Posts Tagged ‘exercise’


Leaf Trail (aptly named) 


Often in life our plans change due to unforeseen circumstances.  It can be difficult to adjust to the new directions we are forced to follow, but once in a while Plan “B” isn’t a bad direction at all.  This past weekend we finally had a spring-like day and my husband and I were anxious to spend time on our mountain bikes on a local trail.  There are a TON of trails near our cottage and we are just beginning to explore them.  While I still prefer road biking, I’m quickly developing a love for riding through the mountain trails.  For me it combines two great loves – hiking and biking.  It’s like hiking on wheels.



Ready to hit the trail



We rode up a big hill just to get to the trail head and we excitedly started down the trail.  Some of the trail was a very smooth mountain path and other sections were more technical.  (I tend to walk the more difficult sections. – yes, I’m a wimp.  )  We were riding for about 10 minutes and we suddenly found ourselves faced with needing a plan “B”  While going over a large group of rocks my husband’s derailleur completely snapped in half and the bike could no longer be ridden.



The derailleur is the piece that shifts the chain between gears.  (this one is not broken)


We then had a decision to make—just walk the bikes back to the cottage or park them by a tree and continue on the path by foot.  We, of course, chose the latter option.  Since we love to hike it was a great alternative.


White I was disappointed that our original plans got derailed, (pun intended 🙂 )I realized as I walked that I was able to see things from a totally different perspective on foot than on the bike.  On the bike most of my concentration goes to avoiding obstacles – trees, rocks, roots…..  Much of the surrounding beauty is overlooked due to the necessity of needing to watch the trail directly in front of you.



Ready to enjoy Plan “B”


I began to take pictures of things I would have missed if I was still on my bike.  The first was a moss-covered rock.  The bright green just jumped out at me.  With spring just now beginning here in South-Central PA nature is just now starting to sprout green around us.



Gorgeous shad of green


At one point I stopped and looked up at the sky.  It was so beautiful to see the sky surrounded by various tree tops.  This was something I definitely couldn’t have done on a bike.  (Try looking up at the sky while riding a bike – not a good idea)



Beautiful spring sky as seen through tree tops


We hiked to the end of the trail and began the trek back to pick up our bikes and head to the cottage.  I had passed by this tree going the first direction, but it was an entirely different view from this side.



One funky tree 


We eventually reached the spot where our bikes were leaning against a tree and began the process of walking them back.  While it was definitely not fun walking a heavy mountain bike over all of the obstacles on the trail I wouldn’t have given up the chance to simply be out in nature.  All in all it was a wonderful day.



Bikes are a lot more fun to ride than to walk. 😦 


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Honeysuckle High


OK, I confess—- I got high today, but not the way you think.  I didn’t partake of marijuana, cocaine or any other illicit drug, but I was definitely feeling that kind of euphoria earlier today.  (at least what I’m TOLD it feels like–wink, wink)  Curious?  –  I guess I should explain.


I enjoy riding a bicycle and today was a perfect day for a cycling…temperature in the 80’s, very low wind and mostly sunny.   This particular ride was like many others except that it had a specific purpose.  Here in South Central Pennsylvania the honeysuckle is in full bloom and it smells AMAZING, so today’s ride was a ‘honeysuckle ride’.  I chose a 25 mile route along  back country roads that I knew had the largest sections of honeysuckle.  I rode by patch after patch of fully-blooming honeysuckle and as I passed each one I took a slow deep breath through my nose in order to inhale as much of that alluring scent as possible (taking care not to hyperventilate.)  I enjoyed each and every wave of the heavenly scent and even found myself moaning a few times–luckily nobody was around.


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As with any ride I enjoyed many aspects such as the breeze on my face, getting wonderful exercise, seeing many beautiful sights along the way, but the biggest pleasure today was being able to continually savor that sweet aroma of honeysuckle.  I may not have used an illegal substance today, but I definitely ‘inhaled’ and got as high as possible from honeysuckle.   Believe it or not the song “Rocky Mountain High” kept going through my mind, except I was singing it as “Honeysuckle High”.  I was enjoying myself so much that if my legs hadn’t gotten tired I might still be riding.




If you’ve never tried it, I suggest you give it a shot.  I must warn you that it IS addictive.   😉



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I love to ride my bicycle and I’m fortunate to live in a fairly rural area of Central Pennsylvania with many country roads.  As I started out on my ride a few days ago I was suddenly overwhelmed by the most amazing aroma—honeysuckle.  The scent was so strong and sweet that I literally moaned out loud.  That got me thinking about all of the sensual experiences that come with cycling.

There are many amazing things to SEE as I ride—beautiful wildflowers blooming along the road, gardens in yards that I pass, farm fields with wheat swaying in the breeze and a variety of animals.  Just seeing the sun shining on the road ahead of me is a glorious sight.  I pass many gorgeous settings, but one I always enjoy is the section of my ride that parallels a creek.


(Yellow Breeches Creek that I ride past on almost every ride.)

As for SMELL, there are a plethora of various scents that hit me as I pedal along.  There is the amazing fragrance of honeysuckle and other aromatic wildflowers, but there are many others.  Sometimes it is the smell of fresh cut grass or possibly the smell of someone cooking on their grill.  Yes, I also experience the odor of manure as I pass the farms and occasionally pass a dead skunk, but the pleasant scents greatly outweigh the bad.

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(Patch of honeysuckle—too bad I can’t make the picture a ‘scratch-n-sniff’. 🙂 )

Even though I’m cruising along at a decent speed, I HEAR many different sounds as I ride.  I hear birds chirping, trains whistling, cows mooing in the fields and also the sound of my tires as they roll along the road.  Today I heard the quacking of ducks and the honking of geese as I rode past one of my favorite places—the lake in Historic Boiling Springs.


(Boiling Springs Lake)

As for the sense of TOUCH one of my favorites is just the feeling of the breeze on my skin as I ride.  I love feeling the change in temperature as I ride from sunny areas into shade or from high points into lower areas. Another thing that I feel is the difference in the surface of the roads.  Smooth surfaces cause little vibration on the hands and “seat”, whereas rough roads can cause some very strong sensations.  (Let’s just say that I like smooth roads better 😉 )


(Newly paved road–VERY smooth—-ahhhhh…)

The TASTE of pineapple is what I associate with riding.  This is because I often take a baggie of fresh pineapple along for a snack or else have some cold from the fridge after my ride.  Another thing I may taste from time to time is the occasional bug that inadvertently flies into my mouth.  This, of course, immediately brings about much coughing and spitting.  Pineapple is much tastier. 🙂 Yes, cycling is great exercise, but it also brings a lot of sensual pleasures that I may not consciously be aware of most of the time.  That day I saw, heard, smelled, felt and tasted everything with a keen sense of awareness and thankfulness. Hmmm……….I also love to hike.  It might be time for a ‘sensual hike’.


(Me at Boiling Springs Lake)

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