My first long bike ride – the Banks – Vernonia trail!

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Friday, 07-Aug-2020

 

Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve gone on a long bike ride?

I think it was fall of… Man, I don’t even know at this point.  I just spent like 20min searching through the archives of this blog looking for it, but couldn’t find any details.  It was the fall of “a long time ago”, when Daniel and I did a long ride around the small towns surrounding Boston… clocking roughly 35 miles between various small farms.

Why’d we go between farms?  For apple cider donuts.  Duh.

 

Today, I didn’t go between apple cider donut farms.  Instead, we took a gloriously chill ride down one of the “Rails to Trails” bike paths.  Fairly flat (sort of), nicely paved (for the most part), and pretty empty (until later in the day), it was a glorious chance for me to stretch my bike-legs, and see how I’d do after pulling a nerve in my back earlier this spring.

Man, did we enjoy the ride.

Like I said, the route was mostly flat… but actually, was really on a slight incline the whole way out.

Which, you know what?  I’d vastly prefer that over the alternative.  We worked hard to get to the end, and then on the way back?  We just cruised.  Seriously – I think I cranked the pedals like… twenty times in nearly 10 miles.  Like I said, glorious.

The ride was beautiful – mostly farmland and forests, with a few small roads that we had to cross.  One big trellis bridge, one steep section, but mostly just lovely cruising.  Just the right intensity that we could hold a conversation… with a few random pauses to catch our breath.

I loved it.

 

We started near Banks, about three miles into the trail, and cruised as far as we could before some trail maintenance blocked our way.  From there, we turned around and headed all the way down to Banks for a quick bite of lunch at a small cafe that we found.  Outdoor seating and hamburgers were our requirements, and they ticked off the boxes for both pretty handily.

Interestingly, the burgers didn’t come with fries.  They came with tater totes mixed in with mac and cheese, and baked with a cheese crust.  Never had it before, but they were definitely pretty solid… if a bit heart-attack-ish.

 

From the cafe, we turned around and headed back – almost exactly 30 miles total under our belts.

Not bad at all for my first big ride of the year.

 

 

 

 

 

Ohh, you wanted to know about the highlight of the ride?

The best part?

By far the coolest thing on the whole trail?

 

We saw three goats, a sheep, and their sheepherd dog.

Hanging out on the side of the trail.

Eating leaves.

I stopped to take a picture, and then when I started biking?  THE DOG FOLLOWED ME.  AND THE GOATS AND SHEEP FOLLOWED THE DOG.

They were just chilling, no cares or worries.  It was… glorious.

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