes close my eyes and image that I am on my bike, riding on the beautiful trail beside the gently flowing river.

When it is -30 degrees out, I will think of your blog and think of things to come.



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VHALKYRIE 9/16/2011 8:13PM

    You are so making me miss my bike! Thanks for letting me ride along with you!


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2BMYOWN 9/11/2011 12:16PM

    I am so behind on your blogs! This one was absolutely lovely, with the visuals and the descriptions. Keep on kickin' butt, Iron Man!

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CINNAMONJOY 8/24/2011 11:11PM

    That was lovely! I hope we have a lovely long fall for your rides - It's so gorgeous here in the fall.
I'll take pictures of the Susquehanna in the winter - I plan to morph my hiking shoes into snowshoes.
emoticon emoticon

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VALERIEMAHA 8/24/2011 10:06AM

    Truly inspired and inspiring Don!

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JOYATLAST 8/23/2011 5:37PM

    Loved it! I like the idea of storing winter heart warmers. It gjves todays sweat purpose. I'm glad you're back in the saddle. Great ride. Thanks for a little summer magic.

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SKINNYPOWELL1 8/22/2011 9:27AM

    Loved your blog - Great descriptive writing, almost felt like I was there - and I would have really liked to have been there. Going to have to make some last minute summer time memories to bottle up for the winter for myself, great idea.

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SASSYCHRIS1952 8/22/2011 9:24AM

    I love these pictures! Thanks for sharing emoticon

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EAGLES_WINGS 8/22/2011 7:36AM

    Very well written with many picturesque visions. I envy you to be able to bike like that. However, thank you for sharing your journey. I love the Walton fair. And good news for me, I got out walking yesterday! Woohoo! Thanks, Don and take care! Happy riding and enjoy the budding of Fall, another beautiful season! Hugs.

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UROPA40 8/22/2011 5:53AM

    Try to think about the best of all the seasons while running but admit that the next 2 months are always my favorite time to run. Glad you had such a great ride. Suzy

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SASSYBLONDE69 8/21/2011 9:14PM

    I can see it in my mind - beautiful! I have a lot of those "vintages" stored away. The first strawberry of the year, first tomato, first ride on my new bike (even after dog and I had a misunderstanding causing a fall)... GATHER ye rosebuds while ye may... indeed!

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THEWINNER33 8/21/2011 8:52PM

    So very, very beautiful. Hugs, Marcia

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MARTY728 8/21/2011 8:39PM


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MS_SWEETHEART 8/21/2011 7:36PM

    Absolutely BEAUTIFUL! emoticon

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BAM-MA 8/21/2011 6:26PM

    Great Post, as always! Thanks for taking us along for the ride!

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DORIS32 8/21/2011 3:22PM


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REDSHOES2011 8/21/2011 3:17PM

    great read Don!

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CANBDONE 8/21/2011 3:17PM

    Thanks for the spin!

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MRDPOLING 8/21/2011 3:11PM

    super good blog today! Ride well Rider!

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FRECKS96 8/21/2011 12:31PM

    Love this! Congrats on a wonderful ride!

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ELYMWX 8/21/2011 11:08AM

    Great blog!

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RAINBOWFALLS 8/21/2011 11:05AM

    Fantastic description! I felt like I was there!

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L*I*T*A* 8/21/2011 10:01AM

    emoticon emoticon

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NIKANN7493 8/21/2011 9:48AM

    Wonderful blog! Yesterday was a wonderful day for a ride! Beautiful skies! Bright sun! Perfect temps! Love the pictures and the story! I really like reading your blogs, I feel like i am right there!

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BRTRAINS 8/21/2011 9:45AM

    Great Blog!! Thanks...

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DINGALLSTOO 8/21/2011 9:32AM

    exactly why I love NYS! We do have some of the prettiest days. Great blog Don

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WATERMELLEN 8/21/2011 9:26AM

    What a wonderful blog! So glad that it wasn't arthritis and it's all gone . . .YAY!

And: love the idea of "bottling" summer for slow release over the winter . . . It's something I often consciously remind myself about on the golf course, along the lines of "This is what I daydream about in February!" When you think about burning logs in the fireplace in wintertime from trees which flourished in the summer sun . . . or I suppose buring coal/oil/gas all of which energy sources also came from the sun . . . there is a deep psychological truth here. Yeah!

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LADYGWEN25 8/21/2011 9:22AM

    wow.. I felt i was riding right there with you Don! gonna have to do that before the leaves fall off the trees. :)

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FERRETLOVER1 8/21/2011 7:33AM

    How could you tease me like that with your title? A cold winter's day really sounds good to me right about now - I've had enough of hot summer weather.

Then I read your blog and...aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!!! emoticon emoticon

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BECKY3774 8/21/2011 7:21AM

    Your day and your ride sound amazing! Good for you for getting out there and enjoying it emoticon

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BD3269PM 8/21/2011 7:15AM

    Loved your post. Thank you for sharing your summer day. I am not looking forward to the winter months but will try and keep these beautiful summer days in my mind emoticon

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ZELLAZM 8/21/2011 6:51AM

    Super post, would be nice to be able to bottle up these near-perfect days and uncork them mid-March or so.

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TAMIK1964 8/21/2011 6:30AM

    Love this perspective and your attitude. Glad you were able to get back out there!

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JLITT62 8/21/2011 6:20AM

    Sounds . . .


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SKYFROG 8/21/2011 5:30AM


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