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!