Basil arrived just in time for me to ride in a final few events before the weather becomes more challenging. I thought it would be smart to cycle in a group (and with support, in case of problems) when first tackling country roads on my Brompton. That’s not exactly how things turned out, though. I arrived early, with my cue sheet already printed, and was told that there really wasn’t a start time, and that I could just head out, solo.
So that’s what I did. It was a great ride, too, on a perfect, just slightly cool, fall day through lovely countryside. We were on asphalt roads for the most part, but the road above was hard-packed dirt (macadam?), which was a new experience. Basil took it like a pro.
I’ve been very curious about how I’d be able to handle elevations in this part of the world. (Basil’s an M6R Brompton.) This route, an easy one by almost any standard, didn’t pose any exceptional challenges, though I didn’t make it over a couple of the most attractive speed bumps I’ve ever seen.
The incline was borderline for me, getting used to new gears, and not fully fit, so I walked over the bumps. I’m new enough to the 6-speed gears that I don’t always anticipate when I should shift in time. That will improve, I’m sure, with experience.
The course went through a farm, offering classic bucolic views. Basil did his part by posing by a fence:
It may not be obvious from my photograph, but this is one of the most beautiful bovine creatures I’ve ever seen. Kind of a Golden Retriever beauty it has, that one:
All the members of this herd wore collars around the neck, with traditional cow bells dangling. Charming!
The chickens on this farm seem to be doing rather well, too. When I stopped to take a couple of pictures, they gathered by the fence.
Their caravan could put many an RV to shame:
Take a look at that hipped roof — and the excellent shingling job. Nice!
This part of southeastern Pennsylvania is famous for its covered bridges. Though this was a relatively short ride (my GPS clocked just about 11 miles), Basil and I rode through three.
This requires some care, as most are essentially single-lane.
Why do covered bridges seem so romantic? These are really just crude boxes set over creeks . . . but there’s no denying that they add a great deal to the landscape. Is it because they’re wooden? Hark back to a day when trees were felled, and buildings constructed, by hand? In any case, it was great fun riding through them, and into the views framed by the “windows” on the other side.
The two jersey-clad riders seen blasting over the bridge here were riding a bit more aggressively than I was, and were essentially the only other cyclists I saw on the road. In the end, I rode the course solo all the way, which seemed a bit odd. Not that I’m complaining, mind you. It was a lovely day, and I like the solitude of the countryside very well.