Welcome back to today's installment of...
As the Wheels Turn! :-)
...ah yes those long, rolling hills of Pennsylvania! So sweeping, lush and gorgeous in the summer sun!
Tackle them on two wheels and they turn into an unrelenting ordeal not unlike the Chinese Water Torture! Except MUCH more taxing...!
There was not a single hill that would cause one to go "whoa! THAT hill is gonna be a TOUGH ONE!" Nope. Just a series of hills, with teensy plateaus here and there that just kept going up and UP! Granny and I got VERY well acquainted! Got off and walked THREE times...just wasn't going to KILL myself so early in the ride, which was a total of 61 miles.
Here's a link to the route:
Yes there were a few SWOOPING downhill thrills, but they were curvy and unknowns to me so I was forced to curtail the thrill a bit with the brakes. Somehow they just weren't rewarding enough to make me think: YES! All that effort climbing those hills was WORTH IT!
We stopped for a pleasant lunch at Subway and hit the roads for our return trip, a totally different set of roads.
Fortunately the ride home was much less demanding...especially once we reached New York State again.
However THEN the fireworks began, courtesy of Mother Nature! I was treated to my first ride through a rainstorm! I pulled over for a while under a grocery store's picnic tent in Conklin, where it raged and stormed with lightning strikes zapping all around me and torrential downpours! I had already gotten so soaked by the time I pulled over that my sneakers had trapped enough water for each of my feet to feel like they had their very own swimming pool...lol! Couldn't help but think what a great target a lone biker out in that storm for a lightning strike!
After passing time gabbing with friends and family on my cell the storm quieted down, however still raining steadily. Yours truly figured it was about time this newbie cyclist be initiated in the whiles, whims and ways of biking in a rainstorm. It rained steadily for the next ten miles or so, letting up when I reached the Vestal Parkway so that I could have a pleasant final five miles or so until reaching the Vestal High School.
While I wasn't the slowest person in our group, I was lagging behind many as this had been billed as a Class B (16-19 mph) ride instead of a Class C ride (10-15 mph)...and although I knew I wouldn't cut the speed, I still wanted to travel these as yet uncharted territories. So I took the plunge! And the other members of the bike club were very gracious and patient, waiting for me at turns in the road and complimenting my stick-to-it-iveness for a relative newbie.
So ends yet another chapter in "As the Wheels Turn!"
Hope you all had a SUPER weekend and an even BETTER week ahead!