Tag Archives: bike tour

Mini Tour Day 3

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

image

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.

image

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.

image

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.

image

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.

image

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.

image

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.

image

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!

image

My home for the next two nights.

image

Oh well.  The tour to get there was fun.

image

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.

image

Leave a comment

Filed under Bicycle touring, Bicycling, century ride, road cycling

Mini Tour Day 2

9/30/15, DAY 2 – Harrisburg, PA to Elkton, MD. 90 miles.  Total miles – 172.58

image

My goal was to hit the road by 9am.  I sat and reviewed my route on Google maps and made some notes.  After eating some breakfast I got all packed up and ready to go.  My brother had some contractors at his house and they had to move their stuff for me to get my bike out.  They were very impressed about my trip.  They figured I was headed to work, but my brother told them I was on a 300 mile trip to do a 100 mile ride.

I got my bike and gear outside and noticed I had a flat front tire.  Bummer.  I pulled all the bags off my bike and changed the tube.  There was a wire stuck in the tire.  It was almost 9:30 until I left.  There was a slight drizzle when I took off.  I was on the Capital Area Greenbelt again, but riding reverse direction that I usually go.

image

I stopped under a bridge and took a picture of my favorite trail art then kept going.  As I was leaving the city the rain picked up a little.  I made my first stop at a boat launch area by the river and used the port-o-pot.  I had to wait for a (long) train to pass before I could keep going.  A young man in a truck waiting for the train started conversation with me.  He asked where I was headed and I told him Maryland.  We chatted until the train passed.

image

I soon found myself on a paved bike trail that I wasn’t expecting.  It was a peaceful retreat from the roads for a few miles.  I was in Lancaster County now.  The rain stopped again.

image

I was still on the bike trail and came upon this bridge.

image

It had a nice covered area to look at the river.

image

Back onto roads I soon stopped for some lunch.  I stumbled upon this Turkey Hill Experience place.  I’ve never heard of it before.  I took a picture of the big cow, went into the convenience store for some quick food, ate some chips and a PB&J, then headed out.  I was already running behind even though I didn’t really have a deadline.

image

I got lost briefly after lunch.  The directions wanted me to go on another trail.  The only trail I could find looked like a mountain bike path.  I looked at the map and continued on the road I was riding.  I got a little turned around and wasted more time than mileage (1 mile).  later, I came upon this road (below). This was the worst section of road on the entire trip.  It was 1.4 miles of a goat path through farm country.  There were sections of thick gravel, big rocks, sand and ruts.  I rode most of it and almost crashed several times.  I finally decided to walk the really bad parts.  Thank goodness it was only a short stretch.

image

If I remember correctly, this dam and covered bridge were right on or around the PA/MD line.  I never saw any signs telling me I was leaving PA or entering MD.  This was my only covered bridge since I left home yesterday and went through the Rupert bridge like I always do.

image

image

It wasn’t too much longer until I got to the hotel in Elkton, MD.  It started raining again shortly before I got there.  The room wasn’t bad considering I was going for cheap.  I was soaked and my butt hurt when I got there.  I was also starving and decided to order Dominos.  I like their thin crust pizza with veggies and no cheese.  Normally, I can eat an entire large by myself.  I was so hungry that I ordered two!  I don’t’ know what I was thinking. I couldn’t eat it all.  After the pizza finally arrived, I took a hot shower and got into clean dry clothes.  I spent the rest of the night looking at maps, contacting people to let them know I was okay,  watching TV and snacking on junk.

image

My home for the night.

Leave a comment

Filed under Bicycle touring, bicycling

Mini Tour Day 1

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

image

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.

image

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.

image

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.

image

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.

image

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

image

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

image

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

image

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.

image

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.

image

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.

image

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

image

Leave a comment

Filed under Bicycle touring, bicycling, century ride, road cycling