Ellen Wilson, a friend from the Pittsburgh days, came to join the journey for the weekend! A riding buddy! Yippee! Thanks, Ella, for coming to play and the friendly competition.
It was four years ago this summer that Ellen and I bought our first adult bikes and set out to ride from Pittsburgh to Washington, DC via a rails to trails bike path. Ha, we didn’t know what we were getting into and it was one “hot mess” of a trip from beginning to end—including camping in the mountains with a sheet (no sleeping bags, only a sheet), a sprained wrist from an unfortunately hilarious wipeout, showering with a garden hose in a parking lot, etc. But we survived and still laugh about how naïve and ridiculous we were.
Well, back then we may have been naïve. Now, we are just bull-headed and competitive. Hmmm, I can’t say as though one is better than the other. Ellen arrived on Friday night and looking at the map, we decided we would be completing a century on Saturday. Thank goodness for the rest day on Friday or my body would have nothing to do with another century. But anyways, we had 15-20 miles to ride to a bike path and then would be riding on a bike path for 85 miles. 85 miles of a bike path! Easy ride, easy century, done and done. Ehhh, WRONG! The clerk at the gas station told a big, fat lie when he said the trail was newly paved and in great condition…ehhh, wrong again. The bike path wasn’t paved at all…it was a dirt path. Yes, 85 miles of dirt on road bikes. Debbie Downer, but doable.
Overall, it was an enjoyable day…warm and sunny with a gentle headwind. Did I mention that we are now bull-headed and competitive? Yes. Well, we didn’t start riding until noon or a little later and admittedly should have called it quits when the sun went down…but we said we were going to complete a century…so, headlights on and the ride continued into the dark. When we finally completed the century, it was pitch black and 41 degrees. Yep, we were frfrfrfrozen in shorts and short sleeves. Crazy girls...someday we will learn our lesson.
The next two days proved to be fabulous riding days. Her parent met us on the third day to pick her up and return her to the "real" world. Quote of Monday morning...(Mary)"hey, Ellen, have I ever met your parents?"...(Ellen) "Nope, first impressions are everything"..."(Mary) "Well, in that case, I better wear spandex." hehe
It was wonderful to have a companion on the journey. I am quite sure that the ridiculousness of Mary and Ellen has yet to come into full fruition. Here’s to the future and to making wiser decisions!