|Old fashioned transport at its best. A common sight in Lancaster County.|
The day would just get nicer and nicer as the temperature rose up into the upper sixties with sunshine and light winds. The challenge of the course was off-set by the beautiful scenic vistas that were omni-present. We come across a rider, Eric K, a regular on the PA brevets. Eric would ride with us for most of the way. He traveled over two hours from State College, PA for the event. An engineer starting a new business as a bicycle frame builder, he was riding one of his own creations. I enjoyed conversing with him about all things bicycle and randonneuring.
|Eric at the top of one of many climbs. Panoramic views made the climbing more worthwhile.|
We arrive at the first control on Hawk Mountain Road, just a few miles from the rides namesake climb. There were other riders I know there, Len Z, riding a recumbent that looked a lot like "Mellow Yellow." Also, Ron and Barb, aboard the purple tandem. They are all regulars on the New Jersey and Pa brevets. Despite the control being close to fifty miles in we manage a relatively quick stop. As we ride out we eye the mountainous landscape knowing we will soon be working our way up.
|The mountain ridge beckons us|
|Al riding smoothly on traffic free roads|
|Len on the Bacchetta high racer. Al in background.|
|Al on the descent|
The next 14 mile leg consists of pleasantly rolling terrain, which I enjoy more than any other. We make good time flying up the rollers with momentum gained from the one before. It's lots of fun and I'm almost sorry when the control point arrives. I felt like I could have ridden like that all day. We are now 33 miles from the finish, and having taken a substantial break at the last control we keep this one brief. Just as we get ready to leave the single speed guy rolls in. He comments to us that he thinks he may shorten the chain to go with a bigger gear. After a total of only fifteen minutes the three of us leave together.
The last leg is a fairly tame one. We manage a steady pace without pushing it. Al's shoulders begins to bother him, but he keeps rolling, The scenery is as pleasant as all the miles before and the weather is perfect. With about 10 miles to go Al announces that he needs to stop for a few minutes to stretch his shoulders. I agree to stop with him, as Eric continues on the finish. It takes Al about 10 minutes to loosen up to the point of being able to ride with out excruciating pain. I take a scenic photo while waiting for him. When he's ready we move on headed for the barn.
|My Salsa takes in the local scenery while on a short break near the end.|
The next day I make the decision to enter the Natchez Trace 600k in Nashville. If I can complete the brevet that will give me a second (RUSA) series for the year. Which will be a fine finish for this season, which so far has been my best ever.