She did it!

Cool, cloudy with a possible thunderstorm after 4:00 p.m. sounded like a great day for cycling so Gretchen and I decided to ride a beautiful section of last week's TOF Brothers ride in Rockbridge County. Our plan was to ride a 20 mile out and back route from Brownsburg to Raphine with stops at Wade's Mill and Rockbridge Winery. Droplets appeared on the windshield in Buena Vista and by the time we arrived at our starting point on Route 252, it was pouring and clear that the rain had arrived five hours before predicted. So...we went into "flex mode" and drove to Wade's Mill. What a neat place! It is a working restored water mill, kitchen shop and cooking school with scheduled classes and dinners. On to Rockbridge Winery where we sampled the fare and ate our lunch paired with a glass of red. The Rockbridge reds are some of the best Virginia wines we have tasted. It seems to us that many Virginia wineries produce decent whites but fall short with the reds. We like their merlot and meritage the best.

We headed home along the bike route. By the time we arrived in Vesuvius, the weather looked pretty good and we decided to ride up Route 56 to the Parkway for exercise. It is a major climb, 1650 feet in 3.9 miles with 8 to 14% grades in the last two miles. Gretchen was not sure she could do it, but we shifted into the lowest gears (love that 34) and pedaled up and up! She did it! Actually, Gretchen did it with ease. We even continued to climb up the Parkway another mile to get our total ride over 10miles.


After the ride, we headed back to Lexington, it was drawing nigh to four o'clock and it seemed like a good day for afternoon tea!



Quote of the day

Sometimes you see a quote and it really gets your attention and is meaningful to you. This one sent to me by my brother-in-law Greg, touched me in that way. I hope it touches you in some way as well!

Gandhi's Seven Deadly Sins

Mohandas Karamachand Gandhi, one of the most influential figures in modern social and political activism, considered these traits to be the most spiritually perilous to humanity.

  • Wealth without Work
  • Pleasure without Conscience
  • Science without Humanity
  • Knowledge without Character
  • Politics without Principle
  • Commerce without Morality
  • Worship without Sacrifice



What a great weekend for sailing at Smith Mountain Lake! Gretchen and I had a wonderful day on the water Saturday; warm and sunny day, constant breeze and a reef in SunShower's sail! We sailed for over five hours. One time over twenty sailboats converged just off of Rabbit Island with spinnakers flying; a grand sight! (Photo above by T.J. Witten) I returned on Sunday for a repeat.

It has been a great privilege to have access to the Lake over the past 37 (yes, 37) years as a member of the Virginia Inland Sailing Association. I have great memories of racing Lightnings, Bristol 22s, and Rebels. Although Gretchen has been an active sailor and crew, her memories of racing might not be as fond. When we were researching the purchase of our current boat, she said any one would be fine as long as it did not have one of those "damn" spinnaker poles! SunShower fits the bill being trailerable and stable with no pole.

We have fond family memories of camping at the lake, the club social events, and the girls attending Sail Camp with Elfie. What a joy it was to see Kelley and Katie learn to sail their Laser. First being too small to hold the boat down alone and then progressing in their skills by sailing around the designated progression of lake islands. VISAYC is truly a great place for kids!

And the Lake keeps giving, as Jenny and Jeff bought a home in the Boardwalk and came home to Virginia! How great is that!




On our way to Smith Mountain Lake yesterday, Gretchen and I saw this sign. It doesn't have any national credit on it so I assume it is a local creation. In an election year, it brought a grin to our faces! BTW, it was a super day for sailing. We sailed for 5 hours in steady 15 mph winds. At one time there were 20 sailboats all in one area.







Last week Gary upped the ante for the TOF Brothers by planning an early spring monster ride. Beginning at the Millstone Restaurant, we headed north on Rt 122 toward the Blue Ridge Parkway. At the Parkway, 11 miles into the ride with a few hills, we headed south climbing Apple Orchard Mountain to the Peaks of Otter. After 44 miles and 3800 feet of elevation gain, we arrived back at the restaurant; quite pleased with our accomplishment! Great ride Gary, you making David and I push the exercise envelop. It was a beautiful spring day except on the top of the mountain where spring has not arrived.


This week I planned a slightly less challenging ride heading north on the Parkway from the James River bridge. But that ride was postponed to another week due to smoke on the Parkway from the forest fires around Lexington. So we headed to Scottsville to ride the Charlottesville Bicycle Club's James River Loop. It's a great ride ( 44 miles ) with long stretches where one can roll at 15+ mph with little effort. Our average for the ride was 13.4 mph, pretty good for old folks. Again, it was a beautiful spring day as shown in the picture below taken from the Route 15 bridge over the James between Fluvanna and Buckingham counties.