We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day to bicycle through Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge and along the quiet country roads of the lower Eastern Shore: clear blue skies and temperatures in the mid-50s. Even the headwind at the start of the ride ended up being a tailwind at the end of the ride, much to everyone's relief.
Our eight bicyclists met just inside the refuge and headed out along Wildlife Drive. Although the tundra swans hadn't yet arrived from Canada, we did see a bald eagle, a great blue heron, and lots of ducks and geese.
We biked at a leisurely pace along the 25 miles of this ride. For a few of our group, this was the longest ride they'd ever attempted. With a break at 10 miles and our lunch stop at 20 miles, we all made it across the finish line, although at least one biker asked (half kidding, I think) where the sag wagon was.
We stopped at Shorter's Wharf for lunch and enjoyed a lovely view of the water with one kayaker slowly paddling by.
With the wind at our back for the home stretch, we pulled back into the refuge with that good kind of tired feeling.