Emerging from hibernation

It’s been a very long 18 months. We are finally LIVING in West Virginia. As of 2/15/14, my husband is retired and I’m working just a day or two a week.

After 9 long months of pretending like he’s working on our house, we finally gave the contractor the boot. That’s a story we don’t want o delve into, so let’s just say that we are putting in a few hours daily, renovating the house and trying to bring it up to some sort of livable standard. We cycled to day. It’s the 3rd day in a week that I’ve gotten to do so. Though the trail is still covered with ice and snow, I can get in a few miles before I have to head home again.

Being on the road, in the car for 7-9 hours each weekend was harder on my joints than all my cycling has ever been. My knees are so happy to be back in action :)

We had a great week entertaining a few young ladies from Memphis for spring break. To do that, we had to push hard to get the bedrooms sheetrocked and painted and had to get outlets and covers in place. We had thought to have a shower in place, but instead there were 5 ladies in this house for 6 days and only one HUMONGOUS bathtub. There was a line for the facilities, but everyone left happy, having gotten to run daily, take long, peaceful walks, and laugh around the campfire. I’m so thankful for the unseasonably warm weather most of this week.

Well, I hope to be posting more about our idyllic life here on the Greenbrier River Trail this spring. Here is something upcoming in April that might interest some of you:

Great Greenbrier River Race

From what I’ve seen, it’s competitive in a relaxed way and everyone seems to be smiling throughout the race. We hope to be hosting some folks on our property this year.

Gotta go for now. Go make your own breeze and remember; if you’re not having fun, you’re in the wrong gear.

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Moving Day

We have packed the trucks and are making our first of 4 major moves tomorrow. We will be taking some furniture, but many, many boxes and more hardwood for the contractor and some other beautiful things we’ve acquired for the house. Between now and 2/15, we’ll make 4 trips (hopefully that will be sufficient) moving our furniture and belongings to our WV home. John will have retired and I have a feeling that I won’t be far behind.

There is still a good deal to be done to the house, but we are able to stay in the bedrooms, bath in our 6′X4′ tub and cook in the microwave in the upstairs hallway ;) It’s like being newlyweds again. The downstairs has a lot to do. The contractor is still discovering rotted wood and apparently the floor joists upstairs in the old section need to be replaced. I still need power to the studio, the library needs to be “finished” and the downstairs bathroom needs to be done…… Well, that was the state of things last weekend. I’m very excited to see what’s new this week.

The thing I most want is the last thing we hope to have done, and it’s the most “expendable”, so I may not get it if we run short of $. I want a porch put on the full length of the front of the house, to replace the little postage stamp porch that we have. We had hoped to have the house done by now, but things don’t always go as planned.

Sorry not to have massive news about cycling, but our move and renovation (7+hours travel round trip) have taken precedence. Soon enough, we will be living and breathing cycling. Hopefully, you are making great choices about cycling in frigid weather. Be safe.

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New cycling partner

Haha, well maybe not for a while. My first grandchild was born on Thursday. What joy :D


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The Dirty Bean Burns

On Nov. 10, in Marlinton, WV, a fire gutted and burned a block of downtown’s historic section. This fire took with it the beloved bike and coffee shop, the Dirty Bean. Touring and recreational cyclists frequented
“The Bean” for coffee, local gossip, good food and parts and repairs for their cycles. In addition to the bike shop, a variety store, empty store, corner spa and the residences of 7 people were destroyed or otherwise made unusable. The Dirty Bean seemed to have just undergone a nice little rennovation, opening up more seating and dining space as well as more usable retail space. It’s sad to see the one business in town that really focused on drawing and serving the bicycle tourism is now gone.

If I hear of opportunities to offer donations to assist in re-opening the Dirty Bean, or if I hear of another bike business opening in the town, I’ll post info. DSC_0041 DSC_0066 DSC_0079 DSC_0104 DSC_0140 DSC_0143

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On the injured list

Thankfully, not due to an accident, but I’m on the injured list. After months of trying to cycle it out, I’m off the recumbent due to knee pain. Some of you whom I’ve actually cycled with, know I’ve had intermittent knee pain for 3 years. It’s gotten much worse in the last 6 months. This past week, I decided it might be exascerbated(how do you spell that) by the recumbent.

With all the driving to and fro to WV, my right knee has gotten so bad that sometimes I’m unable to bear weight on it and frequently, when I bear weight, it unexpectedly results in excruciating pain. Days without cycling seem to diminish the pain. It’s the position I sit in to drive, using my right leg to press pedals for aceleration, deceleration in the car and to pedal on the recumbent! This weekend, I walked about a mile or 2 in 1/4 mile increments and the pain is less severe. Woohoo!

On another note, the colors are Stunning! WV is absolutely beautiful in the fall and the leaves are so abundant that sitting in the fields or along the trail, it feels like being in a snow-globe where the snowflakes have been replaced with leaves. I’m loving WV. The house may be done for Thanksgiving. The trusses should have been here on Friday, but we are without them right now. Perhaps before I leave in the morning, they will be here.

A couple pics of the wonderful crew working on the house.

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Still alive and pedaling

Though not much. What I’ve failed to chronicle here, is the fact that I bought the property in WV to retire to and the people who sold it to us committed various incidents of fraud during the transaction. We got someone to do the necessary repairs, only to find that he may have been dealing drugs from our property in our absence during the week.

The home on the property, though it got a great inspection prior to the sale, should have been condemned because of the sills and substructure of the house were sawdust from the termite damage. The local area is so remote that no city lawyers will come and fight the fight for us and the county lawyers all went to school with the guy we bought from and won’t fight against him. I’ve been up here, every weekend, communicating with the amazing contractor that we finally hired and hauling materials up on weekends. This is the “house that Craigslist” built. Actually, Curtis and his crew are doing the work, but we have bought many of the materials from craigslist, at great prices and getting things that are very unique and lovely. I got some Italian, hand-made stained glass windows, and beautiful casement windows for the house this week.

The only bathroom and the kitchen have been scraped off, and we have no power at the house. We brought the RV up and have it on the RV lot, but the seal is broken on the loo, so we don’t dare turn the water on. Similarly, we are out of propane and the local propane dealer has a problem with his pump, so I’m roughing it. I miss my cutie. We should be spending some fun time together, but he has weekends in Richmond and I have them here. On weekdays, he works days and I work evenings! Somehow, I’ve got to find joy in this season of our lives.

It is fun anticipating the birth of our first grandbaby. Only 2 months left. I’ve always wanted a nickname and it seems like grandmotherhood is the time in life when all mothers seem to acquire a new one. Since I’ve never had one, I’m very excited to make this acquisition.

I did cycle the trail today. The fall colors are making an appearance and the temperature at 4:00 was 69. That’s pretty great for cycling. DSC_0005 DSC_0026 DSC_0037 DSC_0045 DSC_0051 DSC_0055

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Hosting another touring cyclist – Greenbrier River Trail

Spending another weekend in Buckeye, I cycled a quick 15 yesterday. As I was nearing my turn-around point, I saw another solo woman cyclist. She was distracted and at a glance, I sensed that a greeting would simply float past in her wake as she cycled past. What a shame. It’s so much fun to chat with the folks on the trail. It’s especially fun to schmooze with other women I classify as bold and brave and adventurous because they are solo epic-touring cyclists. But you never know who’s who, until you stop and chat. oh well.

I cycled on, turning around at Jack Horner’s Corner, in Seebert and zipped home. The last 1.5 miles, it poured. It was that kinda day, but it looked like I might have a couple of hours to piddle down the trail and back, so it really didn’t matter. It’s July and the temps were in the low 70′s. So a cool rain at the tail end of a cycle was a bit like finding a four leaf clover growing beside the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow :) It was a good day because I got to cycle for 15 miles even though it rained 22 of the 24 hours. Then the clothes got peeled off, and I got dried off and fought off a “snooze” because a chicken fried steak was calling me over at the Greenbrier grill. After fighting the temptation for a good half hour, I caved and went for it.

Topping the steps at the Grill, I saw the touring cyclist. Mentioned that I’d seen her on the trail, and the “focus” she seemed to hold on the trail fell away. We began chatting and decided to have dinner together. She had had a vexing experience prior to me seeing her earlier and we got to chat about it. As it turned out, she hadn’t had a “host” put her up in a few days and was about to book a room at the Inn. After her vexing experience, It seemed like a friendly host might be a better idea. The problem was that our house is under repairs and our hot water heater is on the front porch, waiting for it’s replacement to arrive and I couldn’t even offer her a warm shower :) She didn’t care.

We had a lovely chat, shared cookies hot from the oven, and heated water on the stove to take the iciness out of a bathtub stingily filled with well-water. We chatted about our touring experiences and she got her laundry done. It was a nice visit. OH, the other odd thing about the house right now….. no interior doors on the bedrooms. That means my LOUD snoring blared throughout the house. Hopefully, the many miles she covered yesterday put her into a deep sleep and she wasn’t awakened.

This morning, we decided that I’d cycle the first few miles with her and see her on her way. When Warm Showers hosts have done this with me, it was very special. Photo by MayaA young lady we encountered on the trail today shot the photo of Demi and I. Thanks Maya. If you click on the photo, you’ll see that it says,”Photo by Maya”. Today was the first time I got to do the “duet” as a host, instead of a guest. It’s just as special either way. Actually, I enjoyed it so much that I cycled up to the tunnel with her, and got a good 30 miles in.DSC_0008 DSC_0009 DSC_0013 The result: the worst leg cramps I’ve ever had. re-hydration and some naproxin sodium took care of that. It would be nice if the relief continues through through the night.

On the return trip from the tunnel, I finally saw a venomous snake on the trail. Right at the tunnel was a 14 inch copperhead. It was pretty sedate and heading away from the trail, so I just cycled on. Sorry not to provide a photo.

Go make your own breeze and remember: if you’re not having fun, you’re in the wrong gear.

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