City to Shore 2016 Recap

The MS City to Shore 2016 ride is now complete – for me anyway – as I write this there are quite a few cyclists crazy enough to bike all the way BACK to the start.  Who knows maybe I will be one of them someday, but for now the 80 miles from the PATCO station in Cherry Hill, NJ to Ocean City, NJ is a perfect ride for me.

Kevin was kind enough to wake up early and drive me to the beginning – it was of course organized chaos with so many cyclists eager to get on the road.  There was plenty of parking when we arrived and I loaded up my bike with everything I needed for the day and headed over to the start.  I was there at about 6:15, skipped walking around the tent area and was lucky enough to get into the last chute before they closed it off and then the rest of the cyclists had to wait in line until they started releasing the (maybe) 7 or 8 chutes they had set up. Then those waiting would fill the chute just released and wait until all the other chutes went, then it was their turn.  So I was lucky to get in the last chute of the first batch.  The first wave started off at about 6:30 or so and then we would wait until the all clear for the next chute to be released – this was approximately every 5-10 minutes.  They have been doing this ride for a VERY long time and it is a major event so they have this down to a science.  7,000 people sign up every year and it is so well organized it’s remarkable!

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City to Shore T-3 Days!!

So the MS City to Shore bike ride is right around the corner – just 3 days away!  I just wanted to thank everyone who donated to the cause – I actually raised enough money to ride in the MS City to Shore AND the MS NYC in October!  SO THANK YOU!!!

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Cape Cod Rail Trail

I have been wanting to bike the 22 mile Cape Cod Rail Trail in Massachusetts since I saw it earlier this year in an article about the best rail trails by the beach (or something like that).  I was hooked – I wanted to bikepack to Nickerson State Park or some other campground along the trail, but was unable to get a campsite.  My parents decided they wanted to come along too so my bikepacking trip turned into just a long bike ride – which was fun!

The GPS said it would be a 6 hour drive, but with traffic it turned into about an 8 1/2 hour drive.  We checked into the hotel near the start of the trail in Dennis and were lucky to get a room on the 1st floor so we could keep our bikes in the room (no elevator).  I honestly have no idea what we did after we checked in – I think I just went to bed and my parents went and got ice cream and walked around a bit.  Why does a long car ride make you so tired??

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Bikepacking – What I Packed

I have had a lot of people ask what I brought with me on my bikepacking trip so I figured I’d put together a quick list.  The following items are what my nephew and I brought for our overnight trip.

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First Bikepacking Trip!

I have been TRYING all summer to take my nephew on a camping trip, but it just hadn’t been working out and has been extremely hot lately.  I have also been wanting to try bikepacking for a while so I decided to see if my nephew would be able to come on a short trip with me – win win right?!  🙂

In case you don’t know what bikepacking is, it is like backpacking except you load up all your camping gear in panniers (bags that attach to your bike) so you don’t have to carry it on your back….which I probably should have explained to my sister because she mentioned she was trying to fit his sleeping bag into his backpacking bag.  I had to laugh at the image of my nephew riding his new bike down the trail with his giant backpacking pack on his back.  I reassured my sister that I would be carrying everything on my bike and he could just focus on riding his.  🙂

I decided to take him on the York Heritage Rail Trail – which is a trail I have ridden a few times before.  The plan was to park at Glatfelters Station Parking Lot around mile 13 and then we would bike Indian Rock Campground which is right off the trail around mile 18, camp overnight, then bike back the next day.  This seemed like a reasonable distance to go for an 8 year old on a new bike and myself hauling all the gear – and it is a FLAT trail which is a plus!

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Capital Area Greenbelt Trail

Kevin and I set out to do the entire 20 mile Capital Area Greenbelt trail which creates a loop around the city of Harrisburg, PA.  I was excited to check this trail out because I was considering doing this trail as the yearly group ride that I organize instead of the Lehigh Gorge Trail which is the one we have always done.  I am really glad I checked this trail out prior to taking an entire group of people.  There were some fairly steep hills and lots of road riding which some people who come are very uncomfortable with.

We parked at City Island and took the walker/biker bridge across to the start of the trail.  The first few miles were completely flat and followed the Susquehanna River.  There was a lot of artwork, painted dinosaurs and a cow  – I HAD to stop and get a quick picture of the Triceratops that was across the street because they are my personal favorite dinosaur – FYI.  🙂

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Mount Mansfield Strike 2

Kevin and I got up early to pack the final things we would need for our trip and put them in the truck.  We gave Willow (my cat) her insulin shot and set out for Stowe, VT to try to hike Mt Mansfield before they closed the toll road at 5- I knew we would be cutting it close and my heart sunk when I punched the address into the GPS and saw the estimated arrival time was 3:30- that was over an hour what my phone GPS said!! “We’re not gonna make it” I said – it takes approx 20 mins to drive up the toll road – plus let’s say 2 hrs to hike and enjoy the views and then 20 mins to drive back down- the website says all cars must start driving down by 4:45 at the latest because the gate closes at 5.  This did not give us enough time.  Kevin said his GPS the time always goes down as he drives.  We figured we would give it a try and see if we made it- I wanted to be there by 2 to be safe but knew that just wasn’t possible.  On the long drive I started looking for options for plan B.

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Lehigh Gorge Rail Trail

Every year I organize a bike trip to Jim Thorpe, PA.  This year we had 15 people join the fun!  We catch a shuttle from Jim Thorpe and ride it to White Haven where we jump on our bikes and have a pleasant 25 mile ride on the Lehigh Gorge Rail Trail back to our cars in Jim Thorpe.  This year the leaves were just starting to turn and there was a slight chill in the air – it was beautiful and PERFECT weather for a bike ride.

The train station in Jim Thorpe

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Perkiomen Trail

Today my parents and I headed out to check out a little bit of the Perkiomen Trail which is a 20 mile, multi use trail in Montgomery County, PA.  We wanted to go for a bike ride and I wanted to check out someplace different – I read about some people who hiked a bit of this trail,  ate at the Appalachian Brewing Co, and then hiked back to their cars – what an awesome idea!  I had never eaten at an Appalachian Brewing Co so I was excited about that too!

We grabbed our bikes and headed out – we parked right in the parking lot for ABC in Collegeville, PA.  The parking lot was huge and there was an opening in the fence to get right on the trail.  We decided to head south – it was only 5 1/2 miles to where the trail meets up with the Schuylkill River Trail.

The trail started off as gravel and rocks and there were a few road crossings.  About 1/2 way to our destination the trail was paved so it was very easy to ride on!  This section of trail had a few more ups and downs than other bike trails I have been on, but they weren’t bad at all – just a little tricky on the rocky sections because you slide around a little.  The trail went through the town and then went into the woods by the Perkiomen Creek- I love trails that follow water.  There is something so relaxing about moving water – I really think I could watch it all day!

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