Xtracycling back to school


The girls and I have been getting ready to get back to school.  We’re fortunate that Elsa has been admitted to the new Fishburn Focus School for the Environmental Sciences, which boasts trail time, gardening, and water conservation as part of the daily curriculum.   Ivy starts  a Pre-K program in our neighborhood, and I am heading back on Monday to teacher week at NMS.

IMG_1356We had to drop some paperwork off at Fishburn, so we braved the busy Colonial traffic (Franklin to Wonju to Colonial) to finally get to the short patch of oddly positioned bike lane that gets me most of the way to the elementary school.  The distance itself was not a problem, though hauling kids in heavy traffic is definitely not fun.  The plus side is that many people saw us and supported us by waving, smiling, giving wide berth, and even recognizing us from Beth’s article earlier in the summer.  The girls loved that part.IMG_1355

After paperwork and a great conversation with the principal, Mrs. Luckay and the secretary, Mrs. Dunn, we headed down to frolic on the wonderfully eco-friendly playground on campus.  The monkey bars, climbing equipment, and goldfish pond were all wonderful, but my personal favorite was the zip-line.  Really fast, good for adults, and I really felt the arm muscles I haven’t used probably since I was 10.  IMG_1358

Next was the trip back.  I got some safe traveling suggestions from Amy M, and checked out some side roads, but nothing connected me to where I needed to go easily.  So I went back up to Overland Dr. and maneuvered with cars, getting back on the odd clip of bike lane on Colonial and riding very much in noon-time traffic.  We headed to Towers Mall, a strip mall that would help me get several errands done and give us a rest from the heat.

We splurged first at the Firehouse Subs, the kids’ favorite.  I don’t know why,  really.  A grilled cheese is a grilled cheese, but who could argue with the air conditioning and cheery welcome as we entered.  We drank loads of water from the fountain, ate well, and then embarked on school-stuff-getting.

The highlight of the trip, though, was the stop at a local hair-cuttery with back-to-school specials, and the girls got new do’s.  They were so very excited.  Elsa calls hers the surfer-girl and she looks remarkably teenish for a soon-to-be 7 year old.  Sigh.   Ivy wanted and received bangs and looks a little more grown up too.  Sniff.


We headed back downtown, and the construction on Franklin isn’t pretty.  It definitely made getting out and back more hairy (pardon the pun).  We only had one incident, which was pretty minor, and that involved a mini-van speeding up to get in front of me approaching a narrow lane over the bridge. 

Next,  I barreled through a nice neighborhood on the way downtown, got on the Pedestrian Bridge and climbed up towards the Hotel Roanoke, getting onto the lovely greenway, Lick Run.  The intent was to head Valley-View way by the greenway to get my dead cell phone revived and pick up some teacherly items at Staples, but the heat and the haul got to me.  I turned at Washington Park and headed back to the old familiar downtown Roanoke, realizing that the thru-way street towards the 2nd street bridge/Gainsboro area is a nice way to cross town when needed.  It is a 25 mile/hour road, wide streets with clean-ish shoulders, and it saves me some hills, traffic and 10-15 minutes when trying to get to/from North Roanoke and the Greenway.

I start my school commute officially on Monday, and as ready as I’m not, I’m happy to be continuing my biking life into the school year.

2 responses to this post.

  1. ‘yes, Chris, Roanoke car drivers are developing a healthy love for bicyclists!


  2. The school sounds great for Elsa.


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