Saturday, November 29, 2008

Stroll Down Memory Lane

got some good miles in over the past 2 days...depending on your definition of 'good'

We spent Thanksgiving at Suzi's parents place in Milton, PA and I ate too much like everyone should on Thanksgiving. Actually, I ate an entire 1/2 of a pumpkin pie, each piece with whipped topping. So, as it has become ritual, I decided to go out on a long ride the day after Thanksgiving. Danville is about 15 miles to the East of Milton and separated from Milton by Montour Ridge, over which there are several paved and gravel roads. So, I found my way to Bald Top (a residential section of the ridge overlooking Danville) and descended down the hill into my old stomping ground. I always find it quite nostalgic to take this ride. As I descended into town, I immediately came upon my old high school, which started me thinking about how I might best enjoy my trip down memory lane and I came up with an idea. I decided to ride sequentially from my elementary school, to Junior High, to Senior High and then to the new High School. So over to Riverside Elementary...on the way, I stopped off at my old High School wrestling coach's house and answer...on to Riverside elementary. I peeked thru the windows of the cafeteria and to my amazement EVERYTHING looked exactly THE SAME. I swear that the old fold up cafeteria tables with attached seats are the very same seats that I sat in 30+ years ago. The playground looked unchanged. The pine trees that we used to play around looked the same size as they did when I chased Betsy Bausch into the swingset and broke her front tooth. I remembered my best friend running away from school at lunch, the kickball games on the basketball court and the showmanship of the playground standoffs. As I slowly coasted around the school, remembering the old days I decided to ride around the avenues of Riverside. I rode past Kaye Faust's house, where I went to her birthday party and played my first dreadful game of spin the bottle. I despised that game. I rode past Gibby's place, where we played many a football game. I rode past his well, where Cary Johnson spilled a can of gasoline and blew up the well...past my old teacher's house who's window was crashed in by a gallon of paint on halloween and spilled all over her baby grand piano...and much more that I won't go into...

...well, as my bucket of memories was quickly filled up, I found no need to get to the Jr High School, or the Sr High School and was quite content with reliving my elementary days....I stopped off at Mulberry's, a restaurant / bar in town owned by my good friend Matson Pierce, who was the goalie for our High School soccer team and who I went to London and Denmark with. Matson was at the Restaurant as it opened at 11am and I spent about an hour catching up with Matson and talking about old times....such and such is now in jail for dealing and so is now running US National Security in wherabouts and Matson plays soccer in a town league with some of our old teammates...

It was great to see Matson and relive some old my brief vacation is quickly coming to an end and I'll be fighting traffic to get home...

Hope everyone had a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Hill That Made Me Cry

OK, well...not really...anybody who really cries on a bike in public just needs hang their clips up, but I will concede that this one did make me think twice about staying on the saddle. It's sort of like touching an electric fence and just hanging on. It's just natural to want to let go. This is one steep hill and it caused me pain today. The road is called Bear Wallow Rd. 16% grade at parts and mostly 12%. After riding 40 miles doing everything I could to keep a low cadence and stress my muscles, this was the prize at the end. At the top of the hill, it was all I could do to propel the bike forward enough to stay balanced. I can't imagine riding up hills this steep for hours every day in stages like those in the tour. Now we know why those Warrenton guys are so fast ... with a hill like this in their backyard. My first ride over this hill and we've already developed a love / hate relationship.