I'm James Maxey, the author of numerous novels of fantasy and science fiction. I use this site to discuss a wide range of topics, with a heavy emphasis on cranky, uninformed rants about politics and religion and other topics that polite people attempt to avoid. For anyone just wanting to read about my books, I maintain a second blog, The Prophet and the Dragon, where I keep the focus solely on my fiction. I also have a webpage where both blogs stream, with more information about all my books, at jamesmaxey.net.


Saturday, December 10, 2016

Best of Biking

Just after Thanksgiving, with a certain wistfulness, I took the bike rack off my car and put it into storage for winter. It's not the cold that has chased us away from biking for a little while; we've biked in temps as low as the 20s a couple of times. But, we do a lot of our riding after work, and for the next few months there's just not enough light to ride by. As for weekends, we've got so many commitments through December there didn't seem to be space for a Saturday ride. So, in the name of fuel economy, off came the rack, at least until January or February, depending on how the weather goes.

For our wedding anniversary, I gave Cheryl a necklace with a little silver bicycle pendant. Biking has stopped being an occasional leisure activity, or a form of exercise. It's become part of our lifestyle, part of our identity. We bought our first bikes, a pair of red Schwinn Cruisers, before we were married, and would occasionally ride them on the Tobacco Trail or at the beach. Back then, three and four mile rides were exhausting. The thought of ten or twenty mile rides seemed insane. But once Durham built the bridge over 1-40 to turn the Tobacco Trail into a complete 22 mile ride, the challenge of doing the whole trail in a single day started to intrigue us. We also learned about the Neuse River Trail in Raleigh, and all the trails leading off from it. And then there were all the rail trails in Virginia, the Creeper Trail, the New River Trail, the High Bridge Trail, and more. We had bike fever!

So, here's a glimpse at some of the best things we've captured on film these last few years. The best parts of our rides never make it onto film, however, but will be forever in our memories.

 Our first bikes

 From the C&O Canal Trail, Cheryl parked her bike to create a nearly perfect shadow. A lot of other pics we take lend themselves to art.

One of the best things about our rides is all the animals we encounter. Herons, turtles, and deer are all wonderfully photogenic.

Of course, the plants put on a show as well...

 If you bike in the summer for any length of time, occasionally you'll get rained on!

But it's worth the risk of rain for the wonderful scenery.

One challenge of biking: It's kind of hard to get pictures of each other while we're actually on our bikes. Still, we've managed a few decent pictures over the years.

We celebrated my 50th birthday with our first ever 50 mile ride.

The very tip top of the Virginia Creeper Trail... end of the line, but the beginning of a great adventure.


Suzanne Warr said...

What a great bunch of pics! I'm so happy for guys, and love that you're doing this. Way to be awesome! :D

James Maxey said...

Thanks. Awesome is the goal, of course.