Spring Break 2012 – Mulch, Hot Dogs and Holly Grove

If you think kids love Spring Break then you should have seen the smiles on the teacher’s faces yesterday.  The students had off and we had a workday.  Many of our faculty took the day off including my cycling companion – Steven.  I made it to the halfway point of the day and the lure of spreading the mulch that had been delivered that day, called to me.  Since I had done all of my end of the nine week’s paperwork, I took a half day of personal leave and headed home.

After bringing lunch home for Lynn, we took my newly updated bike over to the local bike shop to have the shifting tuned up.  We came home and attacked the pile of mulch.  This year the job was made much easier with the purchase of a proper wheelbarrow and a more modest pile of mulch.  Even so it took about four hours and we were both toast afterwards.  We treated ourselves with some Wendy’s, collapsed and watched some television.

This morning I woke up to chilly temps and a very sore back.  Lynn was hobbling around and looking very stiff, so I knew it would be a hard sell to get her to go bike riding with me.  She did indeed acquiesce, so I went to do the RABA (Richmond Area Bike Association) ride that starts off Broad Street in Rockville goes to Ashland and back.

When I got there – two guys I had ridden with, Dan and Dennis, were already there.  A few minutes later Robert and Andy showed so we discussed our route options and decided to ride to Holly Grove, where I used to live, and back.  Here the link to the ride info.  Holly Grove is home to much of the Bagby side of my family.  My father grew up there and the house I lived the first 18 years of my life is about a mile from Holly Grove in Bumpass.

It was an amazing ride for many reasons:

1)  If was very inspiring to ride with guys my age (54) and older who were kicking my butt.

2)  The countryside was in full bloom and gorgeous.

3)  It gave me a chance to try out my new bike upgrades and get used to new gearing.

4)  I was riding in an area I hadn’t visited in some years.

5)  I rode easily and didn’t kill myself trying to go too fast.  It was VERY enjoyable.

Once we got to Holly Grove I thought about breaking away from the group and riding to my brother’s house in Bumpass which was about 6 miles away.  I was going to get Lynn to pick me up but since I was having so much fun with the guys I decided to hang with the group.

The little store we stopped at in Holly Grove was still run by the Kersey family; some of which attended school with me.

The guys I rode with had been riding together for years and the miles in their legs showed.  They easily stayed ahead of me, especially on the hills, of which there were many.  At one point when we were trying to get back together at a left turn we just stopped at the intersection and chewed the fat.  Out of the six of us, three had been in horrible bike crashes which had required stints in intensive care and/or a medflight ride.  This kind of stuff makes Lynn crazy so I hope she doesn’t read this blog.

In the end we rode almost 33 miles and climbed almost 1500 feet in elevation.  After 4 hours of mulch toting and 33 miles of bike riding I was exhausted.  Lynn and I had a hankering for some hot dogs so we went to Martins and got the fixings.

After lunch I collapsed on the bed and took a two hour nap.  Delicious!!!

It’s been a great start to the Spring Break.  It’s been quite the year at school so I am very grateful for the time off to be with family and friends.

Usually when I write this blog I have some moment of insight or reflection to share.  I don’t know if I had any these past two days but I do know I enjoy doing the simple things in life – a lunch with my bride, spreading mulch until you’re bone tired and riding some hilly miles with some great guys.

Enjoy your Spring!!!

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