I noticed that my favorite winery was very close to the Schuylkill River Trail so I decided to see if I could get a group together to cycle to it. I called it the Wine & Wheels bike ride, and although the trip was spur of the moment I had 8 people interested in joining in. I picked the Brentwood trailhead which was a little over 3 miles away from Ridgewood Winery and told everyone to meet there. Due to various reasons everyone dropped out except my friend Tracy. We decided to go a little earlier because rain was expected in the late afternoon. We also decided to meet at a spot further up the trail to make our ride a little longer – the day was so gorgeous that it was an easy decision to cycle the whole way there!
Our extended ride on the trail started about 7 miles from Ridgewood – and was a bit hillier than I remembered! We took our time and chatted about the upcoming 5 Boro bike ride in NYC that we will be doing.
The road to get to Ridgewood is pretty busy and there is not much of a shoulder on the right side of the road. Since the traffic speeds by that section and there is a shoulder on the left side I decided to try to take that hoping it would give us a little buffer from the cars. I KNOW you are supposed to cycle with traffic, but given the circumstances I felt I would be safer cycling in the shoulder. The distance isn’t really that long, but honestly almost immediately I wished I stayed on the right side of the road. Cars were whizzing by and there was so much junk and stones in the shoulder that it really wasn’t any safer. Lesson learned. I wish they could improve that little section or add a bike lane or SOMETHING, but I think next time I do this ride I will cycle with traffic, pass it and turn around to get into it – although looking at google maps it looks like there is a turning lane into the entrance which I initially thought was where the road split into 2 lanes.
ANYWAY we cycled up the drive and were discussing what to do with our bikes when someone came out and told us they put bike racks in because they have people come down from the trail! WAHOO! Ridgewood – you have really stolen my heart now!
We put our bikes in the rack and went inside. A lot of my favorites were sold out! Then Tracy mentioned she saw a sign for a wine slushie. That sounded like the best invention ever so we were given a sample – it was AMAZING! We each ordered one and sat outside enjoying the view. As we were sipping our second wine slushie (they weren’t very big) we noticed some dark clouds rolling in and decided to finish up and head home to hopefully beat the rain.
As we rode back the clouds kept getting darker and darker. We parted ways and I couldn’t help but tempt fate and take a few pics on my way home. I literally stepped into my house and heard the rain falling a few minutes later – JUST MADE IT! The total ride ended up being about 14 miles – so we more than doubled our original mileage!
I am definitely going to organize a ride like this again – and maybe to even check out some of the other places to stop along the Schuylkill River Trail! 🙂