Though discouraged when no one showed up to ride the Ashland Breadfast Club’s Goochland satellite start this morning, it turned into a glorious ride. Fortunately, my camera was in the rack bag and with no other cyclists, I could dally and take sidetrips and stop to shoot pictures. So, I did.
The first departure from the norm, was that I decided to explore the old Trolly line that Ashland has turned into a multi-use trail. Since it doesn’t have a sign declaring “no bikes”, I assumed that it was suitable for them. :0) It actually was bumpier than a toad’s hide (ya like that?) My brains nearly rattled out as I swung from one side of the trail to the other, seeking one smooth track to no avail. Fortunately, there was standing water on the side of the trail. Very swampish water, which is like a coastal sunset to me. LOVERLY! There was even a smidgy bit of wildlife in the form of Canada geese and either goslings (I think it’s actually too early for them) or some small ducks. There were also a couple of pedestrians using the path, so we shared generously. It was short, fortunately, but very nice.
Next, was the usual stop at Ashland Coffee and Tea. The crowd was small this morning, so I didn’t feel so bad that no one seemed to show up to ride my ride. I visited with Bud and Newt Ricky and a couple of other guys, then headed out with them briefly. We cycled through the town of Ashland, and the campus of Randolph Macon. Then our ways parted. I was determined to get some shots of the beautiful homes that line the train tracks at Center street and in that area. I also wanted to get a picture of the train station, and I was certainly blessed today! I got pictures of more than the station. While cycling today, I encountered 5 trains! Trains are as awesome as swamps, really. Four were next to me as I paralleled the tracks on Center street. Many of the club members choose a different route for the final few miles to Ashland, but I always take that right onto Gwathmey Church Rd, and then left onto center, so I can potentially see a train, and to ride along the tracks. It’s peaceful. So today, I encountered 4 trains here, and one crossing at Elmont.
Touring has made me a whole different kind of cyclist than many that I know, but it has enhanced my life tremendously. Traveling slowly enough to see the sights and being sure to carry the camera along to stop and capture the beauty of the ride is a great big part of the experience. Somewhere along the tracks, was one house with a spooky treehouse! Don’t these pictures make you want to come visit Ashland? At least cycle through?
This ride is something that I do almost every week, and yet never tire of or become blase´ about the scenery. Part of that is the ever changing seasons in this area. Today, it may have had to do with the jonquils blooming at one of these lovely homes and the spring peepers that we’ve been hearing for 3 weeks now.
When I finally returned to the ride start, the sign-in sheet was still devoid of a single other name. My husband’s cousin, now an avid cyclist, had come to ride. Unfortunately, he was just late enough to have missed me when I left. He did go ahead and ride, but my dalliances had put me off the route and into “Wonderland”.