Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bicycles and Cars

From now until after October 9th my blog is going to be a little neglected. Posts will be shorter and less frequent. This is because I have a 100 mile cycle ride that day and really need to focus on that rather than writing and photo editing, which tend to take up quite a lot of my spare time during the week. I am also giving a presentation on my urbexing photography on November 3rd so need to prepare for that also. So apologies in advance but my will be unaffected.
So, last Saturday Barb and I took part in the Rappahannock Rough Ride which was a 12 circuit of hills down in Washington, VA. The scenery was spectacular and the roads were peaceful. There were only a few hundred participants and so for the most part we cycled alone.
At the start.
Hey, Barb, you're facing the wrong way!
 The first hill is always the hardest and this one was no exception. We tolled on and passed other grunting riders and some who were shoving their bikes in front of them up the incline. Not us! We stayed on our pedals and pushed! There's nothing like the sweet joy of cresting a hill and we were lucky as we were going to feel that a few times on this route. Yes, a hint of sarcasm was included there.
The views were amazing and the air was sweet which was a bonus since we were gulping a lot of it.
 I somehow managed to take this shot of me peddling.
 This was the last hard hill and was a good half mile. We still stayed on our bikes and I was proud to say that I didn't get off once during our ride. We and a few others also took a wrong turn somewhere so we ended up peddling over 16 miles of hills which was great.
The village of Washington is very pretty. It's set in the hills and is noted for being the oldest of the 28 towns and villages by the name of Washington in the U.S. and was surveyed by  the man himself in 1749. I can verify that the courthouse is equally quaint and charming as I attended my court hearing there for reckless driving a couple of years ago,  and came away with points and fine slashed, due I think, because of the very pleasant conversation I had with the judge whilst standing in the 'dock'.
Barb and I noticed on the way into the village an abandoned building so we decided to explore that on the way out. It was a small motel place and we found out from some brochures left there that it had once been the 422-acre Sunnyside Farm, an organic farm which appears to have gone out of business after 2002. David Cole, the venture capitalist and former America Online executive-turned-sustainable-agriculture-advocate turned it into a showplace of organic farming, animal husbandry and genteel comfort. By 2002, between the initial purchase price, additional acreage, barns and machinery as well as offices, a grocery store and a leased 10,000-square-foot restaurant and retail operation in nearby Sperryville, he had spent more than $20 million which he never managed to recuperate by the looks of it. The motel part we were exploring was used for tenants or guests.
On Sunday Rob and I went to Lance's for a BBQ and I got to see his awesome 1967 Chrysler New Yorker, the same car as the Blues Mobile.
 It's in pretty good condition and he spun it around the front yard to raise some dust.
Too soon, the weekend was ended and Rob and I wrapped it up with some more My Name Is Earl and popsicles.

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