I was feeling pretty good, so I set out to see my Nemesis: the 9th Street Hill in Freedom, PA. There are other hills and other nemenii, but this one is mine. It has made me cry; it has made me walk; it has made me stop; it has left me a sweaty limp rag-doll after riding to the top; I have climbed it but not beaten it, and I have climbed it a few times and felt good about it.
It is good to have a Nemesis, and I do not demonize them; I respect them, I cherish them; I need them. They keep me honest. I like the saying, "you can't bullshit your way up a hill". So today I went out to see about riding up 9th Street Hill, which is never a certain success.
From the Rez, I rode out to Route 51, into Monaca, across the bridge to East Rochester, then Route 65 to Freedom, and thence to 9th Street. My new front derailleur played very nicely and shifted when asked, it is so nice to not have to time a boot kick with the crank rotations to downshift the chainrings.
The hill went well; in fact, better than it ever has. I was way overdressed and too warm, but I didn't stop until I reached the convenience store at Pine Run Road. I took off my outermost layer, top and bottom, and then continued in a much more comfortable fashion.
The rest of the ride on Freedom-Crider Road was very nice. It's a nice two-lane, a bit twisty and undulating with two actual chicanes, and a fun bit of work. I felt tired by the time I got to the Cranberry Starbucks and locked up outside.
I treated myself to a latte, a pastry, and a bit of wifi. Living la vida loca.
Departed south through the industrial park, Commonwealth Drive and Brush Creek Road, following the old route of the Tour de Sewickley. Took Warrendale-Bayne Road and Big Sewickley Creek Road down to 1337 Township. Took the newly opened Ambridge Bridge across the Ohio River, used the sidewalk for the first time - much nicer than before the rehab project.
Rode 51 North into Aliquippa. Between Leet Township, Ambridge, and Aliquippa I saw four bicylists after seeing none all day. Took Franklin Avenue up to New Sheffield and the Second Purpose of today's ride: an Errandonee 2014 mission to the Pharmacy.
So, here's the Errandonee details. March 7 2014; Errandonee-1 category: coffee or desert. Cranberry Starbucks, Freedom-Crider Road. Venti Skinny One-Pump Vanilla Latte; Cheese Danish. Observation: they heat your danish! Errandonee 2 Category: Shopping or Health, haven't decided. Nighttime. Used a DesignShine TailLight, a knockoff MagicShine Headlight, and a generic HeadLamp on my helmet. 38 miles. Learned: Yes, the manager will let you bring your bike into the store. Observation: Saw 1 roadie building miles, two commuting cyclists.
Finally, the ride home from the pharmacy was oh-dark-hundred. All the drivers, all through the day, were very courteous. Not a single buzz, not a single mean honk. Things are improving.