On the Ride Again

To bring you up-to-date, in case you are just joining us...

My plan to get/keep in shape for gardening this year is to ride my stationary bike.* Because I always need a reason to do something...or at least to continue doing something, I have decided on a program of 50 miles each week for the next 52 weeks...a distance of 2600 miles. That happens to be the exact distance from our house to Disneyland in Anaheim, CA, as Google-mapped using the (beta) Bike function. I started 1/3/2014...and am continuing the saga today. BTW, I am tagging all the posts about my ride "Where in the USA is Patricia" on my blog, and #WhereintheUSAisPatricia on Twitter.

In my last post about my ride, I shared that I'd made it to Lewisville, NC...a distance of 31.1 miles from home (as the bike rides). On 1/6/2014, I made it 12.5 miles in 65 minutes, putting me in Shacktown, NC in Yadkin County, stopping at the Shacktown Farmers Market. Although closed for the season, I enjoyed reading about its history, along with the Yadkin Valley Quilt Trail. You can read more here: http://www.shacktownnc.com

Here are the Google Map directions I used, followed by a snap of Shacktown's website...which struck me as remarkable for such a small town:

Then on 1/7/2014, I set a new daily mileage record by riding 16 miles, putting me at the Laurel Gray Vineyards and Winery in Hamptonville, NC (near Yadkinville)...and 58.6 miles out. Here, I rested...for a whole day...putting into practice a part of my plan for taking a rest day after I had made it 50 miles. As a friend of mine commented on a Facebook post, I should indeed stay "hydrated" on my ride. Ahem.

Isn't this fun? Doesn't that look like a great place to stop?

OK, so I have only "been" to these places in my imagination and via the internet. I am still enjoying selecting my destinations with care. Here's how I go about it: I Google-map my route, in general, using my home address as the starting point and Disneyland as the finish line. Then I add previous stops. To select my next spot to stop, I then look at the upcoming mileage (can I make it that far in one ride?) and try to scope out a place on the map that I'd stop at (what looks interesting?)...just as if I were doing this for real. A Farmers Market in a rural area? Naturally. A vineyard and winery? You better believe it!

Speaking of wine (we were, weren't we?!), I made it to North Wilkesboro, in Wilkes County, on today's (1/9/2014) ride, by going 16.4 miles in 67 minutes. This is the home of Merle (music) Fest, Brushy Mountain Apple Fest, and the 'Shine to Wine Festival.

It's also home to the (now closed) North Wilkesboro Speedway, an unlikely spot for me to stop.

In real life, I probably would bypass a (former) NASCAR venue...not really my style. But, the Speedway is such a good representation of life in and around so many rural areas in NC. And, although closed, it is considered a state historic site, as evidenced by a highway marker that reads: 

Pioneer NASCAR dirt track. Built 1946; paved in 1958. Hosted sanctioned events, 1949-96. 5/8 mile oval.

Who could ignore that?

I'll be back on my bike tomorrow, and I'll report on my ride in my next post, tagged: Where in the USA is Patricia? Until then, I'm keeping it between the lines!


* Footnote about exercising...
Think you might like to join me? You are most welcome along for the ride! But first, check with your health care professional. My family practice doc has encouraged me to take a daily dose of exercise, and he is really enthusiastic about the benefits of the recumbent bike for those of us with arthritis and back problems.


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