• Sharon Shirk

Evening Bike Ride on Stumptown Road


We think it’s important to have hobbies and things to do as a family that make memories and spend good energy just for the sake of being together. One of those kinds of things that Carl and I enjoy very much is bike riding – the kind where you pedal and see things up close and personal and feel the changes in temperature and enjoy the scent of things you are passing like wild honey suckle in the side of the road, the smell of fresh cut hay, or cows grazing in the meadow. We had a Sunday evening like that recently…it was a beautiful evening, and warm around 75 degrees. We decided to spend it together bike riding and we loved every minute of it.

We sometimes will choose a rail trail ride but this time we just headed out our driveway and turned right down Stumptown Rd. We saw a rabbit on our way out, he was as intrigued with us as we were with him, his ears were still perked toward us as we turned onto the road.

We rode down Stumptown and then right onto Mt Sidney, past Conestoga Valley Middle School. We passed a few buggies filled with families who were likely out visiting neighbors. The bikes allowed us to get just close enough to catch the scent of sweat and horse as we rode by. Carl most times leads the way and I’m working to keep up as we turn right onto Horseshoe Rd.

This is a great bike route, there’s a wide berm for riding, that lasts for at least a little while, then I’m aware of traffic having a hard time getting around us and soon we turn right onto Eby Rd. Very quiet back here, only an occasional passing car, more often a family or couple riding in a horse and buggy duo and, of course, us. We ride by farms and hear the milker milking and cows mooing. We spot an occasional other bike rider, flowers along the road and lots of scenery and lovely farmsteads and a backyard sheds builder, a goat farm, and other pleasantly familiar scenery.

We see Rhiels’ Quilts on the left on Eby Rd. just as we turn onto Stumptown Rd at the east end. From here we have about 4 miles back to our home, so we take our time, knowing we are on the home stretch. Passing an ice cream and home made pretzel sign, we are reminded it’s Sunday cause the sign reads “CLOSED”. Down the road there are goats and heifers and chickens and a picnic area and we decide to stop and rest.

It’s peaceful here with picnic tables, a few people have fishing lines in and are wating their catch, someone is walking their dog, a family is eating together right by the water and watching ducks float by. We resume biking and watch the sunset colors on the Mascot Mill waterfall, it’s unforgetablely gorgeous as we cross over 772 and continue our ride on Stumptown toward home. We still have a few miles and need to get there before dark.

We pass the Mill, the Amish School, Stumptown Mennonite Church, the deer farm, farming fields, the horses get to rest today too cause no one farms here on Sundays. We pass the original Bird-in-Hand Bake Shop sign on Gibbons Rd. and then pass Beachdale rd. and then in a little while we pass South View Drive and turn right into our drive again. Tired and relaxed from using all that energy, we pedal up the driveway – happy to have spent some time together while enjoying the slow hum of Lancaster County.

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