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Biking the Parkway with Compatriots

By Art Weekley

469-art-weeklyI traveled the length of the Parkway by bicycle on three occasions, 1996, 1997 and 1998. In each instance, I rode with a group of friends organized by Sam Jernigan. Most of the participants in our group were from Rhode Island and at our age we now refer to ourselves as the “Rhody Wrinkled Riders.” We were completely self-contained, camping on the Parkway each night except the first night. Since we did the ride south to north each time, and there was no suitable campground within rideable distance that day, we would stay at the private campground at Moonshine Creek, 30 or so miles from the southern terminus. The beginning of each trip was timed for the opening day of the Parkway, May 1st. We spent 9 days to complete the ride each time with our average total riding time each year about 57 hours. Sam did the ride 12 times!! On the occasion of his 10th trip one of the other riders commented that he could understand why someone would enjoy the challenge of the ride the first time and he could understand why someone would enjoy the significance of the ride the tenth time, but he couldn’t imagine why anyone would do it the second time!!!

The Parkway is surely an American treasure and while it’s a very difficult bicycle ride, it has left me with wonderful memories!!

And special thanks to FRIENDS for all of your efforts.

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