Sunday, July 29, 2007
Our First BCP Connected Ride - A Blast!
Annie and I left the house at 8:30 A.M. to meet up with a ride announced on the listserve of the Bicycle Club of Philadelphia. A Sunday brunch ride, 40 miles round-trip to Norristown. The plan was to have brunch in Norristown, check out the Farm Park there and return home. At 8:50 four of us left 22nd and Spring Garden Street in a light drizzle. Annie and I had had trepidations about being able to keep up with a group ride and even though I had e-mailed the organizer, Henry, to check out the anticipated speed and received a satisfactory reply, I was still a little nervous. But Henry and the other rider, Mark, were great fellows, great riding company and pretty much our speed, both literally and figuratively. We followed a lovely route through Fairmont Park but by the time we were near Merion it became clear that the rain was not going to stop and that the projected 40 mile ride would be too risky. We continued through Merion, into Narberth and ended up at a Mall in Wynnewood for brunch. Excellent food, I must say! After eating we headed home in the continuing rain, going back on more heavily trafficked roads, a good learning experience for Annie, ending up in Manayunk and picking up the Schuylkill path there for the duration. All in all 20 miles, but much more interesting then we usually do, more hills, more traffic and really nice companionship. It felt like a new stage to our riding lives and we both loved it. But we didn't feel we'd had enough when we separated from Henry and Mark at Lloyd Hall. We needed to get a few more miles in and ride a bit harder. so we decided to do another loop around the trail for good measure. not long after this decision Annie missed a cub cut getting from the road to the bike path and went down. she had a nice case of road rash on her knee and elbow, seemed to have strained her thumb and bruised her ribs. Trooper that she is, she got back on and we continued as though nothing had happened. We had a great ride except that after an entire morning of light rain, the thunder roared and the rains came down heavily. We were sopped through and having trouble seeing through it when we got back to Lloyd Hall, so we stopped and took shelter there for a few minutes. Sure enough, the rain passed and, lo and behold, the last mile of our journey was dry. in fact the sun slowly came out and was brightly shining by the time we arrived home. wouldn't you know it. But the fact that the weather cleared did allow me to immediately take the bikes outside to clean off the bikes, clean the brake pads off, lube the chains and get everything ready to ride again tomorrow. Our final mileage was 31 miles.