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Biker enjoys access to scenic routes

The Corydon Democrat continues its new feature for this year, ‘Top 26 of 2006,’ that takes a look at 26 people, places or things that our readers suggested make Harrison County a great place to live or work. The remaining four stories will be published before the end of the year.
Coming from a family with a history of heart disease, Marshall Wolfe tries to reduce his risk of following in his ancestors’ footsteps by exercising and watching his diet.
‘As a young man, I was a runner until my knees played out on me,’ said Wolfe, who moved to Lanesville almost four years ago with his wife, Sandy. ‘During the last 10 years, I have ridden a bike to get my aerobic exercise. I have a mountain bike that I ride on the roads and occasionally on trails when I feel adventurous.’
Wolfe suggested ‘the easy access’ he has ‘to a variety of beautiful bike routes’ as a Top 26.
‘From my home in Lanesville, I can roll down my driveway and be out in the countryside in a matter of minutes. I feel very fortunate to be living here,’ he said.
The avid biker said the hills in the county can ‘create quite a challenge’ to ride up, but they are ‘great fun to zip down.’
One such steep hill is Ball Diamond Hill Road southwest of Lanesville. Green Acres Farm is at the top of the hill.
‘Reaching the crest of (Ball Diamond) is no small task for me,’ Wolfe said. ‘Fortunately, I am always rewarded for my effort with a beautiful display of country scenery in all directions.’
During the three years the Wolfes have lived here, Marshall has become accustomed to many of the routes he rides. Still, occasionally the unexpected happens, like the day he was riding near St. John’s Lutheran School and a deer ran out of the woods and across the road directly in front of him. Not only was he startled, Wolfe said the deer appeared surprised to see him, too.
An outing one summer included entertainment, as Wolfe trekked from his home to nearby Turtle Run Winery, where he took in a free, outdoor afternoon jazz concert. ‘The music, summer scenery and hospitality of the (winery) owners made it a memorable trip,’ Wolfe said.
Wolfe said he enjoys exploring new routes. ‘Each road brings new scenery to look at and creates a new adventure for me,’ he said.
For example, during the summer of 2005, Wolfe had his wife drop him and his bike off in downtown Corydon. Relying on a map, he rode and explored back roads to their Lanesville home.
‘With the exception of one border collie who did not like me passing by his farm, the trip was a very pleasant ride,’ Wolfe said.
Sharing the road with motorists can be dangerous for cyclists, but Wolfe said he has encountered many courteous drivers.
‘Many oncoming drivers even give me a smile and a wave as they pass by,’ he said.
Wolfe does encourage drivers to watch out for bikers.
‘We try to wear bright-colored clothing so you can see us,’ he said. ‘We just want to share your countryside with you. I personally am out there to maintain my health and hopefully keep my heart ticking a few more years.’
The weather can keep cyclists from riding. When that happens, Wolfe said he often heads for the YMCA of Harrison County, where he and his wife are members. At the Y, he said it feels good to be around other people who are interested in gaining or maintaining a degree of good health.
But it’s the outdoor riding that allows Wolfe to see the changing seasons.
‘The fall colors are spectacular,’ he said. ‘Spring time rides help renew my spirits. Even the cold winter rides help me feel alive and part of the world.’
Wolfe summed up his Top 26 nominee this way: ‘Harrison County is great because, for me, biking in Harrison County is fun. I can enjoy the benefit of a good aerobic workout while at the same time I get to explore new views and encounters around every turn.
‘In many ways, it makes me feel like a kid again.’

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