Rode 43 miles on the Montour Trail in 45F.
|10/31/11 #234 43miles|
I started off at my fave LBS (local bike shop) the Ambridge Bike Shop, where they quickly set my left bar-con shifter right and sent me on my way. I placed an order for my Christmas present, a new ABS bicycle kit. You've got to support your local bike shop.
I planned to start at the Boggs Trailhead riding west. The name 'Boggs' has prompted me to shut off my Droid phone's auto-spellchecking because it turns Boggs into something unfortunate.
It was 43F when I started, and I've come to realize that I need to dress differently for every ten degrees - 45 is very different from 35 or 55. Today I started in my bicycling shorts (no overpants), an UnderArmor ColdGear shirt, my helmet cover, and lightweight full-fingered gloves.
There's a lot of improvement work being done to the trail west of Boggs, between MP12 and MP14 - new drainage, grading, and in places they're redoing the bed of packed limestone. There were quite a few volunteers out working.
The received wisdom is that you're supposed to be cold for the first few miles and then you'll warm up, but I was quite chilly after six miles so I added a jacket.
Around MP20 there's a lot of clearing and bulldozing to prepare for the new railway servicing the Marcellus Shale frac-water. I've been told that the train tracks are going to be placed over the existing trail (which was, of course, a trackbed) and that a new trail will be built next to the tracks.
I rendezvoused with R. around Route 50 and we rode south together. The National Tunnel is awesome but there's water continually dripping from the ceiling, and once the temps move into freezing you really can't safely traverse the tunnel so I was glad to get out there again before it's unusable over the winter.
At Morganza Road the trail detours for the construction of two bridges, and the detour (on a small road) takes quite a bit longer than I'd have expected. Then you use an underpass to go below the trail and onto the golf course side of things, and join the trail there. It's well laid out and well marked.
We continued to trailside FarmHouse Coffee, a favorite stop. I had hot chocolate and a doughnut. It was nice to get inside a warm up, and we lingered a while.
When we got back on the bikes and reversed course we could feel the rain beginning, and as we continued on I realized I wasn't feeling very well in a blood-sugar sort of way, a bit lightheaded and dizzy, so we stopped for a while. R was very patient, and after a respite we got back on the bikes.
Just before the National Tunnel I felt better again, I think the hot chocolate may not have been a smart move on my part, I believe I had a sugar rush and an insulin crash from it.
We finished the ride in a light drizzle, I was glad to have the helmet cover on and the ride was really pretty comfortable. I got back to Boggs at 6pm, a little before sunset, and I was impressed to see an Allegheny County police vehicle checking on the trailhead as I left. Those trailheads are pretty isolated places and it can't hurt to have an occasional check.
It was a great ride.