Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Ultimate Challenge

There is some wise and supposedly knowledgeable person who once said to keep young, you must eat right and exercise. Hell if I eat right, but exercise? Since moving to the island, exercise has been something I've been doing since day one over here, but you can't help it. There are so many things to do, you can't help but to get out there and do it or you feel you're being left out. It doesn't matter if you're three or 103, you see everyone out there "doing it," so you feel you must "do it," too.

By this I mean, bicycling. This is like the #1 thing people do over here. You can't sit on your deck without having at least fifty cyclists ride by on any given day. Families, sports enthusiasts, kids, moms, dads, you name it. And while you're sitting in your chair, you see this and you say, "I need to get out there and do it, too!"

So, I bought 2 bikes actually. One man's bike and one women's and now I can also have company while I'm out there doing it with everyone else. My first trip by bike was to see if I could make it to town, which I did. One of my next trips was to see if I could make it to Memorial Park which is ten minutes from here, which I did.

My ultimate challenge was to see if I could make it to the beach. Now, the island isn't but 5 miles long, so I've heard, but Assateague is a bit more than than from my house. So, let's give it 7 miles. I had thought about making the trip alone, but my son was all gun-ho on going with me and it would give him a chance to exercise himself, so plans were made to schedule one Monday that I was off and we would make it together.

Keep in mind that seven miles to and from will equal 14 miles, something I don't believe I have done ever in my life and keep in mind that I'm a bit older since I was a kid riding all over town and back.

But, I wanted to see if I could do it.

My son and I started charting out the route and making plans. We would stop at the Pony Center which was ten minutes away, rest, then continue out to the beach street and stop at McDonald's, then see if we could keep on another two or three miles. If not, we would just return home.

The more we talked about it, the more we were seeing this as the ultimate challenge and we were either going to make it or go down trying.

I picked Ryan up about 3 and I believe we started heading out about 4. We took water with us just in case which did come in handy being as it was in the nineties. We hopped on our bikes and headed for the Pony Center and rested. Timing it at ten minutes, we thought we were making excellent time. After resting, we headed for McDonald's which was another ten minutes away. We slipped inside and got some food, then headed back out.

What we did, though, was so off the beaten path and I'm so glad we did it, but instead of taking the beach road where all the cars were going, we chose to go through the path in the refuge which would take us to the beach instead.

Let me tell you, it was the most beautiful place in the world back there. I've got pictures and I'll show them to you in a minute, but after you went halfway around "the loop," you took another road which only bikes are allowed and it led you right to the beach. You parked your bike and frolicked in the surf or whatever you wanted to do. I chose to collect shells and go wading as did Ryan. What a memory I'll have of this. He was having a blast.

But I will say there was something I found out which I would have never found out had I not done it, but bike rides can be quite exciting going. Coming back is a whole 'nuther story. Instead of talking to your co-riders and looking at the scenery, your eyes are focused on the road. You don't want to look at the scenery because you don't want to know how much further you have. Talk about exhausted? I died two deaths.

It's now been three days and I'm still sore. Would I do it again? Well, let me tell you this much. I would do it again if again happens once all my aching limbs are back to normal. And don't even let me get on the subject of bicycle seats. I wore two pairs of underwear which helped, but your backside will be sore for days. Mine still is.

Here's some pictures we took along the way!

Now this one was taken on the bridge which separates Chincoteague from the refuge on Assateague. That's my son! The Assateague Lighthouse is situated to the right which I didn't get in the picture, but you can see it from the bridge.

Isn't this beautiful? After we entered the refuge, we went through a wooded area just for bikes, then down another road which goes around this "loop." Next time we'll take the full loop, but we wanted to get to the beach instead which was halfway around the loop. I don't think you can make it out, but there are geese in the background. There were other native birds but we couldn't figure out what they were. According to a sign they had there, the water doesn't come in naturally, but instead, the game department rigged this up so that the wildlife could create habitats. It worked. I thought it would be even prettier in the fall, so we'll have to go back.

Awesome, huh?

Just more geese.

We made it!!!! The Ultimate Challenge!!! This is my son trying to see if he still has a heartbeat.

And me walking on the beach collecting sea shells! Had an awesome day. But...I'm still paying for aching everything!


  1. Oh! what a beautiful place to live. I'm envious. The muscle aches will go away, but the memories will stay. Nice looking kids. keep up the bikin'

  2. What beautiful pictures! When I lived in Manitowoc there was a beautiful bike trail on the lake but it also was over 7 miles long. Needless to say, I never rode it, lol! Kudos to you for making the trip:)

  3. And for the record...I'm still aching!


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