bike the barns

whew! we just got back from a 64 mile bike ride that was both grueling and great. it was a benefit ride for macsac, but i somehow missed the “you should try to get people to pledge money” part of the sign-up info and just paid my registration fee (sorry. if i do it again next year, i’ll do better, i promise!). basically, we rode bikes around the area, visiting 4 different community supported agriculture farms and eating amazing food at each one. we started the morning at troy gardens on the north side of town and enjoyed a warm, wheat roll, an apple and a delicious apple croissant (sorry, i ate that one before i could take a picture of it. too yummy. too early in the morning.).

next, we rode about 18 miles to the “dreamfarm” which has chickens and several kinds of goats. at this first stop, we enjoyed goat cheese (four different kinds–my favorite was probably garlic dill… or maybe herbes de provence) and locally made crackers.

we also got to visit the goats and chickens. check out this super-goat with four horns! (he followed people around like a dog, begging to be petted. so cute! …. for a four-horned goat, anyway.)

after a relaxed visit at dreamfarm, we hopped back on the bikes for about another 10 mile ride to lunch at vermont valley farm. wow. check out this lunch:

isn’t it beautiful? let me walk you through it. there’s a salad made with fresh greens and a vinaigrette dressing, beets, roasted squash (several varieties), homemade sauerkraut, brisket with potatoes, a slice of fresh bread and an apple + butter = goodness dessert. plus, i also picked up an apple and a hard-boiled egg. everything was superb. i was also very impressed that they served the meal on real plates (not disposable) and the plastic fork and knife that we used were recycled afterwards.

next, the big haul. some truly challenging hills lay in the next 17 miles after lunch. ow. ow. ow. but i (stubborn as always) stayed on my bike and didn’t walk up any hills. i also tried to focus on the other fun things we were biking past. like giant fuzzy black caterpillars that reminded me of bert’s eyebrows. and a farm with llamas (one was posing near the fence, but, sadly, i didn’t take the time to photograph him) and a few cows that were actually wearing cowbells! (ding, ding) a fellow rider who was wearing plaid suspenders, socks with sandals and whistling a pleasant tune as he rode past me. (yes, i am slow.) another fellow rider who passed me just at the top of a very loooooong hillclimb who leaned over to me and said, “good job!” and then, finally, thankfully, we arrived at the fourth farm. i first visited the “harley garden”–a shed where they had a bathroom that they opened up to riders that also housed 6 motorcycles and a tiny, toddler-sized motorcycle–with a motor! then, enjoyed a glass of passion-fruit lemonade (the other option was concord grape juice. it was a hard decision!) and four chocolates from gail ambrosius.

(the four chocolates… minus the one i already ate…)
mr. happy stuff and i agreed that this was just exactly the right “snack” for a stop in this portion of the ride. in fact, we were both impressed wtih the food, and the appropriateness of the food, at all of the stops. and look! they didn’t use plastic cups at this stop either! the rest of the ride was mostly downhill and through town and although we are both exhausted and sore, we both hope to repeat this ride next year!

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