Monday, August 4, 2008

Morning Ride

It's somewhat ironic that I love riding because I'm not all that much of an outdoors kind of person. The joy of a walk through the woods is entirely lost on me and I'm more likely to complain about the effort or the bugs as I am to have any kind of a good time while traipsing through fallen pine needles. I surprised even myself this morning when I was pulling away from the house and decided to take one of the longer roads out of the valley to head to Ricketts Glen - a state park the enjoyment of which requires an expense of energy far beyond my willingness to exert myself. There are some falls there, back deep in the woods, and they might be gorgeous but I'm not about to go slipping and sliding through the forest to see them. I remember trudging through part of the onerous walk there years ago with a church summer camp and I don't remember the falls at all - only that horrible hike back in from the road through a dark and dank setting that looked like something out of a Harry Potter movie.

On the bright side I stopped at a country store that sits in the middle of a fork in the road which I'd been meaning to see the inside of for many years. I'd driven past it all my life while out joy riding on Sundays with the family or going to Williamsport to check out colleges with the kids, but in spite of its homey and inviting look I'd never gotten out of the car to snoop around it on the inside. It's kind of what I'd expected it to be - a hodge podge of a little bit of everything. I grabbed a hoagie (sub, hero, grider, etc. depending on where you're from) and a bottle of Dr. Pepper and headed back out onto the road.

My scooter seemed more at home beside a pasture of grazing horses than it does in a typical parking lot full of cars and SUVs. If only scooters could graze and didn't need to be gassed up!

I'd been hoping that Swisher's Country Store, about 13 miles beyond Ricketts Glen would be open. They have the best sharp cheese cut in wedges from a huge wheel and I wanted to get a big hunk to take out of town with me when I venture out to visit a friend for the weekend, but alas! They only seem to be open whenever they feel like being there and a quick call saved me from adding 26 futile miles to my 60 mile round trip.

This was one of those rides I could never have taken if I'd still been riding the 50cc bike. A good portion of the route is posted 55 MPH and there are as many hills as there are flat sections. I did take it slowly and at a luxurious pace for some stretches when there was nobody behind me chomping at the bit to go faster and a few times I pulled over for the speed demons to pass me so I might savor the inimitable aroma of cow flops wafting to my nose from the surrounding fields.

I'm going to post this and then take a nap. I'm very much going to miss the freedom of taking rides like today's when school starts in three weeks and most of my scooter rides will come in the form of commuting.

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