Passed Out in Pennsylvania

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
Trip End Aug 21, 2011

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Where I stayed
Twin Bridges Campground

Flag of United States  , Pennsylvania
Thursday, August 18, 2011

We had a lovely peaceful night's sleep in our secluded campsite (apart from the fact that I had a dream that I was windsurfing and a shark bit my leg off and I had to get back to shore balancing on my one remaining leg). Despite retiring to bed at 7.30pm, we still woke up exhausted with full body aches. Our dreams of a lovely short 40 miles ride to Chambersburg were shattered when we looked at the route and saw that today the 'Lincoln Highway’ we’re following wiggled around so perversely it could only mean one thing – MOUNTAIN PASSES!!!! Needless to say, our predictions were correct, and we are sitting collapsed in our tiny chairs at 7pm completely drained by another physically gruelling day.

After a couple a pretty grim hills, we hit our first serious 3 mile up pass at 8 miles. After the uphill workout we saw our favourite 3 miles downhill sign. This was ruined when halfway down Mikey’s brake (yes we only have one each) failed and he had a very scary few moments, during which he broke his brand new shoe cleats using his feet as brakes. The brake had failed due to the four broken spokes on his new (crap) back wheel meaning it was wobbling around ridiculously. We made it to the bottom where we found a layby and Mikey spent half an hour bodging his front break to work instead and tightening the remaining spokes.

We hoped desperately for a bike shop in our lunch stop Mcconnellsburg. We were out of luck however and so Mikey has struggled through a really tough day with his fingers crossed that the wheel didn’t fall apart! After lunch, I was extremely glad that he didn’t take me up on my offer to carry the tent and take some weight off the wheel as we hit 4 horrendous miles uphill. It was at this point, halfway up our fourth serious pass of the day, that it struck me that not one single person had waved/smiled/given us the thumbs up.  In every single other country in the world, some/if not every car passing us on massive climbs would acknowledge us. I eyeballed every car slowly passing us and not one gave me so much as smile. I think that says a lot about a state when nobody feels another person’s pain or recognises the achievement in cycling up a massive hill. These Pennsylvanians   seriously need to get their fat bottoms out of their cars and do some exercise. (Other than troughing down hot dogs that is).

32 miles into the ride, a miracle happened and we reached the bottom of a long decent and saw ahead of us FLAT GROUND! After a week of hills, we have hit a huge valley and though we can see mountains far ahead, they look to be a day or two away. PHEW! A few miles further on, we stopped to photograph the momentous moment when the milometer hit 13,000 miles. I remember calculating in New Zealand that that would be roughly our total for the trip and it feels amazing to have got there.

Arriving at Twin Bridge Campground, we were very happy to find not only a great site, but a lovely guy working here who congratulated us on the trip. The campsites been going 49 years, and I think the showers were new then, but you can’t beat a shady riverside spot so we’re happy. First job tomorrow – head into Chambersburg and get that bike fixed!

Miles Cycled; 40 miles, 4 passes and 4 broken spokes – a bad combination.

Number of times beeped and sworn at: None – but no cheery waves either.
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