Due to annoyingly persistent cold symptoms, and a consequent lack of sleep, Dr. Diarist and I missed not only the third progressive (45 miles/72.4 km), but the fourth (55 miles/88.5 km) and will likely now miss the fifth (65 miles/104.6 km), for which we are certainly unfit, having missed half our training sessions. Sigh.
Last Sunday, though, we were able to meet up with a batch of good cycling buddies for a shorter, but far more doable 28 mile/45 km jaunt. It was colder than expected — though expectations may have been influenced by everyone’s desire to see the end of this winter, already!
Bill and Kay kept us company as far as Betzwood, where they turned back, but the remaining four of us forged onward. I’d left my lobster claw gloves at home, but my fingers were finally warming up; I wanted more miles for my pain! Also, we all wanted coffee and/or sustenance.
At The Oaks, we encountered this structure, which gave Fearless Leader Saul (left), Fearless Leader Mike (center), and new Bromptonaut Dr. Diarist (right) a chance to demonstrate Atlas-like prowess.
Much discussion ensued regarding odd bits of rod*, with which the structure is irregularly studded. None of us were able to come up with a plausible explanation for the protuberances; uncharacteristically, I failed to snap one of the peculiarities up close. I’ll have to rectify that next time.
Our search for coffee was a bit fraught: Did you know that Subway — a much-reviled sandwich shop chain — does not serve coffee after 11 AM? (We didn’t.) I’m afraid we left without purchasing anything, desperate though we were for sustenance. We took refuge in a nearby grocery store, which, while almost vacant, offered beverages of sorts, and food stuffs, as well as chocolate, which is what I ate.
The snowy, icy, terrain of previous months is almost gone, though we did find ourselves walking alongside railroad tracks on the way there and back. The most sheltered parts of the Schuylkill River Trail are still too compromised to traverse with bikes, but, barring a new freeze, they, too, should be clear soon.
*Lest you think it odd that a bunch of cyclists stood around in winter discussing steel fabrication, let me set your mind at rest: Bantering on about engineering, construction, and great ideas involving either or both is very typical of this crowd, and a particular bonus of riding with them. Hence, not “odd”, but “standard”. (And a very fine standard it is, too.)