Monday, July 30, 2012

Day 43, Confluence PA

BEST: Great lunch provided by BIG RIDE alum Fred Husak. Fred, his wife, and daughter entertained us with food and stories at Connelsville.

WORST: The flat trail I was looking forward to was mind numbing. No variety in scenery. Just stare at the picture of the riders on the trail below for three hours and you will get an idea of the experience.

MOST UNEXPECTED: We had meat loaf last night instead of mac and cheese. Meat Loaf! We are living it up.

The tents got wet again this morning with a very heavy dew. My tent weighs about 6 more pounds than when I started.

The ride was 89 miles with the first 36 in the hills of PA. After a check in, we got onto the YRT bike trail which was crushed rock that was supposedly rolled. It was good in some sections, grass growing in between directions in others, rocks, sticks, and this thing caused by trees and the sun called shadows. All of this combined to make staring at the trail critical to avoid smashing into something inappropriate for the bike. I kept thinking sticks and stones will break my bones. I expected a beautiful trail next to the river, but somebody put trees between the trail and the river, so all we could see was the trail, trees, and the posteriors of other riders.

We did go across a bridge that showed us the river and what we were missing. It was a very slow ride on the trail at about 14 mph, and with a slight upgrade the whole way. I suffered my first flat of the trip; so much for my perfect game. We also passed the 3000 mile point on the ride, but no paint on the ground to show this accomplishment.

We are in the Confluence campground just below a large fill dam. If I hear a roaring sound tonight, I will do some unique back bending to kiss my rearend goodbye.

Dinner was at the only restaurant open tonight, the Lucky Dog. I had an exceptionally good hamburger which filled me to the brim. There is no cell service in this area, but fortunately the Lucky Dog has WiFi so I biked back here after getting ready for bed when I heard this was the case. What sacrifices I make for this blog.

Tomorrow we have a choice of an extremely hilly day, or a very hilly day with a short section of the trail. I am currently leaning towards the latter choice as the ride into Gettysburg is 100 miles with over 8500 feet of climbing. The group is split on this choice with some very ambitious riders and some realistic ones. I will make the choice in the morning. My goal still remains to get to Washington D.C. without having to get carried in a stretcher.

The photo assignment was to take a picture of how I felt today. I felt relief that I am getting so close to the finish. Guess which shot below goes with this feeling.


  1. Relief in a bottle. I love it. I sure missed chatting with you today! Tomorrow we need to make up for it. See you in a day and a half. Yippee.



  2. Shucks on the flat! You did well not talking about the nearly perfect game. It just wasn't meant to be. Maybe on your next ride across the country...

    Soooooo close! See you in a few hills and one more night of camping!

  3. Enjoy the rest of the ride! I have enjoyed reliving the ride through your blog!

    Daria Kurkjy