Promises were made. Expectations were high. If I could convince Paddy to ride my bicycle with the friends-n-family group at 8AM on Memorial Day– surely there would need to be a TREAT waiting. I had a plan.

Chuck, Paddy and Eileen would bike along the B&A trial, and Jill and I would travel via inline skates. Once we reached mile marker 5….bliss would occur for the bikers. Bliss would be in the form of coffee and muffins at one of the two popular coffee shops along the trail. Jill and I would continue on, maximizing the endorphin input, while the rest of the gang enjoyed treats.

Aaaah, best laid plans. We arrived at mile marker 5 — to CLOSED signs on the storefronts. Apparently the fact that it was a HOLIDAY, resulted in coffee shops closing. Whudup? There were some very sad faces on the bikers. We quickly came up with Plan-B. We’ll make a 7.5 mile beeline back to the cars – with the promise of apres-workout Starbucks to follow.

Paddy was well in the lead, and he was not looking back. He had muffins and coffee on his mind. Eileen was hot in pursuit. We had lost sight of Chuck. Jill and I made a quick stop for a skate adjustment, which put us well in the back of the pack. We resumed our skate, and I got into a drafting position directly behind Jill. As we skated toward Marley Station (mile marker 10) – Jill (who was skating in front) noticed a huge black snake lounging across the trail path. Technically, this is a freak out moment. But cool-as-a-cucumber-Jill, with those triathlon tricep and bicep muscles, flicked me with her left arm across the trail, onto the grass, and toward a tree — missing the black snake. What a sis!

By now, Chuck had ridden his bike back to us – trying to figure out why the skaters were lagging behind. With the adrenaline boost from our black snake encounter, we got back up to speed, and skated with Chuck back to the cars – where Eileen and Paddy were waiting. Within 10 minutes, we were chillin’ with smiles, coffee and breakfast treats. Whew!