Up the road five miles, at a mini-mart that didn't exist when she and her husband built their home in the rural town of Harwood, there's a big sale on.
And Joyce Gillespie knows all about it.
"[It's] milk — just $2.99 a gallon," says Gillespie, 52, as she straps on a helmet and hops on the conveyance that has gotten her pretty much wherever she has needed to go since 1979.
Even on a day when the temperature will crack 100 degrees, a 10-mile round trip is nothing for Gillespie, a self-described shy farm girl best known along the roads of southern Anne Arundel County as "the Bike Lady."
"She's a private person, so I don't think she realizes how popular she is, how many people know her from her bike riding," says neighbor Deana Tice, owner of Enticement Stables. "Say the name 'Miss Joyce,' and people look at you funny. Say, 'the lady on the bike,' and they say, 'Ah, I know her!'"
Gillespie organizes her life so she can pedal everywhere — to work when she has a job (usually 10 miles or more each way), to Annapolis for errands (12 miles), to see her dad in Catonsville (37). She has logged more than 220,000 miles in the past three decades and can't recall the last time she drove a car.
Discussing why, she sounds as down to earth as the hay barn on her family's farm.
"Cars are dirty and noisy," she says. "If just half the people in the United States rode bicycles, and I think they could, just think how much better things would be."
She gives her brakes a final test squeeze.
"Ready?" she asks. "I'll take a safe route. Stay behind me."
And during a break in the traffic on Solomons Island Road (otherwise known as Route 2), she wheels out, finds a space on the shoulder and starts to pedal.
Gillespie didn't set out to be a nonconformist, let alone an environmental activist of some kind. Like an unplanned ramble in the countryside, things just unfolded.
The eldest daughter of a North Carolinian who lived near Baltimore, she always had a soft spot for nature's creations. During the 1960s, while the other kids were sporting Beatles T-shirts, she was carrying notebooks with stickers that read "Save the Timberwolf." She recycled and composted before such things were popular.
At 13, she got her first horse, groomed it faithfully and rode with her sisters in the Patapsco Valley.
"I've always wanted to work with nature, not against it," she says. "If I'd been born a [Native American] 200 years ago, I wouldn't have minded it at all."
She enrolled at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, in the late 1970s, set on studying wildlife and someday moving to Alaska. But life takes many turns. She met a pre-med student from Edgewater who didn't merely seem smart; he knew just about everything it might take to live self-sufficiently in 20th-century America: plumbing, wiring, car repair, even beekeeping.
"You fall in love, your plans change," she says.
Joyce and John Gillespie married, pooled their savings and spent $35,000 on five rural acres about 15 miles south of Annapolis. Within three years, they'd built a house on the place, doing everything themselves but pour the foundation.
She never moved to Alaska or saved an endangered species, but Gillespie found a recipe for living at the edge of the grid. Over the next three decades, the couple raised two children, tended countless animals, grew the fruits and vegetables that were served on their dinner table and thrived on the stillness of their own Shangri-La.
Now, a half-dozen subdivisions snake through Harwood, but their place is paid off and has grown more than tenfold in value.
"I can't imagine doing things any other way," Gillespie says.
Things do change in life, she hollers over her shoulder while pedaling past Dick and Jane's Farm, a Harwood produce stand, and waves at the proprietors.
"Hey, Sandy and Mike," she shouts, and they wave back, calling her name. A summer's day is beginning.
John Gillespie never went to medical school (he didn't have the money), but like any good craftsman, he made do with what he had. He partnered with an uncle who had a flooring business, learning to lay carpet and vinyl. He asked Joyce to join him. And over the years, as newcomers flocked to the mainly rural area, the Gillespies often did the flooring of their patios and kitchens.
"We put the vinyl in that one," she says now and then while passing a newer-looking home.
Gillespie — a woman who rarely watches TV and doesn't know how to use a computer — had an instinct to pare things down. On most evenings, her husband had to drive off to set up the next day's job, and she wanted to get home early to take care of the kids. She started throwing an old Schwinn three-speed bike in the back of their pickup. At the end of each workday, she mounted up and rode home.