We have been on our bicycles this week - not long trips but delightful sojourns of twenty or so miles. Once the temperatures dropped below the mid 80’s we just had to get up and go.
Though we’ve biked some of the world’s most famous scenic routes, we find the biking in and around Barneveld uniquely satisfying. Yesterday’s ride, for example...
We pedaled out the driveway at just about 9AM; the Canada Geese watched as we headed out. They seemed pleased that they’d now be able to graze (and, ahem, fertilize) our lawn without disruption for awhile. Sigh.
The dirt road felt good beneath the tires as our muscles got the message that they’d need to wake up and work. Crossing the bridge over the West Canada, we noted the flow of water at the spillway and felt a sense of camaraderie with the first fisherfolk of the day as they waded into the stream.
It was almost chilly as we biked through the village of Trenton Falls and passed Trenton Meadow just as the sun just began to spread across the grove and grasses, sparkling the remaining dewdrops and lifting a light morning mist.
Our breath came in happy puffs as we rode up the rise and through the railroad tunnel (we have to say “beep” in there). Then a sweet swing past Evergreen and Sugarbush and we floated down to route 12/28. Imagine! Not a car in sight, so we were able to bike across without stopping. That took us into and through the town of Barneveld, the historic homes and old stores breathing out their story without a trace of pretense.
And then, as if passing through a scrim, we are away down Steuben Valley Road! Field after field, rolling into wooded hills behind. Cows grazing, twitching tails and gathering beneath the leafiest trees in preparation for higher sun to come. Farmhouses and gorgeous barns passing us one after the other. In the gentle rhythm of biking we have time to enjoy the touches each family has added with flowerbeds, stone walls and places to rest in the shade.
The scents tell us the farmers have been at work. The smell of fresh mown hay and, yes, the spreader has left its perfume - a heady aroma that is amazingly sweet despite itself.
There are hills to climb, with cornflowers, elderberries and gateway openings for the tractors and wagons. There are tractors humming their motored tune in the fields - today they are collecting round bales.
And there are the downhills! We fly with the hawk above us as we swoop down and around gentle bends. This makes the climbs more than worthwhile.
We are headed back to our house. It has been a couple of hours. We’ve seen, maybe six cars in all. We have had the Kuyahoora Valley country to ourselves -- and what a country it is!