Monday, July 14, 2008

P-E-P (Pittsburgh-Erie-Pittsburgh)

This last weekend, Jim Logan, Scott Reckless, and I took a little two-day jaunt to Erie and back. For Jim and myself, it was a good training opportunity pre-PA 1000K; for Scott, a nice excuse for a ride :-)

The route was a simple there-and-back, primarily based on Adventure Cycling' s Pittsburgh-Erie spur.

Day 1 was brutally hot, but fairly pleasant overall; in hindsight, I wish we hadn't done the plunge into and subsequent climb out of New Castle, as that was a lot of extended climbing in moderate traffic which would have been nice to avoid. Ah, well, c'est la vie. Around that time, we transitioned from riding more-or-less in a group to "rugged individualist" mode, regrouping occasionally at convenience stores and whatnot. Unfortunately, there were a couple of detours of less-than-intuitive nature in Meadville and along Rt 98, resulting in mild consternation, much consultation of Jim's GPS, and the fastest rider (Scott) being the last one to the hotel in Erie. A shower, bowl of overpriced pasta at Applebees, and a viewing of the Simpson's Movie on HBO (not terribly impressive, BTW), and it was off to bed.

Day 2. I'll call it a good training ride. Not fun, other than in the "feelings of achievement via perseverance" sense. Jim, Scott, and I rapidly separated on the long climbs out of Erie; while I can't speak for the other guys, I can say that I spent roughly 9 of the next 11 hours getting rained on, in every form from fine misty drizzle to full-on, barely see through the glasses downpour. Don't get me wrong; I'm not a wimp about riding in the rain, as my poor drivetrain can attest. However, 150 miles of it was distinctly unlovely.

On the bright side, I've managed to eliminate the chain rub on the plastic chain keeper, and the new Terracycle idler set is quite spiffy. The genny-powered, fender-mounted tail light is also nice.

On the down side, although I had the discipline to hose off the bike immediately after the ride, I have not done any of the maintenance that is warranted, so I've got a pile of work to do in the next couple of days with regards to cleaning, lubricating, brake pad replacement, etc.

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