Makes My Head Swirl

My Head's a Swirl

Not the best way to capture the fall colors!

Riding while under the influence of a camera can be risky! It was such a beautiful fall day for a ride. A couple of girlfriends and I were wandering the backroads out near Townsend and I was enjoying taking a few shots of my friends riding ahead of me, when I notice some curious horses in the pasture just ahead. I once again hurried to swing my camera around to get a shot of this nice long stretch of backroad with the two horses looking over the fence at us. Problem was that I was riding in too low of a gear to pedal ahead to have my friends where I wanted them in the shot. No problem I thought,  just quickly shift gears (mind you I had the camera in my other hand ready for the shot) and then ride up to catch them…in an instant I was on the ground! Looking back there was a small branch of wood in the road which apparently I hadn’t seen in my excitement to capture such an beautiful shot.

Knee BandagedI pulled myself up and then, first things first, I checked my camera for any damage — just fine; then my bike — nothing my dear Jon can’t adjust; and then me — a 3/4 inch gash under my knee with some abrasions on my leg and arms — at least I didn’t hit my head. I rinsed the knee wound with my water bottle and flag down a passing truck requesting a handful of kleenex. My girlfriend helped me make a mock bandage to limit the bleeding and off we went to finish the ride. Our plans had been to stop for lunch along the way before heading back. This was fine as it would offer me the opportunity to put my leg up and let it rest and hopefully curtail the bleeding.

On our way back, I noticed that every bump in the road sent a quick shot of pain to my upper left side and then I laughed at a joke my friend made….that’s when I realized that I also had a cracked rib. RATS! I’ve had cracked ribs before (two different bike crashes) and they are not fun. Not for trying to get comfortable, trying to sleep, trying to laugh, cough, sneeze, hiccup, or any of those jarring types of body things we do often enough. I wasn’t too worried about the knee injury as that would heal quickly enough to let me get back to riding — but the ribs that would keep me off the bike for a little while longer. In the middle of fall!! My favorite season of all!! The picture perfect season!!

My Backroad Friends

Enjoying the Backroad with my Friends

So I end this post with a Note to Self…don’t ride under the influence of your camera. Let your rational brain do some of the thinking! Hopefully I’ll heal quickly so I can scurry around on my bike again — beautiful blue skies and backroads are waiting!


Farmhouse on Blaines Chapel Road

Abandoned Farmhouse on Blaines Chapel Road in Rutledge, TN

Discovering new backroads with new scenes to photograph, new twists and turns and hills to climb and descend — it’s the adventure we seek when we head out! Lately, I’ve been on a mission to reride the routes in our guide books. Along the way, I’m documenting the abandoned old farmhouses and barns that are slowly crumbling to the ground. Rarely do I see someone trying to restore these old beauties. They are such a treasure to me and although at the moment I’m not sure exactly what I’m going to do with my growing photo collection, I’m just happy to ride and discover these charming old places! My Pinterest board featuring Abandoned Old Houses around Knoxville is a start.

Old Sedan Tarwater Road, Knoxville TN

Sadly this old sedan in South Knoxville has been reduced to rust

My collection of photos also includes old cars, trucks and tractors, critters along the way, and anything else that catches my eye. Needless to say, I’m not a fast rider these days — I’ve even taken to riding my touring bike most of the time so I can carry my large, heavy, DSLR camera for those shots that require more zoom…plus it’s just more fun to look through the viewfinder and play around with settings. My small, lightweight point-and-shoot is always with me as it’s perfect for ride-by-shootings. Wearing it slung around back, it’s my quick-draw-mcgraw camera (who remembers Quick Draw McGraw?) fast and easy to swing around and shoot while riding.

US Bicycle Route SystemMy goal for starting this blog is to share photos, tales from the road, and new routes that get discovered along the way. One such route that I’m particularly excited about is the development of US Bike Route 21, currently in the design stage. The route when completed will connect Knoxville-Chattanooga-Rome-Atlanta (ultimately starting at Lake Erie). USBR 121 will connect Nashville and Chattanooga with another route to connect Knoxville to Nashville. I’m thrilled to be helping with this project and will post about its progress as the sections come together. Cyclists are invited to ride the route or sections thereof and offer their suggestions and comments. Visit Adventure Cycling’s website for complete details on the US Bicycle Route System.