Seven Days of Winter

I got out for a few hours every day this week…6 rides, totaling around 160 miles, and one good hike. But before we begin…how do you like the new font?

Day 1: 32 miles in relatively mild conditions. An altogether unremarkable ride, although the fog rising off the lakes and streams lent it a mysterious air.

Day 1 2e

Day 1 6

On day 2, there was an all-day downpour. I chose the gravel back roads, and made a mess of myself. I rode 15 miles to the local diner in Naponach, and they wouldn’t let me sit inside, so I enjoyed my weekly grease infusion outside on the smoker’s bench. Luckily, it was sheltered from the rain.

Day 2 1

Day 2 2

Day 2 3

Took the long route home for a total of 35 miles. On the way back, I ran into these guys. Loved the goats, felt sorry for the horses. How anyone can find these things cute is beyond me…they just look stunted and uncomfortable to me. I just learned that they can be trained as service animals, and Illinois just signed a bill allowing them to go anywhere a service animal is allowed. Presumably they’ll have to wear horsey diapers, because–at least to my knowledge and direct experience on the West Side Bike Path in NYC–when horses need to go, they go.

Day 2 9

Day 2 10

As you can see, my neighbors here are very welcoming. I was raised in the country, then moved to NYC and lived there for 16 years. And now I’m back in the country. So does this sign mean I can come in, or do I have to stay out with the rest of the cityits?

Day 2 6

My beautiful baby…repurposed review coming soon.

Day 2 11

Day 3 marked the debut of my new bike, the Lynskey Procross, a titanium ‘cross bike with a silly twisted down tube. There are a number of things I need to do to it; first off I need to drop the bars significantly, cut the sternum puncher to the right length, and I need a substantially longer stem. First time ever on disc brakes. So far, it’s okay, but no English.

I only had time for 15 miles on Day 3, and I got off the bike every mile or so to make minor adjustments. I got a decent workout though, because most of those miles were riding up and down a local hill. That 32 sprocket is both amazing and disconcerting at the same time. I pride myself on grinding up the steepest hills in 36/25…but I have to admit the 32 on this cassette made an 18-degree ascent quite pleasant.

Lynskey

Days 4 and 5 saw me ride about 25-30 miles each day. Again, unremarkable for out here, but goddamn look at how beautiful it is. Only a few months ago I was dodging homeless people and clueless tourists jumping out of the bushes lining the West Side Bike Path just to fight my way to the George Washington Bridge and 50 or 60 miserable miles on 9W.

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Yes, a highway. Just wait until you see our local Speedway and Turnpike.

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If you’re in the area, Tetta’s Tire offers one of the few places to stop and refill. It’s at the intersection of County Road 2 (Krumville Road) and Samsonville-Kerhonksen Road.

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While you’re there, get a haircut. Maybe get some advice. What are you doing with your life, anyway? Fred can help.

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On the way home, I saw this and almost cried. A tragedy.

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The most beautiful car ever made, outside of a meth shack. Most people love the convertible version of the Jaguar E-Type. For some reason, I’ve always been attracted to the coupe, particularly in the 2+2 configuration, which is considered the least desirable model.

I don’t have a driver’s license (although I am the proud owner of an Audi A7), and I don’t enjoy driving, but I do love cars. I’m fine with taking my bike everywhere; in fact, we’ve lived out here for 3.5 months and I’ve asked my girlfriend to drive me somewhere once. In retrospect, however, I should have asked for a ride to the dentist last month. Riding over potholed gravel is not advisable after having your mouth numbed. It’s one of those things that should be just common sense, like never cooking bacon in the nude. Anyway, now I know, and you do too.

On the sixth day, I didn’t ride. Instead, I went for a 2.5-hour hike with my girlfriend, Margot, and Macs and Panda. The hike begins at about the midpoint of Upper Cherrytown Road. If you check out my Ride With GPS page, I’ve posted instructions on how to get there.

I’d rate the hike about moderate difficulty, meaning that even though I’m in good shape, there were a few parts that left me breathless. Includes some scrambles up relatively loose surfaces with large rocks.

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Sometimes I wish I had four legs. Or at least that it was acceptable to walk around on all fours. Max and Panda had a much easier time on this hike than we did.

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The hike ends at a lovely waterfall. If you continue on, I believe it links through to Yeagerville Road. This trail would be a blast on a mountain bike, but certainly is not doable on any other type of bike. Trust me.

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On the seventh day, there was snow and ice. 26.5 miles of it.

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I thought it might be a good idea to take gravel backroads, with the idea that the gravel would provide some additional traction. Well, that didn’t work out too well. I got about a mile down the closest gravel road, Lower Sahler Mill Road, and then had to turn around and very carefully duck-walk my bike back down the hill.

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I continued back on Upper Sahler Mill Road, which wasn’t much better, but the asphalt retained enough heat from the day before to produce slush, rather than ice.

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Not something you want to see when there’s a quarter-inch of black ice on the road and you’re on two wheels.

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And finally, the latest iteration of the Lynskey. I’m growing to really like this bike. Those are the new Extra Leger 32 mm tires from Grand Bois. Don’t ask me how they performed yet, today was far from a good test.

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And that was my week. Of course, I left out the 70 hours I spent on work involving a new tyrosine kinase inhibitor for chronic myelogenous leukemia and Philadelphia chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (FDA approved as of Friday!). But you don’t want to hear about that, do you?

Later this week I’ll post a ride that everyone should do once: Platte Clove. It will be complete with a brief dissertation on the origins of the Hutterite branch of the Anabaptists and the founding of the Bruderhof. You think I’m kidding, don’t you?

John

http://www.medicalwriter.net

One thought on “Seven Days of Winter

  1. globecanvas

    Hey man! I followed you here from velocipede salon. I’m right in your neighborhood. Great photos!

    The Vernooykill trail does indeed connect through to Yeagerville road. I did it once on a MTB and it wasn’t that fun. Lots of hike a bike.

    See you on the roads!

    Reply

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