|03/22/12 40m 75F|
I have my four panniers on my bike and I'm starting to move my overnight gear on board, in a month I have my first scheduled overnight and it's almost time for me to start figuring out where everything goes. I've done it before, so I'm reloading the bike, but I've got new/more gear to pack. The bike is heavier and so a little bit slower, but it does seem that the Surly LHT's reputation for handling even better with a bit of a load on the frame is well deserved.
Rode the Montour Trail and the Panhandle Trail today. Started at McDonald under the Trestle and rode the Montour south-west, listening to local NPR station 90.5 talk about the local bicycle scene - very nicely done. I like listening to NPR on the trail; it's a two-fer. Wore my SPD sandals today, I thought I'd embrace the high temps while they were here.
Approaching Route 50 I left the trail (as the signs indicated) for the on-road detour, only to find that the road was also closed also. I applied "veteran's privilege" and continued, but it should be simpler than that.
Met R. at the trail near his house, and we continued together to trailside Farmhouse Coffee for coffee and biscotti. Top-notch as always, I really like that place.
Reversed and rode back to Route 50 together where we parted ways. Rode the detour route again, except this time I took the offered alternative trail route. Descending and turning on the temporary trail I hit an extended spot of deep soft gravel, couldn't maintain speed and couldn't get my feet out of the pedals fast enough so I fell down ('doing the Artie Johnson, for people of a certain age, aka the horizontal track stand for people of another niche).
I have been so overdue for a fall. I generally fall once every 500 miles and it's been quite a while. No injury, just some road-rash on my forearm. Looking back on it, I think I was foolish to not consider that by exchanging my shoes (with worn-down cleats) for sandals (with fairly new cleats) I was increasing my clip-out time latency. Lesson learned (again), and pretty easily: complacency is the hunter.
I returned to McDonald and rode the Panhandle Trail westbound. They're resurfacing and widening the trail from the Fort Cherry Ambulance Station east, and it looks like they're doing a very nice job of it. I saw that when the Panhandle passed by the Midway VFD with its fire siren tower, there's a rough path that leads to a gas-station convenience store so I got a cold drink and a snack.
Continued on the Panhandle out to the Cataney Airport, where I parked the bike and found a seat. I had my cold drink and Kellog's rice krispie treat and watched RC-airplanes fly around. For a while there were two helos in the pattern, one doing acrobatics and the other doing tactical manuevers. I wondered if these operators would find their skills in demand as the domestic drone industry gains a foothold. After the helos, there was a yellow R/C taildragger giving an airshow. Very impressive.
Got back on the trail and returned to McDonald. 40 miles and a very nice ride.