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Posts tagged ‘autumn’

no sign of winter

The leaves hang on, their color in the late afternoon light is magnificent.  Days remain fairly warm, and it feels as if there is no sign of winter.

We’ve spent some days camping, biking, and hiking close to home … enjoying the autumnn-ness before it all falls to the ground and the season of holiday frenzy begins.  My boys – except for one spending a semester in Scotland – are all due home within the day.  My kitchen is scented with apples, cranberries, cinnamon, and pumpkin.  I am excited for the long weekend of catching up, and conversations around the dinner table … and hopefully few bike rides.

Happy Thanksgiving.

the road home

late light

There are moments on my bike where I wish I could magically bring along a non-cyclist, put them in my pocket or carry them along somehow – just so they could experience the incredible feeling and the beauty of traveling home quietly by bike.

It is a glorious time of year to be on a bicycle.  I love coming home in the late afternoon light with the trees glowing and the long golden shadows, there is a chill in the air, and I have that wonderful tired-but-fulfilled feeling that comes from a beautiful day spent riding from here to there.  I know that a warm bowl of soup is waiting for me in my warm kitchen.  Maybe some spiced tea and a good book later.  I wish there were a way to share the feeling with someone who’s never experienced it.

Why would you want to travel any other way?

time again for gloves and my PINK! visibility jacket 😉

among the Amish

visiting Pennsylvania

Spent last week in northwestern Pennsylvania, visiting my husband’s family.  We took our bikes, hoping for some nice riding on the rural roads with leaves turning and crisp temperatures.  Sadly, the weather did not want to cooperate.  Gusting winds, rain and temps in the 40’s (F) held little enticement for cycling …

Pennsylvania countryside near the Amish community of Atlantic

My in-laws live in a small community in rural PA; there are lots of Amish and Mennonite families in the area.  It’s an odd feeling to pedal along and approach (or be passed by) a horse and buggy.  Better than being passed by cars any day.

Toward the end of the week when the skies began to clear, we took a ride to the Conneaut Lake Park – an old amusement park that originated in the 1890’s that became a local area attraction in the mid-1900’s.  In it’s steel boom hey-day, it was a big draw to families employed by the railroad, as well as a convenient vacation getaway for people from Pittsburgh.  When my husband was growing up in the area, he and his brother and sister all had summer jobs at the Park.  Sadly, it has become one of those places largely lost to the past … although it still opens in the summer, it is barely able to survive any more.  It was kind of fascinating to walk around the largely deserted grounds, covered in falling leaves.

marshland ride-by

(can you spy my bike?)

along the boardwalk, Conneaut Lake Park

Even though we didn’t get to ride as much as we had hoped to, it was a good visit.  Nice to see family, good to feel the chill of the North, and great to have a slice (or two) of my mother in-law’s always-amazing pies.  😀

A few of the other pictures ….

my mother in-law and her famous Shoo Fly pie

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pumpkinbike

Getting to be that time of year again… The tangy, musty smell of leaves crunching underfoot – and under my wheels.  The colors of pumpkins, gourds and chrysanthemums.  Apples and cider and cinnamon-spiced pastries.  The shrinking of daylight, wind rattling the tree branches, geese on the pond.   Just some photos… 🙂

adventures of StupidGirl

 

thinks I need a knee helmet (?)

 

Put a beautiful afternoon, a beautiful bicycle, and very stupid girl together and what do you get?   (Yeah … can I please get a do-over?)

The good news: appears to be no fracture, which should be confirmed today by the radiologist – just a scraped knee the size of a grapefruit and a heart-breaking abrasion on my beautiful Elisabetta. (Sniff…).  Fortunately limited to the front carrier – basically no other scratches on her.   But still, the bike injury weighs on me more than the knee.  I have been assured, however, that she can be rehabilitated (both my husband and nephew are skilled in auto restoration, bodywork).

I don’t even have a spectacular story behind this; it was just a big dose of stupid.  Riding on an empty and quiet neighborhood street, no traffic, nothing around, … a moment of inattention, a slip of the front wheel off the edge of the pavement, and an over-correcting cartwheel.  All at the speed of about <2 mph.  Yes, I am talented.  (And yes, I always wear a helmet).

And I think I heard a couple of squirrels laughing.

 

my poor, poor Elisabetta ….

 

For today, it is no riding for StupidGirl … just ice and some couch-time with a book and FoodNetwork.  But here are a few of the pictures from the beautiful day it was (pre-crash).

*Note:  No small animals (or camera equipment) were harmed during this mishap.  Thankfully.

 

November-ness

next time, I will try and fall into the leaves, rather than onto the pavement

#330daysofbiking Day 211 ~ Elisabetta, before she got hurt (LensBaby)

losing daylight

twilight with cows

I love this time of year.  And I don’t.  The air is cool, dry and crisp … the leaves are falling … the mornings are edged with frost.  And it gets dark much too early.

While the squirrels hide away nuts and acorns, I’m filled with the urge to cook and bake.  Pumpkin and spice muffins, soups, squashes.  Warm and fragrant comfort foods – the things I crave after being outside and riding in the cool weather.

The #330daysofbiking count:  have ridden 203 of the past 223 days; 144 days remaining.  Ride on. 😀

white cow, white bike

colors of solitude

still life

 

#330daysofbiking & back on home turf

Xtracycle evening … #330daysofbiking Day 169

Finally … nothing Italian. 😉

#330daysofbiking has continued – missing the gelato stops and getting lost within small villages, but with beautiful Tennessee autumn weather, cooler temperatures, boys home for Fall Break(s), cruising the Riverwalk in Chattanooga, and on the road with the “fast” boys.  Riding for fun, and riding to get the job done (errands, groceries, library, bike shop).

And some important news from coming via our friend Jeff … If you live and ride in TN, or plan to visit and ride, please take a moment to participate in a quick 9-question survey from the folks at TDOT on the state’s bicycle and pedestrian program.  TDOT wants to hear from you! (And by October 30th please … my apologies for getting this posted so late.)

Although a couple of days were lost in transit (Italy), #330daysofbiking count is still on target.  As of today, have ridden 189 of the past 208 days,with 159 days remaining.  And so it goes.

(Coming soon … tales of a new city bike, “Elisabetta”. 🙂 Photos and details to come; stay tuned.)

 

 

the "fast" boys ... #330daysofbiking Day 175

 

 

the crunch of leaves ... #330daysofbiking Day 178

 

 

Fall Break ... #330daysofbiking Day 182

 

 

bicycle "gang" (heh heh) on the Riverwalk, Chattanooga ... #330daysofbiking Day 183

 

 

Irony: picking up a (car) bicycle rack - by bicycle ... #330daysofbiking Day 187