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An Incredible Day!(11 posts)

An Incredible Day!Rich Clark
Sep 2, 2001 2:43 PM
I spent 8 hours on the bike today, it was just too gorgeous here in eastern PA not to be riding. High 70's, mostly sunny, low humidity, gentle breezes, not too much traffic. I just loaded up some food in my rack topper, and a paperback, and rode. Did some errands, stopped in parks to eat and read, rode some more, stopped at a Starbucks, rode some more, stopped and helped an older couple fix a flat on their comfort bike, rode some more, bought a milk shake at Dairy Queen... I ended up riding about 80 miles and goofing off a lot, but it'll be a day I'll remember.

Tomorrow it's bike shop day. Wash all the bikes. New wheels and cranks for my son's MTB; new chain, cassette and RD for the tourer. Then it's back to work and school for everybody. Today was a gift at just the right moment.

RichC
Sounds great to meCliff Oates
Sep 2, 2001 3:05 PM
Bike shop day works for me too, but then I have a tool fetish (I just had my LBS order a Stein fixed BB cup wrench for me -- it'll be a help next weekend when I'm disassembling my Bianchi CX bike and building up my new Gunnar Crosshairs).

I got out for my first ride since Father's Day yesterday. I biffed back in June and broke the heck out of my wrist. Yesterday was the first day when I felt enough strength and confidence to get on a bike. It was only a 12 mile ride, but it felt awfully good. I went for a 17 mile ride with my usual riding bud this morning, and that felt even better.

Now if I can just stay on the hoods for an extended period of time without much pain, I can work some hills back into my route...
re: An Incredible Day!mackgoo
Sep 2, 2001 3:32 PM
Tomorrows my day. Just put the Record 10sp on the Bianchi. This will be the first real ride. Hope to get in about 60 miles. Tomorrow will be the first time I ride with a partner.
re: An Incredible Day!badabill
Sep 2, 2001 6:00 PM
Stuck in San Diego all weekend, What a drag:-) Got to ride Pacific Coast Hwy. Sat. morning. Great day with lots of riders out. Today did a Cross ride in the local hills. Tomorrow will hit the east county for some killer hill work.
Just another awful weekend in paradise :-)
But Pitifully Few Other RidersRich Clark
Sep 2, 2001 8:20 PM
Let's see, it's the most beautiful day of the summer. I'm out there all day, riding roads that are quite well-suited for cycling -- shoulders and good pavement everywhere.

On the first 20 mile stretch, north on 252 from Swarthmore through Media to Paoli, PA... maybe four other cyclists, one of them a roadie, the rest on hybrids or MTB's. I even passed three (open) bike shops en route, and stopped at two (one to buy rim tape, one -- Performance -- to look at bib shorts). Everybody at these shops apparently arrived in cars.

On the second stretch, Paoli to Newtown Square to West Chester, via 252 and US 3, I saw only a single other cyclist. This was an amazingly fit-looking older gent (and I say that from the perspective of being 50 myself) on a nice looking racing bike (I didn't recognize the brand, it may have been custom) with aero bars. He was using the bars to carry a package, since as he said he was just out "doing errands" (and he wasn't dressed in cycling clothes). Nevertheless, he caught me easily and after chatting for a few minutes I waved him on, since he was about to drop me on the upcoming hill anyway.

I cut through Ridley Creek State Park on the way back from West Chester and did a loop on the MUP. This, of course, is where all the bikes were, including (I'm sad to report) far too many roadies riding much to fast for the conditions). This is where I helped the folks with the flat.

Leaving RCSP, I did see a half-dozen road bikers on the access roads to the park. But after leaving the vicinity I was again the sole cyclist in view for miles and miles.

Delaware and Chester Counties in Pennsylvania, outside Philadelphia, are incredibly great places to ride. Lots of suitable roads, challenging but not impossible rolling terrain, and I've never had problems with the drivers. On a day like today the roads should have been thick with bicycles.

It's just sad.

RichC
Same hereKristin
Sep 2, 2001 9:06 PM
I noticed the same thing here...though I got a late start. Still, today was an all day ride kinda day. But I only passed 3 cyclists in 65 miles. Must be people are busy with parties and the like.
But Pitifully Few Other RidersRay Sachs
Sep 3, 2001 9:35 AM
Jeez Rich, you were just riding all the main roads! PA Route 3 on a day like that!?!?!? Head out to the west of West Chester and you'd have seen zillions of riders on the country back roads out there. You'd have seen more bikes than cars probably.

-Ray
But Pitifully Few Other RidersRich Clark
Sep 3, 2001 12:45 PM
A few weeks ago I rode home from Lancaster via Stasburg Road. I saw not a single bike between Lancaster and West Chester. Admittedly it was a Friday, but still it was another stunner of a day.

I'm sure you're right about how many people ride out there, but I can't believe everybody from Philadelphia and Delaware Counties goes out to Chester County and beyond to ride.

RichC
But Pitifully Few Other RidersJL
Sep 4, 2001 4:53 AM
Rich,

I envy you. I missed the whole weekend away at a wedding in Mass. Yesterday, I had too much to do to get a ride in, or even on this website. As Ray said, I can't believe you ride Route 3. There are so many good back roads out that way. I ride around the same areas as you, and it amazes me how few people (roadies) I see. I've also ridden Strasburg road and rarely see people. I did a 84 mile loop down to Avondale from my house and saw 2 bike riders (I'm not counting the group at the Northbrook Orchards). It amazes me how few I see some days, if any.

Happy riding and maybe I'll see you riding what should be a nice couple of weeks.

JL
But Pitifully Few Other RidersRich Clark
Sep 4, 2001 7:09 AM
I'm a commuter and tourist by disposition; I hate not having a destination. So I'm not just riding, I'm "riding to West Chester for lunch," or I'm "riding to Paoli to look at bib shorts." Route 3 is a nice ride once you get out around Newtown Square, and since they resurfaced it it's really quite pleasant. I ride a touring bike with 700x32's, so a little gravel in the shoulder isn't much of a problem.

I try to start all my rides in my back yard, too, so just getting to West Chester and back is 45 miles round trip. But if you could suggest, say, a 30 mile loop around WC I could use to explore some of those back roads once I get there, I'll try it.

RichC
But Pitifully Few Other RidersJL
Sep 4, 2001 1:16 PM
My ride, from Malvern, is around 18 miles round trip. I can do Route 3, like you, or Goshen - Strasburg Road. I have family in/outside WC, so I usually "use" them as a rest stop if needed. I'm usually exploring myself, so I don't have anything too specific. You can take Miner Street, which becomes Rt. 842 and work your way out that way. If you stay on 842, Northbrook Orchards is a good rest stop (Cakes, Ice Cream, etc.). Sorry, I can't be more specific, but it's a big area. The ADC Maps are pretty good for routes, for me. I just like staying off the busy roads if possible. Rt. 252 is the exception for me, that's one of my "flat" roads where I try to push it a little.

Email me if you need more detail around there.

John
john@laubernet.com