I got up early for Independence Day and took off for the Heritage Rail Trail. I wanted to get in a longer ride but wasn’t sure how I’d do on any hills, so I figured some steady state riding would fit the bill. Also, this is the first time I’ve been on the HRT this year.
Arrived in downtown York about 8:00am to a fairly empty lot. As I worked my way south I encountered a few recreational cyclists, but for the most part the trail was hosting runners, mostly women.
It was pretty much an uneventful ride with stops at Hanover Junction and New Freedom. I was surprised at my pace up the grade from Glen Rock to New Freedom given that I was not intentionally pushing it. At NF, I stopped in at the little restaurant in the train station and had a good cup of coffee while I rested my legs and did some people watching. I did hold down the pace a little coming back, but I think part of this was the gusty headwind that managed to stay a headwind even after I turned around at the state line. Go figure.
Around 10:30 I noticed that a lot more people were coming out. A number of times I had to almost come to a full stop because of people standing, blocking the trail. It was enough to make me think that riding on roads are actually safer and more enjoyable – and these weren’t little kids; but adults just not being considerate. At one point, coming back through the tunnel, some yahoo coming at me decided he had to weave out in front of me to avoid a very shallow puddle. That sent my back wheel onto the rail and me yelling at the fool, but fortunately I was able to recover and keep on going. I’ll just chalk it up to the holiday and probably more traffic than normal.
Later on I fell in behind two older guys trying to make their way through some slower family riders. We were all pretty patient and the guy up front was using his bell. The guy in front of me could see me in his mirror, and I could tell he was getting a little nervous, so I hung back. Finally, when the traffic broke, I edged around, hit my brass bell a few times, and joked with the guys about us needing air horns. They got a kick out of that.
Several times I used my bell to warn riders as I was overtaking them, and it just didn’t seem to register with them. They were either yakking away or in some other zone. I had one group where the two women in the back heard me fine, but the one husband up front did not. I hung back patiently until his wife yelled loud enough for him, and then I think he made a smart comment as I passed. It was probably an interesting conversation if he said anything to his wife later.
Not a bad ride overall, but the steady state cadence is a different kind of workout. Later this year I hope to do the whole ride; kind of an annual thing.
Misc. Miles: 2
Distance: 43.6 miles 2009: 648.4