Hike: Darlington / Tuscarora Trails, Miller’s Gap to PA 34

Most of the snow is finally melted off the mountain behind my house. I went out for a hike today.


Ramen and Instant Coffee for lunch
Ramen and Instant Coffee for lunch
Fine Cuisine: Freezer Bag Noodles
Fine Cuisine: Freezer Bag Noodles

I had some sort of GPS malfunction somewhere along the way.  This was an 8 mile hike, not a 15 mile.

Total distance: 25387 m
Max elevation: 0 m
Min elevation: 0 m
Total climbing: 0 m
Total descent: 0 m
Total Time: 04:46:55

Drivetrain Woes


A couple of weeks ago, I had a strange thing happen. I was just riding along; downshifted the rear derailleur, and WHAM! Chain skidded off the big cog and into the spokes.

So, I get off, and think “Wow, that was random,” and I unbend the bent derailleur and get on with my business. Shifting was a little sketchy after that, but I assumed it was because of the bent derailleur. I friction-shift, and my setup is fairly tolerant of things being pretty messed up, so I didn’t think much of it. I ordered a new chain and derailleur a few days ago, and figured I’d install them when I take the studded tires off for spring.

Well spring never came. On Saturday’s ride, the shifting got really sketchy. I could ride in the big ring, or the granny ring, but not the middle ring. In the middle ring, the chain just skidded all over the place when I pedaled.

So, I bailed on my ride and limped back home. I installed my new chain and rear derailleur a bit early.

Nashbar / Microshift Derailleur
Nashbar / Microshift Derailleur

Here it is. It’s the Microshift / Nashbar rear derailleur. $30. A bargain at twice the price.

So, Sunday, with bright and shiny new bits, I head out to the coffee shop to meet up with the Sloth.

Oh, sweet Calamity! Middle ring still doesn’t work. I guess it wasn’t the chain or derailleur after all. “So what,” I thinks to myself, “I still have a granny ring and a big ring, so everything will be fine.” And fine it was, for a while.


I made it as far as the Conodoguinet Creek without incident. About two miles out from the coffee shop, the granny ring lost its mojo, too. So, it was me and the big ring the rest of the way to the coffee shop.


I met the Sloth, had some coffees, and begged a ride home.

An informal survey of people who know about such things revealed that my problem was caused by worn-out chain rings. So, I ordered some new ones. When they arrive, I will have replaced the chain, chain rings, and rear derailleur. I’m wondering if maybe I shouldn’t renew the cassette while I’m at it.


These are the chain rings that I totally ground to dust with my mighty force of my epic awesomeness. Looks like I’ll be spending some quality time in the garage with wrenches and tools and whatnot. Maybe it will be springtime when I have the bike put back together.

Here is a map chronicling my epic journey to the coffee shop with a half-working bicycle:

Total distance: 21382 m
Max elevation: 170 m
Min elevation: 38 m
Total climbing: 443 m
Total descent: -436 m
Total Time: 02:49:29

Middletown to Bainbridge and Back

Yesterday was the first warm day in as long as I can remember. I wanted to ride bicycles, and Sloth said he did too. So, we rode our bicycles from Middletown to Bainbridge and back.

We stopped to take pictures of the Three Mile Island power plant.

Three Mile Island
Three Mile Island Nuke Plant

As we got closer to Bainbridge, we saw signs for the historic Haldeman Mansion. We detoured a bit to check that out.

Haldeman Mansion
Haldeman Mansion

On the way back, we came upon Shady’s BBQ, so we decided to stop for lunch. This was the best idea we had all day. I heartily recommend the horseradish cole slaw.

BBQ for lunch
Lunch – Photo by the Sloth

Now that we had bellies full of pig, continued our journey. We found a really creepy old stone building that was falling apart. We stopped to take some pictures.

Spooky old mill. in ruins
Spooky old mill. in ruins
Hole in the wall
Hole in the wall

Our route took us past Falmouth, home of the world famous Falmouth Goat Races.

A sign for the Falmouth Goat Races
Home of the world famous Falmouth Goat Races!

Here is a map of our adventures. I added the Haldeman Mansion and Shady’s BBQ to OpenStreetmap.

Here are even more pictures.