If it were Harrisburg

This is how big the BP oil disaster is. There’s a website where you can move the oil spill over a map of your city to give you a better sense of scale.

If the BP clusterfuck happened in Harrisburg

I own a car. This is my fault.

Saddle Experiment

I went on a longish ride today to test out this setup: a Brooks b 72 with noodle bars.

B 72 with noodle bars

In the interest of scientific inquiry, I did not wear any sort of padded bicycle shorts. Just regular underwear.
I had to stop a couple of times to fiddle with the tilt, but it seems to work.

I rode from the Elizabethtown trail head of the Conewago/LVRT trail to Cornwall and back. It was about 31 miles in all.

I found these raspberries growing along the trail.

Raspberries growing along the trail

I ate some. They were good.

They were good.

A few miles later, I had to stop to pee, and suddenly realized that I was going to pee on raspberry bushes if I wasn’t careful. Hopefully, the berries I ate were not peed on by somebody else, but I guess I’ll never know.

Thoughts like this occupied my mind until I got to Mt. Gretna, where I stopped to indulge in narcissistic self-photography.

Some Handsome devil at the Mt. Gretna Spur

I marveled at my rugged good looks for a good long while, and continued onward to Cornwall.

At the turn-around point in Cornwall, they have this ridiculous gigantic root beer barrel thing in the parking lot.

Giant root beer barrel at Cornwall Trail head

Root Beer Barrel plaque

I stopped here and had a lovely chat with one of the volunteer trail patrol guys. He had a really thick Pennsylvania Dutch accent (said he was a Brethren), and so it’s possible that I misheard him, but I think he said that the Stony Creek rail trail has been extended eastward all the way to Pine Grove, and that this part is paved.

I’ll have to go check it out sometime.

He was a very talkative fellow, and I probably spent an hour hearing stories about his time as a sniper in Vietnam, his political opinions, and many other such matters.

It was starting to look like rain, so I took my leave of my new friend, and headed back the way I came.

I stopped in Colebrook for some refreshment.

Ice Cream!

This is the world famous Colebrook Twin-Kiss maple and walnut sundae. Guaranteed to cancel out all the calories you burn on your bike ride.

After my ice cream break, the rain held off, and so I stopped to say hello to these ladies.

Who farted?

By the end of the ride, my butt hurt. But, it didn’t hurt nearly as much as it did with the B17. I was able to ride in the drops with no problems.

I’ll have to give it a try with my padded breeches on and see how that works out.

Some Local Flavor

The local newspaper here in Harrisburg ran an article a few weeks ago about 16 cyclists were killed in Pennsylvania in 2009, up from 8 killed in 2008.

Then they ran another article yesterday about how the roads in the area are really, really bad for cycling.

The comment sections on both of these articles really give you a horrifying impression the sorts of idiots we’re out there sharing the roads with.

The arguments are pretty much the same garbage you see in any part of the country when there’s talk about cyclists amongst non-cyclists.

  1. You can’t “do the speed limit”, get out of my way, or I’ll run you over
  2. You wear spandex. Therefore, you are a fag, and I’ll run you over.
  3. You run stop signs. Therefore, you are a scofflaw, and I’ll run you over.
  4. You don’t pay road taxes. Therefore, you are on welfare, and I’ll run you over
  5. etc.

Despite the redneck retards in the forums, there is cause for optimism. It looks like Wormleysburg, Camp Hill, and Lemoyne are planning some cycle infrastructure.

Even though the design is horrible, Carlisle’s new bike lanes should be usable in the near future. Lower Allen township has a trail system on the drawing board.

I think there is some hope that a day might come when cycling on the West Shore will not be seen as some daredevil activity for the brave / stupid.

Sore Arse, Flat Tires, and Ice Cream

Girtong and I planned out a lovely morning of bicycling today. We would meet up at the Elizabethtown trail head of the Conewego Trail, ride out to Colebrook for some ice cream, and ride back.

Girtong texted me at some ungodly hour of the morning to report that his bike had a flat tire, and he didn’t know how to fix it.

I threw some patches and the floor pump in the back of the car, drove down to the trail head and taught him how to mount a tire.

So, off we rode into the wilds of Lancaster and Lebanon Counties, and arrived at the ice cream shop around 10:30, only to find that they didn’t open until 11:00. Calamity. We decided that sitting in the parking lot for 30 minutes would be silly, and so we kept riding a few miles past the ice cream shop to kill some time.

We made our way back to the ice cream shop, got our confections, and headed back to the car.

Colebrook Twin-Kiss

Around this time, my butt started to hurt pretty bad. In fact, on just about every ride I’ve been on since my accident, my butt has been hurting something fierce. The accident led to my spending two months off the bike, and so maybe my butt isn’t “broken in” enough yet, and I should just tough it out. Maybe the accident screwed something up down there. I know that the two months off the bike have added several pounds to my belly, and now there is more weight pressing me into the saddle when I ride.

Whatever the cause, the situation is not acceptable. The Brooks B.17, for all its strengths, no longer works for me. I have been toying with the idea of getting rid of the B.17 and noodle bars on my Trek, and going with a B.67 and some Albatross bars. I have that configuration on the Roadster, and it’s pretty comfy, but I really don’t want two bikes setup in more or less the same configuration.

So, I’m going to try something maybe a bit nutty. I’m going to try moving the B.72 from the Roadster to the Trek, and keeping the noodles on it, to see how that works out.

But, that leaves the Roadster without a saddle.

So, I ordered one of these:

Brooks B 190 Saddle

This is the great and mighty Brooks B.190. It’s the biggest, springiest saddle Brooks makes. It’s ludicrous. It weighs four pounds. It’s about the size of an 8.5×11″ sheet of paper. But, I think it will make my butt very happy.

The UPS man should be dropping it off on Wednesday, so I will have make another ice cream run Thursday night, and see if my butt makes out any better.