We wake up at our campsite around 7:30 and start crawling out of our sleeping bags and pulling ourselves together for the day. We break down our tents and pack them, then gather around a picnic bench for hot oatmeal or cereal and go over the day’s route. I’m taking point today for the first time, which means I’ll be in front, leading us through every turn and looking for good places to stop.


Leah, today’s morale guru, gives us a motto – “Drink up your day!” and has us all cheer it together after we pick up from breakfast. It’s a cloudy morning, and if it rains, that may end up being way too appropriate. But we do our 5-point bike safety check and head out, with me in the lead.

There’s a farmer’s market a ways down the road, where I have us stop for just-picked strawberries and home-baked muffins. And the sun is coming out after all! We bike on, with the wind in our faces and the sun on our backs, and around 11:30, I stop at a gas station to ask where the nearest grocery store is. Most of our group goes to hang out at a park across the street while 3 others, who are today’s food committee, go shopping for lunch. We have lunch under a huge, shady tree: sandwiches, hummus with pita bread, a fruit salad, and cookies for dessert.

On our afternoon ride, I notice a sign for a scenic outlook up ahead. My navigator, Mario, who has the map, says it’s right off our path, so we take a turn to check it out. It’s a beautiful waterfall, plummeting into a cold, clear river. I’ll never get tired of discovering places like this from a bike! The whole group pulls over for a swim, and when we get back on our bikes, we’re totally refreshed. We cruise up a winding road to a little village where, now that the day’s getting really hot, we stop off for ice cream.

Our last stretch brings us to a fun-looking hostel for the night. Those of us who aren’t on the food committee settle right in, checking email on the hostel’s computer, starting a load of laundry, and setting up an impromptu pool tournament. The food committee gets back and starts dinner – cheesy chicken enchiladas and rice with fresh corn and beans.

We finish our day by talking about who did the most to make the group succeed and setting roles for tomorrow – point, navigator, morale guru, hydration captain, and the group general, who gets everyone up and moving on time and makes sure everyone else does their jobs.

Camping is a lot of fun, but it’s nice to stretch out in a bed at the end of a day, too. I fall asleep feeling proud of my day on point and already looking forward to tomorrow – we’re heading to Harpers Ferry to see historical reenactment in action and do more great biking!

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A Day in the Life

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