“All growth is a leap in the dark, a spontaneous unpremeditated act without benefit of experience.”
Sunday, June 17, 2018
Today was the first time in a very long time that I spontaneously headed downstairs into the garage, hopped on Ole Bessie, walked out onto the driveway and had no idea where I was going – no premeditated plan, no GPS, no Google Maps or MayMyRide…just a small bag of trail mix, my debit card and ID and two containers of water. Today I was going to stop and smell the roses…
Not wanting to climb any mountains, I knew which roads to start with to avoid any unnecessary exertion at the end of my ride – let’s go through Maple Shade…no brainer – down the hill on 537 and left on New Albany Road…one of the most dreadful overpass, steady long inclines in Burlington County coming the opposite direction.
First stop – chicken wire sculptures – how have I never noticed this before?!
It’s been a long time since I took New Albany Road to the end…and remembered why when I hit the dreaded Route 130…
Somehow managing to cross over the highway of hell, I continued on until reaching River Road – another road that fellow cyclists seem to enjoy yet produces significant anxiety for me deep within my soul.
With the fear of giant sneaker-clad ghosts out for a stroll on the highway along the Delaware River haunting me, I pedaled as quickly as possible through Cinnaminson until the “bike lane” allowed enough room for me to not fear imminent death.
A turtle crossing sign made up of recycled roof singles – okay, if the turtles don’t have a chance in hell, what of me?!
Safely making it into Riverton, I checked out the shops promoting painting lessons, dining with yoga and old-time hardware. As I came to a red traffic light at the intersection of River Road and Main Street where I normally turn left, I decided to check Google Maps to see what would happen if I turned right.
I stopped briefly at a beautiful 19th-century church where I met a little boy walking his bulldog named Ruby. The boy’s father then appeared on his bike after a nice morning ride and the three of us chatted for a few minutes – until someone slammed the church door shut…loudly…we got the hint.
Main Street ends at Bank Avenue, home to the Riverton Yacht Club, one of the oldest steamboat landings in America.
A mere seven blocks long, Bank Avenue is lined with gorgeous 19th-century mansions, one of which is the 1851 Riverbank Manor or the Caleb Clothier House, reportedly a stop on the Underground Railroad. By the way, it’s currently up for sale if anyone’s interested…
Coming to the end of Bank Avenue, I turned left toward River Road in order to get back onto Main Street and head home. This time I decided to stop at an old abandoned house I’ve ridden by a few times.
The sign says it’s the Cinnaminson Home established in 1880, but I can’t find any information whatsoever about this place. Oddly attached to this 19th-century farmhouse is a long brick building resembling a a school or apartment complex – curiouser and curiouser…
Ready to finish my ride, I was pleased to find that Hello Kitty lives a little over a mile from my house…
“Don’t need reason, don’t need rhyme
Ain’t nothing I would rather do”
Highway to Hell – AC/DC
“I had run for 3 years, 2 months, 14 days, and 16 hours.” – Forrest Gump