40 Miles to Blairsville
Yeah, so – doot doot doot da doot – Update! on “Peddling PA”
The day started off as well as could be expected, Olivia dressed head to toe in pure biker gear and determined as all hell for someone who hasn’t ridden a bike in over 10 years. We made it three & a half miles, though, and she realized that sixty some more probably wasn’t the best idea. So we turned it around and I took her home, then headed back off again.
I stuck to Old William Penn Highway, both for the fact that it draws the straightest line from Point A to Point B, and for the fact that it’s such a cool name… (i.e., “Yep, you just take that there Ol’ Willie Penn down two counties…”)
All in all it was a good ride, no major snags, beautiful countryside. Three bottles of water and a rim of beef jerky helped me along, but by hour four I was feeling a bit tired, so I stopped at the famous Dean’s Diner for a cheeseburger and fries (as I have no clue what kind of food is good for energy, apparently not cheeseburgers and fries) and once I got going again, I didn’t feel like getting going. I rode another five miles or so and then died out, found myself a local bar in Blairsville, and waited for the rescue team to roll in.
So all in all, with the false start and backtracking, I did 47 miles over the Appalachian mountainsides, which is purportedly harder riding that even the Rockies, and most definitely will be more taxing than a relatively flat coastline. So I think I’m ready for the ride this August, though another test run is coming up here in a couple of weeks.
Also, a few things I’ve learned along the way:
- People in small town bars love strangers. It’s probably for a lack of action…
- Don’t trust anyone’s opinion on how far something is down the road. Those used to driving in cars have no ability to discern 1/4 mile from 5 miles.
- Four lane highways are no place for a peddle bike. In fact, if you can even smell a big rig, you’re too close to one.
Up Next: Earnstwhile and in the Meanmoore