Sunday, December 29, 2013
The Festive 500: Recovery Ride to Slabsides
While Gilded Age robber barons were erecting massive estates along the Hudson River and throwing parties that cost more than most people earned in a year, a quiet man named John Burroughs (who also built a lovely home on the west side of the Hudson) snuck up to this rustic cabin and wrote some of the most influential works on environmentalism to date. I could not think of a better site to visit on my recovery day than Slabsides, which sits high on a rocky outcrop about a mile from my own house. Burroughs is not very well known these days, but he was one of the most highly regarded writers of his generation. His influence on others such as John Muir and Theodore Roosevelt was significant. Legend has it that TR sailed the official presidential yacht up the Hudson and walked up the hill to meet Burroughs at this cabin, irritating Frederick Vanderbilt right across the river to no end.
Today's recovery ride reminded me of that wonderful feeling that comes from riding too far. After several months in which I rode about 100 miles per week, five days filled with 270 miles creates a feeling that is both pleasing and hard to describe. Onward ho!