Stopping to smell the roses

“All growth is a leap in the dark, a spontaneous unpremeditated act without benefit of experience.”

Henry Miller

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…

Highway

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

https://jerseydigs.com/riverton-new-jersey-on-delaware-river-easy-to-visit-by-train/

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

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