With an initial success behind us, Dr. Diarist and I didn’t want to wait too long before getting out on our Bromptons again. The weather was uncooperative, as has been its wont this year, so we jumped at the chance when a brief window opened.
Since our area was still covered in the white stuff and its hard, slick companion, we ended up on the Chester Valley Trail again. Basil and Argyll waited patiently in the parking lot while we got our cold-weather gear around.
Argyll and Dr. D were off and running pretty quickly, though. I don’t think Bromptons like this “sit around and wait” business much.
This trip, the trail itself was as clear as if it were high summer, in spots. Not so the roadways, shoulders, and adjacent sidewalks. The section of the trail in the photo below crosses a main road about 5 miles/8 km from where we started.
That’s a pedestrian switch rising from the piles of ploughed snow at the intersection. The button is just about at waist level on me. (And that’s some dirty snow!) Here in the mid-Atlantic states, we don’t usually get much of the white stuff; this year, there’s just no place to put the incredible amounts that have blanketed our world.
We were really impressed by how well-groomed the trail was, generally. It’s narrower than when there’s no snow, but still completely usable by cyclists, joggers and pedestrians.
There were a couple of slightly more treacherous spots on the trail itself.
Above, that’s a layer of ice frozen to the trail, ice breaking loose above it, and water flowing over the asphalt. There were only a couple of spots where this was an issue, though.
However, this stretch was a show-stopper. That’s the trail — the entire trail — underwater. Under a lot of very icy, very cold, rapidly-flowing, water.
Anyone familiar with these traffic cones will appreciate how deep the water is — the cones are marking the side of the trail, where the asphalt falls off. That’s no place anyone would want to be, especially on a bike. Flood, mud, ice and snow: a quadruple threat!
The open field next to the parking lot looked like a lost world: dead trees, flooding, and ice, lots and lots of ice.
It got late faster than we expected. I had to get a solo shot of Argyll, though, to commemorate his second official ride.
This trip wasn’t quite as long as the last one; we logged about 14 miles/22.5 km, but it was still a good run — and a good save. We’d first intended to ride the Schuylkill River Trail beginning in Phoenixville, but it was completely buried, with no access at all. Chester Valley, you rock!