Bike Tour Magic and the Gateway to the East!

In the past few weeks Ruby and Sarah have been pedaling hard to the east. We are happy to be in Virginia, and looking forward to meeting up with our other Sustainable Cycles crew members in Richmond!

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We had a wonderful ride through Missouri on the Katy Trail, which is an old rail road line that has been converted into a bike trail that traverses almost the entire state. We saw more animals than people, but did have a chance to give away a menstrual cup to a curious female cyclist we met on the trail. We also had a successful event at Clover’s Market in Columbia, MO where we met fellow women’s health enthusiast Carrie Pattison. Carrie is an herbalist and midwife, and gifted us free samples of Wishgarden medicinal tinctures in exchange for a cup. They have been helpful to us on the road, especially for muscle cramping during the ride and seasonal allergies. Visit her website here: http://www.wishgardenherbs.com

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After the workshop we  continued along the Missouri River to St. Louis, spotting everything from eagles to deer to turtles. The scenery was breathtaking, and the riding conditions were easy and enjoyable. At last!

St. Louis was a stark contrast to our trail riding, but we quickly fell in love with the city’s diversity, which was reminiscent of our home town of Brooklyn. We had a great workshop at the Community Arts and Movement Project, and spent two nights with our inspiring friend and fellow bike touring enthusiast Amy Fleming! We traded travel stories and stayed up all night working on a jigsaw puzzle before riding out to the city bus station at 3am to catch a Greyhound bus to Lexington, KY. Ruby miscalculated the mileage and we were going to have to cut out about 300 miles to get to our next workshop in time!

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We arrived in Lexington on the day of the Kentucky Derby. Our gracious host Bill offered to drive us 50 miles the next day just so we could attend his Derby party. How could we say no?! The race was only two minutes long, but we enjoyed the company and the city of Lexington, and got to drink authentic mint juleps out of silver cups. Next we went Stanton Kentucky where we met Joe Bowen, a man who walked across America on stilts in 1980, and who has done TWO 14,000 mile American bike tours. Joe was inspirational, and told us how important it is to follow your dreams. He also took us on a tour of Kentucky’s natural arches along the Red River Gorge. Joe was intrigued by our project, and requested a menstrual cup so that he may share the idea with fellow travelers as they come through his bed and breakfast. “This is incredible!” exclaimed Joe as he got a close up look at a Rubycup!

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We were sad to head east into the mountains and leave our new friends, but the Appalachians offered us lush green vistas despite excruciating climbs. Since many of these roads were built before grade regulations, we often had to get off and walk/push our bikes up the steep, winding roads. Our mountain riding was cut short by a busted axle and wobbly wheel just after we crossed into Virginia. Feeling unsafe on the steep mountain passes, we were miraculously able to get 3 separate rides over 100 miles to the closest bike shop in Abingdon, VA.

We are very excited for our event tomorrow!

Saturday, May 9th
at: the Virginia Tech Women’s Center (206 Washington St., Blacksburg, VA)
12-2PM

Tell your Virginia friends!

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