Category Archives: century ride

Mini Tour Day 3

10/1/15, Day 3 – Elkton, MD to Salisbury, MD. 99.1 miles.  (271.68 total miles)

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I woke up to rain. Again.  The complimentary breakfast was a joke. Vegan choices were: banana, white bread (?) and peanut butter.  I took all three then went back to pack. 9:00am was my goal time again to roll out. The rain almost stopped by 9 so I left.

The start of the day included the only “hills” of the day. It was gently rolling for the short ride to Delaware. Finally, a sign at the state line.

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Next I got to ride almost the entire length of Delaware.  I had to go over one sketchy bridge on a canal.  Flat landers would call it a climb.  It was not bike friendly and I was glad to get over it.

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Then the terrain went flat.  I made it on to 13 which is a busy highway, but there’s plenty of shoulder and a bike lane on some stretches. The rain was off and on, but usually light.

I was keeping an eye out for a bike shop because I only had one spare tube left and no patch kit.  I detoured about a mile off the route when I found one close-by on Google. I bought two tubes, a patch kit, a new pair of (dark weather) glasses and used their restroom.  Back on route.

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My next stop was at a Wawa where I discovered their soft pretzels; yum!  I live in Sheetz country and never had a Wawa pretzel.  I was hooked.  I also started to watch for my parents and my son.  They were driving down to Ocean City today on the same route as I was headed and they would be driving me back to their house on Saturday night.

Sure enough, they soon passed me. We all pulled over and stopped to chat. They started the day in a downpour; luckily, I avoided that so far.

As I got close to Dover, DE I got off 13 and took 13Alt.  Dover is already a high traffic area and there was a NASCAR race coming to Dover Downs over the weekend.  I went through a quaint little town and passed Wesley College. Then it was back to 13 for a while.

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I couldn’t believe how flat it was. Nothing but farm fields and trees. The rain continued off and on all day.  I was getting closer to Salisbury and my cousin’s house.  She sent me a text to see where I was and offered to come get me.  No thanks! I’ll ride.

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I got 13 again and stayed on back roads. I crossed into Maryland again, but no Welcome to Maryland sign in sight. Again. More farmland; melons.

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When I was just a couple miles away the rain picked up. I got to Salisbury and then to my cousin’s street.  Google maps kept telling me to turn the wrong way.  My cousin got in her car to look for me as I was going in circles near her house. We met in the pouring rain about 200 yards from her house.  My odometer read 99.1 miles.  Normally, I wouldn’t stop on such a number, I’d go get the 100. This time I didn’t.  I was soaked and ready to dry off.

I pulled into her garage and started getting my wet gear. Just as I was ready to get a shower my cousin told me the Seagull Century was cancelled due to the weather, flooding, safety reasons….I just pedaled almost 300 miles to a ride that was cancelled!  Though I did have a great time getting there.  It’s the journey, not the destination.

I showered, put some laundry in the washer and we went for food.  Indian food.  We enjoyed dinner and catching up with each other. We stopped for coffee then went back to her house and turned on the Steelers game.  We both stayed up way past our bed time only to see Baltimore win in OT.  Grr!

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My home for the next two nights.

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Oh well.  The tour to get there was fun.

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They mailed shirts to us and gave the option to roll-over registration to next year.  I plan to tour my way down again next year.

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Mini Tour Day 1

Day 1 – 9/29/15.  Bloomsburg, PA to Harrisburg, PA, 82.58 miles.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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There’s a short ride along the river (below) before getting on to the Capital Area Greenbelt.

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The Greenbelt goes back along the River where you enter Harrisburg.

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There’s a view of the Capitol Building from the riverfront path.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Back to the house, some TV and time for bed.  My home for the night (below).

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Just Keep Pedaling

30 days of biking September bonus round. Day 14.

One of the perks of climbing is the view.

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Climb number 2

I took the day off and rode the Triple Bypass route with some friends.  It starts flat (with a bonus headwind), but then you go up and over 3 climbs of 1000+ feet. One after another.  I told myself to “Just keep pedaling.”  I almost made it. The first climb kicks to 19% at the end. My legs were still tired and heavy from Saturday’s race and Sunday’s ride.  The sleeves were down. With the top almost in sight I cracked and said “That’s it.” I was off the saddle and walking for about 50 yards.  The five of us regrouped at the top, I pulled the sleeves back up and then descended.

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Top of the first climb

There was a gorgeous and breathtaking scenic overlook just a few hundred feet down the road.  Staying true to road cycling style, we did not stop to enjoy the view.  It was a long, surprisingly cold (freezing) and fast drop.  A short stretch of flat(ish) road and we were climbing again.

This next one was longer, but not as steep.  Just keep pedaling.  This time it worked.  I kept pedaling. The hill kept going up. The sleeves came down. My memory is already fading about the climbs.  The second and third are blurring together. There were more views to behold.  Then the sleeves went up and we went down, down, down again.

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Ready for the first big descent

This time we had a little bit more flat terrain, but it was among traffic in South Williamsport.  We stopped for drinks, snacks and a restroom.  With our bottles full we pedaled out of South Williamsport then on to the last climb. Pull the sleeves down, just keep pedaling, another long climb, but again not as steep as the first. I kept pedaling all the way to the top.  Put the sleeves back up and start down again.  Beautiful views, but we’re not stopping. More traffic going down this time. The guys go so fast they pass a dump truck.  Susan and I don’t feel the need to pass the truck. We finally get down the hill and the guys are waiting for us.

The flat stretch back finally treats us to a tailwind for part of the way.  The guys are pulling us faster and faster. It’s tough to hang on, but we do. We make it back to the cars. What a ride!  We are officially ready for the Tour de Shunk century next weekend.  Just keep pedaling.

Triple Bypass

Triple Bypass

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Horsey 100 – part 1

My husband and I left home for Kentucky on Friday (way back on May 22nd) morning. We had about 600 miles of driving ahead of us. What a great guy, he drove most of the trip. Since I was a passenger for so long I tried to get some pictures. Most of them didn’t turn out so well since we were going 70 mph.

Taking pictures at 70mph isn’t easy. i missed the MD sign, but got WV.

So many mountains in WV! When we finally got to Kentucky I missed the sign. I only got “Wel” for the Welcome to Kentucky.

I almost completely missed the KY sign; I only caught the edge.

We arrived at our hotel late according to B. Check-in was at 3 and we arrived around 4:30; late.  We unloaded, B relaxed after a lot of driving and I went to Georgetown College to get my registration packet and shop at the mini Expo.  I bought socks, Sword berry sport drink mix,  a cap and some Gu.  I went back to the hotel, got my gear ready for the ride and we both relaxed and went to sleep early.

I got up early and rode to the start. The suggested start time for the century was 8am, but I left around 7:30 so I didn’t have to rush.  The plan for this trip was to ride with two of my regular biking friends from home.  They had been in KY since Wednesday but I managed to miss them at the registration pick-up (we were late). They planned to do the metric century on Saturday and tried to get me to do that one too. I made my mind up a while back that I was doing the full century and I didn’t give in; I would ride with them Sunday.

The campus of Georgetown College ready to start the century ride.

I rode by myself for a while then met a small group that invited me to ride with them. They were really nice people, from Kentucky, but I can’t remember all their names.  I stuck with them for 50-60 miles, through several rest stops. I finally went on my own because I didn’t want to spend so much time stopped at the rest areas.

Spending the day behind bars.

 

Kentucky’s capitol building.

 

A tilted garden over a fountain at the capitol.

 

An old distillery.

 

  

I wasnt’t expecting this; a castle in Kentucky.

 

The fanciest farm we saw. A huge house, several huge barns, a pond and it’s own horse track.

 


 

The end of the century. Brian wanted a picture so I rode around the circle and crossed the finish line again.

My husband wanted a picture of how greasy my leg was after the ride.

 

Four months to update this, but more to come. Dancing in the streets, another ride with friends this time and a long drive back to PA.

 

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