Bike Virginia Report

(by Phyllis Cairnes 6-96)

A row of naked women standing in line for what invariably turns out to be a cold shower---that always reminds me of Bike Virginia. This year was no exception. The cold water sprays from a showerhead mounted for someone of Lilliputian stature even though these are high school locker rooms. But after cycling 55 or 60 or 80 miles in sweltering heat and humidity any shower at all is a delight. And a night's rest, though perhaps not blissful because its spent in the hallway between the principals office and the cafeteria on a thin air mattress, is most welcome. The other choices for lodging are, of course, a tent with not a molecule of air movement, or for the organized, sensible long range planners, a cool motel room. Ahh, but wouldn't that be too easy?? For if we really admit it, isn't one of the reasons we do these several-day, organized, nomadic- rides-for-the-multitudes because it feels so good when we QUIT!!

Each morning, awaking from Therma-rest rest, with a puffy face and swollen eyelids, I realize Bike Virginia has done their darndest to make this thing one big party. With the Civil War Odyssey theme we would tour some historic battleground (Bull Run, Chancellorsville, Fredericksburg). One of the rest stops might be at a small eighteenth century country church complete with costumed re-enactors explaining what took place when Burnside's Union troops occupied the area. At night there might be a block party, band, talent show, tour of the Old Mansion, Virginia Reel dancing, Civil War musicians, or lawn bowling. Then theres always the ubiquitous fire department that really knows how to put on a chicken barbecue. If thats not enough, occasionally mother nature will provide a whopping thunderstorm to flood Tent City and soak all those once soft and fluffy sleeping bags. (Ask Rick and Doreen for more details.)

Somewhere along the route each day from June 22-26 could be found our own KBAers Reuben Fuentes, Colleen Bruins, Kim Pendleton, Rick and Doreen Heppert. Phyllis and Rolla Wade towing Biscuit (a Shelty) in a Burley trailer. The backroads rural scenery straight from the history books made a loop from Manassas to Fredericksburg to Caroline County/Bowling Green to Culpeper and back to Manassas.

All this fun will happen once again next year in some other section of the beautiful state of Virginia. So watch the mail or write for those Bike Virginia applications which come out early in the year. Make those motel reservations early. Or.. with a cake of soap, a pack towel, flip-flops and a grin... wait your turn in line.