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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Casual Camping, Caveat Markleton, Normal Distribution

7.26.2014 43m
Started in Confluence with a visit to the Confluence Cyclery. They really know what they're doing - free wifi, water, bike wash station. There's a booth on the trail giving away tokens redeemable for small treasures at the bike shop.

Rode uphill/east. Saw some folks had picked an inspired place for casual camping. One of my first feelings was: lucky!, my second thought was: great location but no water supply, and my next thought was d'oh! there's a river!

Every time I come out here I mean to mention this and forget to: I think the road crossing is Markleton is (relatively) a bit tricky for low-time, unprepared cyclist noobs. If you're westbound and descending you're fast, and there's a fairly significant mini-ditch in the trail-road interface.

Which is exactly what this cyclist is encountering (and handling quite well):
photo taken with permission of cyclist
And then when you get to the other side of the road, you meet an abrupt uphill and you're probably not in the right gear for that.

Eastbound/climbing, you encounter a downhill and then a funny oblique road crossing:

It's nothing technical, it's just a moment that wants your attention in the midst of twenty miles that doesn't.

Continued to the Rockwood Opera House, and what I think is the only Espresso machine in the region. Talked to some Annapolis cyclists considering Pgh-DC. Back on the bike, descending.

Finally: very very impressed that the gender distribution of the top-ten Pittsburgh riders in the National Bike Challenge is 50/50.

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