I got up super early today, choked down some coffee and oatmeal, and went outside to meet A. for a drive out to the beginning of the NCR Trail in Hunt Valley and the mission to ride the whole thing, up to York, PA. That’s 80 miles, and I was kind of terrified that I wouldn’t be able to do it. Long story short, I did, and along the way I saw a river, flowering trees against green backdrops, a zillion other cyclists, far fewer dogs than expected, and I crossed the Mason-Dixon Line and rode into Pennsylvania where I saw the green turn into the industrial wasteland that is every city everywhere, it seems. We stopped for lunch in York before heading back the other way, doing a little stretching and washing up from A.’s helpful changing of a flat I got 15 or so miles prior. The ride back was into the wind and up a slight incline, and there was that part where I failed to stay in my lane for the turn and collided with a nice old man, earning some battle scars. Then we had to go off the trail for a bit due to a temporary trail closure. The second stop at the Mason-Dixon Line was just what we needed and getting back on the bike for the last 10 miles was like a new ride, even though the rail was falling. And then there was a second flat tire, but A. is a Boy Scout and J. seemed happy to take another break from the bike saddle. The last six miles were a blur as I tried to outrace a possible third flat, and when I saw the cars, I was a happy panda, proud to have made it that far and happy to get off the bike and sit down. I also felt a little giddy–my long ride is just a a couple weeks away, and I totally could have gone 20 more miles, for sure. And that trail is ridiculously pretty. Next time I’ll look around more.
Congratulations Kate! You may have to get something to make flat tires less likely.
I know, I know. 🙂 In my defense, I haven’t had a single flat in three years. THREE YEARS! Bad luck day, but new tires and tubes on order.
Schwalbe Marathon. Buy 2 now and send me the bill.
I ran a 20 mile race on the NCR trail back in 2004, I think. Very pretty, I think about it all the time.
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