Monday, July 26, 2010

Back From Vacation

They ain't kidding: 12 percent on an unpaved rec trail!

I’m back from summer vacation, a week in Pennsylvania devoted mostly to family but not entirely devoid of cycling opportunities. And to whatever extent you find this blog worth reading, it’s the cycling opportunities in which you’ll be interested. (Just between us, I would have had a much better vacation if I had spent more time in the saddle.)

Opportunity #1: I didn’t take my Raleigh Competition, opting instead to drop it off at Mountain Outfitters to get the shifting issues fixed. I knew that would take a few days, so it made sense to have the work done at a time when I wouldn’t miss the bike. I got it back from the shop today, but I won’t get to ride it until tomorrow.

Opportunity #2: I freely admit that I’m a fan of Performance Bike and think that its clothing line represents a great value. The value becomes greater still when you shop at Performance’s retail store in Newark DE, just a little south of Philadelphia. “Happy Hour” runs from 12 noon until 2 p.m. every Tuesday afternoon, offering an extra 10% off clothing and accessories. And there’s no sales tax in Delaware. It’s like stealing. I got two Ultra jerseys (allegedly manufactured by Pearl Izumi, and much improved over last year), a pair of Century gel shorts, and a 12-pack of Clif bars for a total of $96.

Opportunity #3: With only the Giant FCR3 at my disposal and apparently no safe road route anywhere near my parents’ subdivision, I returned to the Perkiomen Trail last Wednesday to finish what I had started way back in 2004. That was the first year I thought of myself as a cyclist, and that summer I took a short ride on the Perkiomen Trail with my trusty Gary Fisher Wahoo. But I didn’t complete the trail. This year I did it all and more: the Perkiomen Trail connects to the Schuylkill River Trail, so I rode a little of that too for a total of 43 miles. Maybe on my next trip I’ll ride the entire trail network from Green Lane to central Philadelphia and back. With a couple of excursions on the smaller connecting trails that I have yet to explore, that could turn into a dirty century.

Of my other cycling exploits little needs to be said. I was putting my work in, trying not to lose too much fitness during a week of restaurant food and family picnic pig-outs. Tomorrow while I’m evaluating the newly tuned-up Raleigh, I’ll also be evaluating myself. Not looking forward to my next weigh-in on Sunday …

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