Sunday, December 31, 2023

Today's Bike Ride

Hey y'all. This afternoon I drove up to Richmond to do a bike ride on the Virginia Capital Trail. No, not all 52 miles of it. I've done that three times and I'm afraid that would have been too much for me on a cold day like today. Instead, I cycled to the Malvern Hill Battlefield and back. 

The bike trail, I'm glad to see, was just re-blacktopped. 

Believe me, I do not miss the potholes and tree root bulges. The battle of Malvern Hill, as you know, was the last battle in what came to be known as the Seven Days. 

Just like the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire, so the battlefield was hardly a hill. It is only a long open expanse, though I'm sure it seemed hilly enough to the Confederate soldiers who advanced across it. 

Deadly sheets of Union fire, both artillery and infantry, decimated their ranks. Confederate General D. H. Hill wrote, "It was not war. It was murder." One historian of the Army of the Potomac wrote, "Lee never before nor since that action delivered a battle so ill-judged in conception, or so faulty in its details of execution." Despite losing this battle, Lee still managed to drive McClellan's army away from Richmond. 

Walking the battlefield was exhausting. When I got back to the car I just sat there, breathing deeply for 10 minutes. 

Obviously I need to do more cycling if I'm going to finish the triathlons I've got planned for 2024. But I'll think about later. Right now I need to cook some supper and then chillax. I'm back on campus tomorrow and I can't wait. 

In the meantime, from our home to yours, a very sincere ...