Bicycle Time Travel

trail ridingThis weekend was bright and sunny, a weird contrast to the severe storm the East coast experienced. It was also cold; Saturday and Sunday morning both began with subzero temperatures.

I was a bit unnerved by the fact that the last time we had subzero weather my freehub decided to give out on me. Doug from Four Season Cycling had assured me that nothing was wrong with the freehub, it just needed new, more suitable grease. With guidance from my dad and this video, I had flushed the old grease out and regreased the hub, hoping that my problem was solved.

Everything ran smoothly on my commute Saturday morning  with the temperature at -4. When I woke up Sunday morning it was -9 outside. Usually I just ride straight to church, which is just a mile up the road, but I wanted to test my bike out to make sure everything was working properly. So I left my house before sunrise to ride in the coldest temperatures possible. I didn’t do this to have fun, I was on a serious ride to test out my bicycle, I don’t think I even cracked a smile…

…Well, until I found a trail to ride through the woods.

The bike worked perfectly in the cold which made the trail even more fun to ride. Once I was back on the road, I saw an Amish buggy turning onto the same country lane that led to my church. Without hesitation, I turned onto the road behind it, but as I was doing so, I saw another Amish buggy turning behind me.

The next few seconds were comical as Amish folks seemed to pop up in every direction.

There were buggies coming from the right.
And the left.
There were groups of Amish ladies walking on the road dressed in black capes.
And also groups of boys and girls.

I found myself smack dab in the middle of the Amish community as they made their way to a family’s home for church!

For a few minutes, I felt like I had been transported back in time to early colonial America. Then we (meaning the procession of Amish folks and a lone cyclist) came to the farmhouse where the service was quite obviously being held.

The barnyard was full of Amish men who bustling about, talking and getting their horses situated. Well, they had been bustling about, but when they saw me, everything slowed to a halt.

With a bright colored jacket and blinking red lights, I supposed I stood out from the somber, dark tones of their community.

Suddenly, I felt like I was intruding on something very private. I did the only thing I could do, I waved awkwardly and gave a faint, “Hello”. Several of the men gave a jolly wave in return, which smoothed things over a bit, although I did see an elderly man with gray whiskers and twinkling eyes looking at me and laughing quite heartily.

My Pastor laughed quite loudly as well when I recounted my tale. I guess some test rides aren’t destined to be serious.


This church is the prettiest one in town, which explains why I took pictures of it during sunrise and not my own church….

12 thoughts on “Bicycle Time Travel

  1. I can’t help it. Every time I see an Amish buggy I think of a scene in Witness. Book, played by Harrison Ford, is hiding out among the Amish in PA. He jumps down off a buggy and clobbers a guy who has gotten under his nerves. The old Amish mad in the buggy grimly says, “Book, this is not our way.” Good that your Amish folks have a sense of humor about outsiders.


    • Yikes, I am glad no one jumped out and clobbered me! (Because I could have gotten under someone’s nerves I am sure.) Joking aside, the Amish community here seems very friendly, even to odd cyclists like me that randomly appear from nowhere 😀

      Liked by 2 people

  2. *mutters “that guy’s video is better than mine…” *coughs* my freehub bearings were totally shot on my old bike… like, you could hear me just rolling along because they sounded so rough, and I learned it wasn’t possible to replace them – I guess I could have overhauled them if I’d have seen that video in time. I ended up buying a cheap pair of new wheels… (and a bell because suddenly I became a hazard to dog walkers in the road who could no longer hear me coming) but those wheels didn’t last long at all – the hub bearings/races need attention within a year or so (something I never did with my original wheels). The bike I have now occasionally produces a peculiar grating sound from time-to-time from the rear axel… I’ve renewed the grease to little avail, it comes and goes… but I think it’s good to periodically clean out and regrease these bearings (particularly with the riding you do) – well done getting the job done – I found getting things tightened up just the right amount a little tricky.


    • My dad was there to help with the tightening up part, which was a very good thing because left to my own devices I would have left it waayy to loose. Now I will remember for next time…hopefully. I think it is important to clean them out periodically as well, mostly so I don’t forget how to do it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for including us on your cycling adventures … although, I gotta admit, my commutes are boring, not warranting a blog .. but yours are always so interesting and fun. Thank you once again! 🙂


    • I feel so blessed to live here in rural NY. I know small towns aren’t supposed to be exciting but there always seem to an adventure just around the corner. And of course snow is an adventure in itself, you never know what will happen in winter, so if you ever want to come up here and join in the fun, feel free 😀

      I bet your commutes are more interesting then you think they are…just because they seem mundane to you doesn’t mean that others (like me, I have barely even visited big metro areas) won’t find them quite exciting to read about.


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