Day 1 – 9/29/15. Bloomsburg, PA to Harrisburg, PA, 82.58 miles.
The day finally arrived to set out on my first solo mini tour. I left home for a three day journey to Salisbury, MD to ride the Seagull Century. I guess I kind of over-packed for the length of the trip; 3 days on the bike, 2 days at my cousin’s house and then home by car. I had two rear panniers, a dry bag to keep on top of the rack and my handlebar bag.
Bike bags are packed and ready to go.
I left home at 9AM. There was just a little bit of rain falling. It’s fair week after all and it always rains fair week. I’ve done the ride to Harrisburg many times, so this was nothing new. I start with the regular route to work, but I keep heading South. When I got to the covered bridge I realized I didn’t turn on the Strava app on my phone; that’s the easiest way to track the ride. I did have my Garmin/odometer running too. It’s easier on the battery life, tracks speed and distance and I can use it to navigate if necessary. So day one on Strava is 3.77 miles short.
Moving along my biggest “hills” of the day were on my daily commute route. It’s a fairly easy ride to Harrisburg elevation wise, it’s the traffic and busy route that are tough.
I stopped after 22 miles to get a drink and use the restroom. The cashiers at the convenience store started asking me about riding my bike in the rain.
“Where are you going”? Salisbury, MD.
(Looking shocked) “How far are you going today?” Harrisburg.
“Why are you doing this?” Because I’m on vacation.
They were quite amazed and just kept asking silly questions. As I stood there talking to them my parents pulled in. They were headed to my house to pick up my son then they were going to the beach to meet me (my husband had to work). There’s no school here this week because of fair week ( I know, it sounds ridiculous!) We talked briefly then I was on my way.
I stopped at mile 49 for lunch. Subway. I had a veggie and guacamole sub and some chips. The rain was still only an on and off drizzle. The biggest nuisance of the trip so far was the stopping and changing. Stop to take off the rain coat, stop to put on the rain coat……..
After lunch I was approaching the bad part of the ride. Exit Route 11 on to 22/322. It’s like merging onto a major highway. BicyclePA Route J – Not bike friendly! I hate this section! You go from insane traffic, then onto a secondary road that parallels the highway (picture below), then back onto the highway and finally off of it.
When you get off 22/322 it’s calm again. There’s a boat launch along the Susquehanna River by Fort Hunter Park (below) that I usually stop at. They have a port o pot; rest stop #3. Almost into Harrisburg.
There’s a short ride along the river (below) before getting on to the Capital Area Greenbelt.
The Greenbelt goes back along the River where you enter Harrisburg.
There’s a view of the Capitol Building from the riverfront path.
I’ve been on the Greenbelt so many times, but never saw this sign. I guess it’s because I usually take the path to the right across the bridge onto City Island. This time I stayed left and headed to my brother’s house.
From here I headed off the Greenbelt and through the city. I didn’t mind the city riding; it was only a couple miles. After almost 6 years, I still have trouble finding my brother’s house. I tried to use my phone to navigate the final mile or two, but I couldn’t hear the directions. I was so close, but going in circles. I finally made the correct turn and knew where I was. I arrived.
I went around back and parked in his basement. Everything was wet, but not soaking wet. I carried everything up into the dining room and sat it all on a towel on the dining room floor. I decided to get rid of some stuff. Today was flat and the load wasn’t bad, but tomorrow was rolling and I needed to shed a little weight. I pulled a few items out to leave behind, I showered, got ready to go get food and our parent’s and my son stopped by. I gave them my extra gear then they headed South to their house.
We went to get food. Mediterranean food. A falafel wrap, some hummus and a delicious mango drink. Delicious.
Back to the house, some TV and time for bed. My home for the night (below).