I have made it known around my town, in the local bike community, that I will be hosting weekly (once a week minimum) night bike rides, and I’ve been keeping my word thus far. You can follow my progress (and laziness,) by downloading the Strava app to your smartphone, if you would so please.
Speaking of Strava (my favorite bike app yet,) they started to host monthly challenges with the thought of helping out with everyone’s my motivation to ride. You can view their first and current challenge “The May Massive” here. After 1 ride, I am already ranked 810/911 in the woman’s bracket. That’s pretty interesting, I thought at least. I love how so little miles, convert to a good bit of kilometers. Hooray America!
So in short, I have just been riding as much as possible and racking up miles, no matter the bike. For all of my night rides however, I’ve been riding The Dragon Chariot because, who wouldn’t want to cruise around in a chariot?
I woke up, frozen, around 7:00a. I walked outside of our makeshift cabin (I don’t know how I forgot to take pictures of it) to find the fire was completely dead. There were hardly any coals. I guess the combination of the cold and the wind ate through all of our wood faster than we thought it would. Luckily, if there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s restarting a fire from coals and had the fire back up and running in no time.
After messing around with the fire for awhile, I attempted to take a nap (since the Sun was finally hitting the valley we were in around 9:30a) but noticed my tire was mysteriously flat. Maybe no road riding today? I fixed that and then slept until past noon. Where was Frank? Sleeping the whole time.
Plan for today: ride back to the truck, take the truck up to a place on the trail called “Rattlesnake Rock”, bum around for awhile, then set up camp for the night.
It’s supposed to be 50 degrees today, 53 degrees tomorrow and Monday! We’re hoping for our first warm night. I’m ready for this warm weekend all together. Spring needs to be here already! I need to invest in some kind of thermometer so I can see how crappy and cold it gets.
We had a very late start to our actual day. We didn’t finish packing up camp and head out until after 3:00p. Lazy Saturday we called it. Our first step was to ride to one of the local gas stations to fill up on fluids and electricity.
By the time we got up to Rattlesnake Rock, and explored the place a little bit on foot, we decided to just end the trip in favor of coming back in warmer weather. Obviously, the more north we traveled, the worst the trail was. So instead of a week long trip, we only managed 3, but we still managed to have one heck of a fun time!
Moving Time: 5:10.33
Average Speed: 5.6mph
Max Speed: 32.2mph
We reached camp the first night around midnight, and didn’t have everything ready and settled until about 1:00a or 1:30a.
It was an extremely windy night. The incessant sound of my tarp flapping would wake me up during the night and then me up long enough to realize how cold I was. Luckily, the tarp did manage to keep a lot of the wind off me so I wasn’t as cold as I could have been.
We woke up around 6:30a, cleaned up, packed up, and got back on the road by 7:30a. I found out that we managed 9 miles, in the cold, dark night. Not bad for not having a clue where we were going to sleep.
Trip changed from our “complete the trail” plan to our “eff it, let’s ride” plan. The condition of the trail was far less than favorable. The top layer of the trail would freeze at night, and thaw in the morning, leaving this thick slushy mix of gravel and mud. Our average speed on the trail was 5mph which just killed our time and energy so like the first night, we abandoned the trail, and went to the road.
During our morning road ride, we managed 11 miles in about 2 hours. No cars. Just cruising. The hills weren’t too bad either (Pennsylvania hills are apparently some of the worst) and as the saying goes, “what goes up, must come down”. Bombing down hills with no worries of cars or pedestrians was so much fun. Rural roads are so much fun!
The Sun feels so glorious and was out for the first time in too long. We didn’t mind the slow cruising for a change to catch some Sun! The night sky is just fantastic every single night. The lack of light pollution made it easy to see layers upon layers of stars and they were all super bright! I need a camera that’s able to capture its magic.
Since there was no chance of met getting any kind of cell service out on the trail, I just documented all of my journal entries for each day onto my phone. Instead of making one long post, I’ll just split each entry up by day and have a more detailed recap at the end.
I also posted a bunch of pictures up onto my Instagram. Check them out!
My friends (Joe and Frank) and I are polishing up our plans for our next trikepacking (formally bikepacking) trip that is coming up in March. We are riding on the Pine Creek Rail Trail which is our “local” rail trail. … Continue reading →
Lately, I have been tweaking different parts of the trike, just to get it all out of the way before our big ride in March (details coming soon).
Last night I modified my rack and neck rest to allow me to put my seat back another notch (the 2012 Trails have adjustable seat backs). After I put everything back together, took the trike outside, and sat down, oh my gosh the trike became noticeably more comfortable!
Once I started to ride, I could feel how much more relaxed my body was on the trike, and with the new, laid out position of my bones and muscles, pedaling got a lot easier and smoother than it previously was! Even going up hill (in fresh snow mind you,) was a breeze!
I feel now that training will become a lot easier so I can go further, without thinking twice about it.