Sunday, July 8, 2007
Bike ride Valley Forge
Time: 06:15 AM
Temp: 70.7 degrees F
Yesterday we prepared the bikes for an early morning ride before the heat and humidity arrived, today is supposed to be the first day of our three day heat wave. To save time and energy the bike rack was attached to the Highlander last night and the bikes were staged in the garage. What I wouldn't give to have a house with a longer garage so the bike rack could be on the Highlander and still have the garage door close. The goal was to be on the road by 7:00 am, the actual time we left home was 7:07 AM.
The Schuylkill River trail follows an old railroad right of way along the Schuylkill river. The trail runs from the Philadelphia Art museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to the Green Lane Park in Montgomery county. There are mile markers painted on the trail for those people that don't have trip computers. The trail is popular with roller bladders, joggers, walkers and parents with strollers. An early start on the trail helps avoid the little kids and slower traffic on the trail.
We headed for Green Lane Park because that section of the trail runs through the Valley Forge and Perkiomen Parks, offering more shade and cooler temperatures. The trail starts with a long upgrade under a canopy of trees. When you exit the covered section of the trail it's common to see deer grazing in the tall grass but today there were no deer. This was our first bike ride of the year and we discovered the Oaks bridge was under construction and all trail users we rerouted.
The alternate trail used another trail that I didn't even know existed. We passed through the John Audubon Center at Mill Grove and noticed a sign warning us the trail had a nine percent downgrade. I decided Carol should wait at the top of the hill while I ventured to the bottom. The down hill ride was fast but I used the brakes since I didn't know the turns and twists I'd encounter on the way down. I crossed over the Perkiomen Creek and was back to a familiar section of the trail. There was a sign notifying trail users the bridge would be under construction till August 2007.
The ride up the hill wasn't that big a deal for me and provided Carol with some slow motion camera shots. Before Carol could get on her bike we encountered an older man pushing his bike up the hill. We started talking about anything and everything, from his extensive travels around the world to religion and politics. Two ladies rode down the hill to our location but they turned around after deciding against the long ride back up the steep hill. The ladies came back a second and then a third time. One of the ladies pulled me aside and said the man would talk to us for hours and they hoped to rescue us by pulling one of us out of the conversation. It worked! Carol was back on her bike and we started riding again.
Every bike ride has a goal, miles peddled, average speed, fastest speed, etc. Our goal was to enjoy the day and to treat ourselves to a Rita's Water Ice. We arrived at the store and found out it wasn't open but the owner was getting setup for the day. He said if we gave him fifteen minutes he would get us some water ice. The bike shop was already open so we walked across the street and browsed. We bought our water ice and spent time speaking with the owner and his wife. After twelve years in business they decided to sell the franchise. Anyone interested in a job that requires 13 hour days, seven days a week for 7 months a year let me know.