Those Things

“Obstacles do not block the path, they are the path.”

~Zen proverb~


Last week, my biking buddy and I faced a few obstacles on the trail – animals, vegetation, slippery mud, water traps, hills and tree roots poking through the pavement.

As any biker knows, obstacles can create a dangerous situation if attention is not paid to what’s ahead.

During our week-long escapade, we encountered hopping frog alley, flying grasshopper alley, scurrying bunnies and chipmunks, wild turkeys, greasy mud patches and muddy waters (from downpours Wednesday night), steep hills, tree branches, eroding pavement and black walnuts.

Black walnuts. These things.

I started to call them “landmines.” At first, I thought they were small, rotting green apples, but biking buddy corrected me. Black walnuts are not prevalent in Appleton, but evidently they love the bluff country of Minnesota. We did not love them on the trail, but our hybrid tires were able to handle the punishing crunchiness of their outer shell.

Regarding steep hills…

They are thigh burners on the way up (we didn’t take them all), and they tend to scare me on the way down…because…landmines. I never know if there are obstacles ahead.

Or big tree branches.

I do not have photos of the frogs, grasshoppers, bunnies, chippies or turkeys because they move too fast.

Thank goodness because I would never want to crash into a turkey or squash a frog.

In spite of the obstacles on the path, biking buddy and I racked up about 122 miles of pedaling and came out mostly unscathed  – except for bad hair days, sweaty armpits and a few mosquito bites, which are obstacles of an entirely different category.

If you missed the Sunday Psalm post with obstacle-free photos, click HERE.

If you are into bridges, stay tuned. I have at least one more biking post coming as soon as the obstacle of employment allows time to edit photos and type pretty words.


This post has been brought to you by black walnuts, jumping frogs and Linda Hill’s One-Liner Wednesday. If you are wondering what One-Liner Wednesday is all about, CLICK HERE.

Linda G. Hill is the Queen of One-Liners and rules over her kingdom of followers. Check out today’s post and commit yourself to join the Queen’s one-liner army because there’s no fighting or blood, only comradery and fun with words.

30 responses to Those Things

  1. I have, as usual, been somewhat absent from my blogging buddies’ posts but I’m glad I’m on holidays now so I can catch up just in time to hear about your biking adventures. That hill photo made my lactic acid burn in sympathy. I’m sad about no chipmunk photos because, you know, we don’t get to see those. Mind you, I don’t think we have black walnuts either. It’s such a shame that they made you hesitant on the downhills because flying down a hill is the best bit. Still, it all sounds awesome. You are awesome.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      No worries about catching up. I have some of that to do myself. Glad you are here H!

      I burned plenty of lactic acid on this trip and on the hills. Part of me wants to be tough enough to make them all, but most of me says, “Why are you killing yourself over a hill?” Biking buddy and I prefer to enjoy the scenery as we pedal comfortably along on the flats and the downhills. I did get going on some of the downhills, with an eye on the path, so not all was lost. Still had plenty of fun!

  2. Dan Antion says:

    That’s quite an accomplishment, Mary. I’m proud you you. I’m glad you had fun. I do hate obstacles on the trail, especially downhill parts, because I’m usually riding a road bike with those narrow high pressure tires. Thanks for the link to your earlier post. I am still playing catch-up on posts from as far back as last week.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thanks and no worries Dan. I also have to catch up from last week’s absence. Another obstacle! My buddy and I were so glad we had our fatter tires, especially when it came to the greasy mud and walnuts.

      • Dan Antion says:

        The mud would be a real problem for me. Sometimes, if the Canal Path is open in the early spring, you can run into ice and slush. I usually get off and walk my bike through, given that there is water on both sides of the path,

      • bikerchick57 says:

        Good plan! I would never have a bike with skinny road tires, at this point, since most of my biking is on trails. Speak up ng of which, I hope I can get in one or two more trail rides before it gets cold and I have to worry about ice. 😏

  3. Maggie says:

    Black walnuts are my favorite nut but so hard to shell. Sorry they were an obstacle for you.

  4. Laura says:

    I really love that Zen proverb. Think I’ll screenshot it so I can remind myself the next time I’m banging my head over some new glitch.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      It’s a good reminder for myself when things don’t go as I had planned at work. Fewer sighs and headaches that way.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Eww, no, not after they had been run over by tires and pecked at by the squirrels. Besides I had read-to-eat cashews in my bike bag. Yummy!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      You’re welcome, Susan! Thanks for the kudos. I wish I was back there, putting up with the same obstacles. I’m missing them. 🙂🚲🙂

  5. Joanne Sisco says:

    I smiled through this whole post – the trials of trail riding … bad hair and all 🙂

    At this time of year, I’m particularly nervous about leaves on the ground. Holes become hidden and the leaves themselves can be slippery as ice.

    Your cycling adventure sounds like it was amazing!! I’m guessing you’re already thinking about the next one 🙂

    • bikerchick57 says:

      The leaves were still crunchy and we didn’t come across any holes. Just blacktop crumbling on the trail when it was close to the river. They’re going to have to do something about that. I watch for holes on the gravel trails – gopher holes and sink holes, which are more common then.

      The biking trip was truly amazing, Joanne. You would love it there and, yes, I’m thinking about where to go next year. 🙂

      • Joanne Sisco says:

        I certainly felt more than a twinge reading your post. I’ve done virtually no cycling this summer. It just wasn’t in the cards but your post planted a yearning.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      We were surprised we only saw one deer the entire time, but I guess I’d rather not have one of those run across the path while I’m riding downhill.

  6. Pradeep says:

    That Zen proverb is simply superb. Obstacles on riding path are a pain, since it sort of breaks the rhythm.
    — bpradeepnair.blogpot.com

  7. Ally Bean says:

    I stopped biking years ago because I didn’t like hills, of course– but also because of all those obstacles on the path. The possibility of broken bones scared me. In real life I take obstacles in stride, but on a bike they just harsh my ride.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      The joys of biking greatly outweigh any fears I have over obstacles. And since I used to be a Harley biker chick, I figure the bicycle is a bit safer.

  8. Well, horsefeathers… “Obstacles *are* the path.” That explains everything. 😉
    It looks like you had a wonderful adventure. Hugs on the wing!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      The only feathers I may have rode across were from wild turkeys. Not one horse in sight! Teagan, that was one of my best vacations ever. I’m ready to start planning the bike trip of 2020. 🙂🚲

  9. joey says:

    122 Miles! Wow! Look at you ladies go! Nicely done on time well spent. I’m glad you didn’t wipe out! We have black walnuts here 🙂

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thanks Joey. That’s something I have never done before…bike so many miles in a week. So, proud of myself that I didn’t fall on my keyster over a walnut.

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