June 9 / Rockport, Maine

Sorry for the long delay in posts. I am doing well, but have not been on a bicycle seat for a number of days. I offer the following doggerel as explanation:

 

GREEN ROOM MUSINGS

 

When cycling through the countryside

And a  bio break is needed

Be careful where you stop and go

This counsel should be heeded

 

The “Green Room” offers great relief

When nature’s call is pressing

But three leaf plants and creeping bugs

Can make the moment stressing

 

A hasty squat in verdant woods

Has left me red and swollen

Poison Ivy and mystery bites

Have led me to this poem

 

I’m off the bike these many days

No spandex ’til this passes

Prescription drugs and lots of creams

No venturing near grasses

 

So in my car I drive the tour

Until I have a healing

With Maine’s steep hills and winding roads

A car ride is appealing

 

So when you feel the need to use

The Green Room’s easy acces

Remember, stop and look around

Protect those precious assets

 

Day 36 / Phoenixville PA to New Hope PA

Invading a cafe and bike shop at the end of the bike trail

Invading a cafe and bike shop at the end of the bike trail

imageWe had a good ride today, despite warm temps. For part of the day we followed the Schuylkill River Trail…very pretty.

Was able to do the whole route, until approximately a half mile away from the hotel I had a blowout of my front tire. Although I was headed down a fairly steep hill, I was slowing down to cross some railroad tracks. The bike gods were smiling on me today. For those of you who don’t bike, a blow out sounds like a loud gunshot. I think adrenalin got me through the experience.

Day 35 Rest Day in Phoenixville PA

It was a pleasant rest day in Phoenixville, a small former mill town, now coming back with art galleries, small cafes and lots of restaurants. Three of us spent most of the day in town. A good number of riders chose to travel over to Valley Forge and see the sites there. All in all, a good rest day.image image image image image

Day 34 / Denver PA to Phoenixville, PA

Do you ever wake up thinking you are ready for the day, only to find out when you get down to it, you just don’t have what the day requires? This was that kind of day for me. When I started to ride, only to encounter a long, steep hill on a hot humid morning, I could only go three miles before I lost it. This may be a WomanTours record for the shortest riding day ever. I just couldn’t do it and had to hitch a ride with the van. Not my finest hour, but there are many more days of riding to redeem myself. My face in the picture is almost as red as the house paint!

Waiting to be rescued by the van

Waiting to be rescued by the van

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Day 33 / York PA to Denver PA

Another nice day for biking. We left early and rode through a very quite downtown York and its suburbs. We crossed the Susquehanna River and headed out to the countryside. This is a beautiful farming area, with rolling green hills, and what looks like a prosperous farming community.

I enjoyed the ride until we started climbing after crossing the Susquehanna. This very long hill did me in. The spirit was willing, but there’s just too much flesh!  Before I started this tour, I knew the hills would be a challenge for me. I can do the rollers, but the mile plus 6%-10% inclines are really tough. I see some walking in my future.

Enjoy Memorial Day.

A very long climb

A very long climb

Halway up the hill with the Susquehanna River in the background

Halway up the hill with the Susquehanna River in the background

Day 32 / Owings Mills MD to York PA

We had a chilly start this morning with temps in the high forties. It warmed to the low 60’s, which made for very pleasant riding. Most of the day was spent on a 40 mile rail trail, half in Maryland and half in Pennsylvania. The surface was compacted and a lot easier to ride than yesterday’s trail. The last nine miles of the first half were all uphill, at grades between 1.5% and 3%, which doesn’t sound like much, but after nine miles, I could feel it. Happily, the second half was pretty much downhill, a fun ride. We rode through York to the hotel and had a great salmon chowder for dinner. Our cook is really amazing. Tomorrow we are back on roads, which means a day of rolling hills. Onward and  upward.

Into the woods on the trail

Into the woods on the trail

Today's rail trail

Today’s rail trail

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Crossing the Mason Dixon line and entering Pennsylvania

Crossing the Mason Dixon line and entering Pennsylvania

Rails in place for running train

Rails in place for running train

The birthplace of commercially-made ice cream.

The birthplace of commercially-made ice cream.

Sculpture along the side of the trail

Sculpture along the side of the trail

Grand scale sculpture

Grand scale sculpture

Day 31 / Alexandria VA to Owings Mills MD

We had a great day for our ride into Maryland. We rode bike trails for approximately 30 miles, through DC and into Maryland.  The trail took us right into mall in DC. We had lots of ups and downs, twist and turns. The trail is heavily used and it was difficult to pick up good speed. The  cue sheets were tough to follow and we found ourselves lost a number of times. The most comical was 14 of us lost at the Lincoln Memorial. With most of us dressed in our bright yellow jackets, we loved like a gaggle of wheeled ducks as we dodged rush hour traffic to wend our way back to the Potomac and the trail. After 4.5 hours, my group had covered only 32 miles of trail. It was a long day, but fun.

The Washington Monument, taken from the bike trail.

The Washington Monument, taken from the bike trail.

The Capitol, taken from the bike trail.

The Capitol, taken from the bike trail.

The Mall

The Mall

The Lincoln Memorial

The Lincoln Memorial

The Lincoln Memorial and me.

The Lincoln Memorial and me.

Entering Maryland

Entering Maryland

Tomorrow our 57 mile ride takes us on 40 miles of rail trail (only 2%-3% grade). The trail isn’t paved, so I’m not sure what the riding will be like. Onward and upward.

Days 29 and 30 / Fredericksburg VA to Alexandria VA and Rest Day

The hot and humid weather broke and we had a a comfortable mid-seventies temp day. Today’s route was full of hills, lots of climbing and lots of coasting. About eight of us “bumped” the first 40 miles of the 80+ mile route and had a pretty good ride, despite the hills. Our route took us through an Army base, Fort Belvoir, a cute little River town, Occuquan on the Occuquan River, past Mt. Vernon ( full of tourist busses and tourists,) then on to the Mount Vernon Bike Trail for a 10-12 mile ride into Alexandria. The bike trail was great fun, with lots of twists, turns, climbs and coasts. The trail follows the Potomac River.

Out to dinner last night with some fellow riders and had a good steak and some tasty Pinot noir. Today is raining, a good day to stay put and rest. Tomorrow we ride into Maryland. Time is flying. Only three more weeks until we reach Bar Harbor.

Occuquan

Occuquan

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Day 28 / Richmond VA to Fredericksburg VA

Another hot and humid day,with lots of sun. The ride took us through some pretty country side, but ended on a very busy highway into the hotel. Although I rode a portion of the ride, I didn’t have anywhere near enough energy to do even half of the  75 mile ride. One more day and we get a rest day. I plan to do just that..a full day of rest.

Day 27 / Williamsburg VA to Richmond VA

In order to leave Williamsburg this morning, we needed to retrace our route back over the bumpiest road we’ve encountered this far. Nine miles of chip seal, but almost 30 degrees cooler than our Saturday jaunt. The bike gods were kind after that, as we biked on a beautiful 30 mile bike path through forests and farm land. The trail is still under construction and eventually will provide car-free biking from Williamsburg to Richmond.

Once again, we are experiencing unseasonably high temps and humidity. One more day of this weather, and then it breaks.

Did not see much of Richmond. Maybe Em and I can do some of this route in a car and really have time to stop and explore.

No pictures today.