Ride Report: 06.27.08, Heritage Rail Trail

I didn’t feel that great when I woke up this morning; kind of tired and achey.  I figured it was the weather changing as we are to have a strong front move through today.  I really wanted to get this ride in and I’d taken the day off from work, so I popped a few ibuprofen and had a cup of coffee.  After a bit I felt well enough to head out, realizing that I’d feel much better once I got to riding and had the joints stretched out.

Here is a shot of the trucker in The Pig.  The temps were to reach the low 90’s, so I had a heavy load of three large water bottles.

 

Since there is no parking at the trailhead in York on weekdays, I drove down to Brillhart Station.  Given my recent mileage, I figured that I could put in a metric century today if I kept the pace under control.  At 8:00 there were a few bikes and hikers, but not much activity overall.

Towards Serenity Station I noticed that they have done some culvert work and resurfacing.  Overall, the PA side of the trail is in good shape.

 

Of course, the crushed limestone surface presents some challenges.  The worst part is getting a mouthful of dust just before the water comes out.

This little guy was making his way across the path around Hanover Junction.  I suppose I could make a comment about helmets, but the idea of getting a turtle patch for the Carradice suddenly appeals to me.

 

Once you get down into Maryland, the canopy cools things off, and the scenery is amazing.  I also noticed a lot more activity, especially between 10:00 and 11:30.  The trail runs along a stream that is full of rapids and small waterfalls like this one:

The turnaround spot was just south of Monkton.  It was tempting to keep going, but I was watching the clock because of an afternoon obligation.  I went back to the Monkton train station and sat for a bit, had second breakfast, and stretched.  The 15 minute rest really helped, and it was back to work.

 A few miles south of Freeland, I spotted this little patch of nature.  Notice the tree trunks where some beavers have been busy.  I never saw anything like this firsthand before.  I think the beavers were on their coffee break at the time.

 Also, up at Freeland, I had to stop and get a shot of this kayak.  Obviously not for the rapids in this area, but what a beautiful piece of craftsmanship.  It reminded me of some of the wooden rowing shells I’ve seen.

At around 50 miles, I noticed that I had reached my “tipping point” with my butt starting to ache a little, my legs were getting heavy, and my neck was tight.  I pulled into Serenity Junction for a spell and parked right next to this interesting trike setup.  The owner was regalling a few other bikers about it, so I hung back and stealthfully took this shot so as not to attract his attention, and thus have to listen to all the benefits of riding a recumbent.  This is especially ironic, since I wouldn’t miss a heartbeat if someone came up and starting asking about the trucker.

Like before, the rest and stretching really helped, and I was able to finish the ride pretty strong.  The level ride with a lack of hills makes the miles go by pretty fast, but I also think the constant spinning and working in the saddle presents it’s own set of challenges.  I think this was my third time on the HRT this season, and I’ve learned how to pace myself much better; plus the work on the hills during the week have strengthened me somewhat, which was noticeable grinding up from Freeland to New Freedom.

Overall, a good ride, and one step closer to that century mark.

Distance: 62 miles, 2008: 702.7

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