A taste of touring

Bit by bit, with the aid of some strong prescription drugs, the pain from Dan’s 8 root canals subsided.  So, the weekend of the 16th of July we were able to go on a mini-touring trip.   It was a fun weekend away, but bittersweet since we’d had to cancel our mountaineering trip to California that was due to depart that same date.  Still, even if Dan wasn’t up to tackle glaciers, it was brilliant that he was up for a weekend of cycling!

We packed a few items into our panniers and headed off from our front door on the W&OD path, stopping along the way for kombucha and chocolate covered ginger at the little natural food stores we love in Leesburg  and Purcellville.

Then we worked up an appetite for a phenomenal dinner at The Market Table Bistro in Lovettesville.  We both got salads, but they were more like edible artistic masterpieces.  The food was delectable and most of it hailed from local farms – we recognized many from our local farmers market in Reston.  The Chef and Owner Jason Lage even came out to chat with us about the food and assure me that the bacon on my salad came from “happy pigs” that forage freely in the woods of a family farm. But even with such gourmet fare, we were warmly welcomed in our sweaty spandex attire.

That evening my gracious aunt & uncle hosted us at their lovely home and also rescued us from a rookie mistake of not having the right attachment on our bike pump when we got a flat the next day.  With inflated tires once more, we crossed over into Maryland and took the C&O canal to Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia.


The weather was glorious and we stayed cool with intermittent dips in the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers. Then we followed rolling hills south along the Shenandoah river. With the sun kissing the wheat fields, the wind cooling our faces and the front porches of old farmhouses greeting us, I feel under the spell of the pastoral idyll. But by the time we reached Front Royal, the gentle hills seemed more like rugged mountains and my legs ached and rebelled with every rise. But we made it to the cute cabin Dan’s colleague had generously offered us for a blissful nights sleep before setting back home again the next morning.

In the end we did about 50 miles Friday, 70 Saturday and 50 Sunday – not bad for our first foray into touring. And doesn’t it sound more impressive if I just say we biked through 3 states in 3 days? Despite our sore bones and muscles, we were already scheming on where and when to do our next biking trip!

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