The 2016 bike trip blogs are written by riders and posted daily as Internet access allows. Follow here, on Facebook (and a bit of Twitter and possibly Instagram) with #paiplonbikes. Learn more about the ride and the riders.
So, here we are once again at Plowshare Produce, more specifically at the home of Micah and Bethany Spicher Schonberg. Micah had the woodstove on when we arrived and Scott fairly merged with it when he got in the house. It was a cold ride here, but also oddly beautiful.
Our afternoon began with a wonderful send-off from so many friends and supporters – probably thirty altogether – WTAJ news was even there. Rev. Dean Lindsey, Pastor of State College Presbyterian Church sent us off with wishes for a successful and safe ride and an embrace of the beauty of God’s creation: “Ride with love!” he urged us….
…and then he got on his bike and rode along with us. In fact,
four cyclists joined us for the first leg to McAlevy’s Fort: Rev. Lindsey, Susan Buda, Scott Stilson, and my son Noah. We were delighted to have this company on a cool, wet day – nothing makes the ride go more quickly than enjoyable conversation. The miles seemed to fly by, but occasionally, we took a minute to appreciate the beauty of a misty, spring day.
As we all said, none of us would have chosen to take a ride through the forest on this sort of day – we’d mostly rather be home, curled up with a good book, but in fact mist fills the spring forest with a strange beauty. There is an unearthly stillness and closeness to the woods on a day like this, and riding on our bikes allows us the chance to stop on occasion, listen, and be in awe of the moment.
But it was cold! Riding uphill was actually better, because then we produced our own heat, but the long downhill, together with the mist, chilled us to the bone. We were definitely ready to be inside when we arrived in McAlevy’s Fort, and the welcome was worth it.
Several families came to join us for a pot luck dinner – 25 people gathered for a sumptuous feast of lasagna, lentils, chicken, fresh spinach, jambalaya, flan, and much more! Food tastes great when your body has burned so many calories – and fellowship and the warmth of friends is an unparalleled joy when on a journey. We were sad to bid our friends and families goodbye, and I will miss my son Noah’s smiling face this year (he takes his AP calculus exam on Thursday).
But now it’s late and tomorrow we have many more miles to go. Thanks for following our journey!
—Jon (and the other cyclists)
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