From the Page to In-Person: Pondero Rivendell C&O Meetup

Pondero, a writer, rider, and Rivendell owner out of Texas, was in town this week for a combined family visit and a C&O Canal trip. I interviewed him last year for my On Writing and Riding series, which featured many of my favorite cycling blogs. As I noted in my original interview, Pondero’s understated yet observant posts demonstrate an affinity for bike rides, coffee in the country, and relaxed moments hanging out with his bikes.

Chris Pondero C&O Rivendell

When Pondero suggested a meetup with other Rivendell owners, I wrote the time and date down in pen on my calendar, and showed up at the appointed hour on my Surly Long Haul Trucker. Yes, I had ambitions of riding one of my Rivendells, but insert excuse here, I ended up on my trusty LHT. It did the job, and nobody told me I had to leave, so that’s good.

Chris Pondero C&O Rivendell

It was an ideal fall morning for playing hooky– clear skies, low humidity, and sun that quickly warmed the day to temps in the 70s. I planned to only do a meet and greet, but with conditions like that, my bike took me hostage and I ended up with about 30 miles round trip before going into the office around noon. Oh, if all days could be so inviting! But the wishes surrounding my daily routine are not the topic of this post.

Group photo! (Tried to edit out the camera cord here so sorry about the strange-looking sand in the foreground.)
Group photo! (Tried to edit out the camera cord here so sorry about the strange-looking sand in the foreground.)

No, this post is about the ways that the impersonal internet can link us in very real ways. One of the unexpected rewards of starting this blog is the opportunity I’ve had to connect to others who write and ride. I’ve met other coffeeneurs, bloggers, and many people in the bicycling community who I would likely otherwise not know.

Chris Pondero C&O Rivendell

I don’t generally consider who is reading my writing when I compose a blog entry. When I read posts from others, I don’t usually think about the possibility of meeting them. I digest their writing and experiences from afar. Even so, associations are made. Sometimes they expand beyond the virtual page, and we end up connecting in a more direct fashion.

Rivendell C&O-Jeff 01

It feels like serendipity, though I realize it’s less magical than that, and probably more attributable to good planning than anything else. Even so, a sense of coziness and belonging enters my world whenever these encounters happen.

Chris Pondero C&O Rivendell

The chance to meet others who share a passion for riding and exploring exceeds any expectations that I initially held about maintaining a blog. I thought blogging was about giving myself a space to write, but over the years it has evolved into so much more. Thanks, Pondero, and to all of you who have taken the time to meet in person.

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