Rob was working on Saturday so I'd arranged to meet with some of my British friends at a nearby winery. They were doing a tour using a shuttle bus but I decided to just go to the one winery on my bike. I'd worked out my route and it was nearly 9 miles to get there but most of it was on back roads. The temperature was in the upper 90's but my water bottle was full and off I went. The ride was nice initially but then I found myself on an unpaved road.
By car or walking it would've been lovely but on my thin racing tires, the gravel along the sides and the ruts in the road were treacherous and my eyeballs knocked up and down in my sockets while my teeth chattered. I admitted defeat and dismounted, having to walk until the road got smoother. A guy came past in a truck and asked, 'Need a ride, little lady?' I politely declined not liking his suggestive tone and continued to trudge until I came to tarmac.
I got to Barboursville Winery about 15 minutes after the others got there and since I'd missed the beginning of the tasting, I decided to go for a glass of the Chardonnay Reserve. It was exceptional and was swiftly followed with another.
It was wonderful seeing everyone, especially Brian, who I'd not seen for months. We chatted away merrily and before I knew it I had another glass of wine in my paw, this time a blush. The group were downing their drinks because the shuttle had arrived and they were off to their next port of call. So I gulped my wine down so Brian could have the glass and followed them to the shuttle to wave them off.
They very kindly gave me some iced water to top up my bike bottle and I waved them off and cycled down to the ruins nearby to take photos. The sun was blazing and I realized that I was quite tipsy.I was dreading the ride back to Rob's so ambled round the ruins, not really bothered about photos but hoping some of the wine would wear off.
So, apparently this ruin was once an estate house owned by James Barbour and designed for him by Thomas Jefferson. But it burnt down due to an accidental fire at Christmas 1884. I wandered around the perimeter and then reluctantly got on my bike for the long haul home. Oh my God, my legs were like jello. I huffed and puffed up the slight incline to the main road. Every time I pressed against the pedals, there was nothing there, my muscles did not want to cooperate. I got on the road and wobbled up yet another hill. I remembered the truck driver from earlier and thought that if he pulled up now and said, 'Need a ride, bitch?' I would've just leaped into the cab. I was desperate, but there was nothing to do except plod on. Each minute felt like an hour and every 20 yards felt like a mile. The sun beat down relentlessly and I was acutely aware of every drop of wine in my system.
I reached the unpaved road again and this time took a photo of a beautiful house I'd noticed earlier. I pushed my bike along thankful for its light frame. A couple of large black and blue butterflies fluttered past my head gently as though commiserating with my slow progress. Eventually the last turning was in sight up yet another hill and then my phone rang. It was Rob. I dropped my bike to the ground and sat on cool grass in the shade as I answered his call. He was a little concerned but mainly worried that I shouldn't sit too long in case some vultures started circling above me. As I got up to mount my bike another truck pulled alongside me and a guy asked, 'Are you OK, Miss?' I assured him I was, determined to make the last mile or so unaided. It was with immense relief that I turned into the drive and realized that my tipsy state of mind was no more. I'd worked and sweated off the alcohol. Jessie and Jim were on their porch and called me over so I joined them and sucked down a glass of iced water. We chatted for a while until I realized that I was famished. I'd only had a couple of biscuits all day for sustenance and was now starving. Back at the house I wolfed down a couple of pieces of KFC and fed Kota. The evening was wonderfully lazy with Rob and I watching a movie and more 'My Name Is Earl' before crashing for the night.
4 weeks ago