Saturday, September 14, 2013
I never want to ride the same route twice on these trips. So after a great night at a new Hampton Inn and a great breakfast, breakfast cook Michael and I loaded bike and gear into his car. Michael drove me the 5 miles back over ugly roads to Reistertown. I loaded up, road about a 100 yards to my restart point and was off. The temp was 50 and I was wearing my sleeves and rain parka and was cold for the first hour. The ride was through the Maryland horse country and it is beautiful. Lots of rolling hills, beautiful farms and forest lined roads, and I did say hills! I wanted to get back on schedule with my plan of where to stay. After the 2 short days and a great nights sleep I felt much stronger. Early in the AM I started to get some annoying head winds, they stayed against me the entire day and did I say hills. Throughout the day I met some groups of riders and has some fun talks. After lunch and 44 miles I entered PA. This location is where I was shooting for yesterday and it took 5 hours to ride to because of the hills so my decision to not try it yesterday was a good one! So once in PA the hills got steeper, higher and more. I really do like hills and ride them every day in VT. These PA hills were long and very steep! I spent most of the day climbing in my lowest gears and then flying down the hills at 35 mph for just a couple of minutes then climb again. I was trying to make a bike shop in Wrightsville which closed a 5:00. I thought there was no way however 5 miles out I called the shop told them I was on the way and got there 2 minutes before closing. My shifting was very messy and frustrating. I could try to adjust them myself but I like pros to do it if I can. And there are very few shops along this route since I am usually on remote roads. They felt that the chain and rear cassette were shot, but were not interested in fixing them. I do not agree but a new chain would have been nice. They did some magic and they worked much better on the 5 miles to my motel over yet another big hill. Motel is scary, ordered delivery and it was terrible, I am tired, legs sore. So tomorrow it is to Michele's sisters house. They live a few miles from the route and will pick me up at Valley Forge National Park. Looking forward to seeing them, and a good bed!
Posted by Dan Brown at 9:51 PM