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After 2 days off the bikes and a tiring day at Hershey Park, I fully expected to feel tired and maybe even a little grumpy. I surprised myself! The riding felt really good today, even over the crazy big hills. I was soooo looking forward to riding the big hill down that we had climbed to get into the Hershey campground; I was shocked when our GPS directed us the opposite way up a big hill. Shortly after climbing a few big hills, we got a terrific downhill run. I couldn’t keep from smiling and hence had to pick a bug out of my teeth at the bottom.
We had made a rather ambitious biking plan for today and I’m glad to say we accomplished it. Basically, we had about 50-55 miles to ride from the Herhsey campground to the one we are in tonight. We’ve been keeping our mileage to 35-45 miles per day because the hill riding is far more strenuous and takes longer to ride. I booked 2 nights at this campground, hoping we’d make it here today and have a day of rest tomorrow; figuring we might not make it but would still have a short ride the following day. YEAH! We get a day of rest!
Around mid-day I was starting to feel pain in my knees and calves and was thinking we might not make the whole distance. We stopped at a convenience store in Mount Joy for a cold drink and I received a contact form message from our website. A fellow named Joel A. had seen us ride by, looked up our website and said, “I love the goals you have for the trip but especially number 2. I recently left my old team and joined a new one to help promote cycling on all levels. I’m sure you’ll agree the more people we have on bikes the safer our roads will be.” Joel, thanks for your support and we totally agree with that! Your interest in our big bike journey spurred me on to make the full distance to our campground tonight! And I’m sure you know the climb that awaited us on River Road! I was stunned that I made it all the way to the top without having to dismount and push my bike. Of course, I was in a full sweat but it felt really good!
Once in the town of York, we stopped at a Walmart Super Center and picked up a few food items. We were ready for a change from the Knorr’s packaged “just add water” meals so Frankenbutt picked up a couple boxes of Velveeta Shells ‘n Cheese with Broccoli. It had a ready mixed creamy cheese that didn’t require milk of butter and it was quite tasty. The broccoli was disappointing at first … but then once I thought about it, it’s impressive they’re able to put a vegetable in a cardboard box, rehydrate it and it still looks like broccoli “parts”.
As I downloaded photos to my computer yesterday evening, I received an email from a fellow we met during our training time in Florida. His name is Kevin and I mentioned him in an earlier blog. He had planned an 11 day bike ride from St. Augustine to Baltimore. It was ambitious to say the least and we have wondered time and again how he made out on his ride. His message said that he biked the 1,130 miles in 11.5 days! Wow! That is AMAZING! Congratulations, Kevin! Send us a pic when you can (firstname.lastname@example.org) and keep on riding! We’ll look forward to seeing you on the Suncoast Trail when we return to Florida this fall.
Also, I’ve mentioned one of our best supporters, Hara, whom invited us to dinner with her family during our short stay in Jersey. Frankenbutt and she are connected on Facebook and he told me that she recently rode her bike and got some road rash. I’m sorry about the road rash but I’m thrilled to hear you are riding your bike! In fact, I think Ellie, you and I ought to take a bike ride together when we return in September. Also, remember that biking doesn’t always feel good when you first start. My body resisted building up miles but after some time, my body also craved riding. Now, I love my bike and I love when I have a good riding day. I find that my mind sorts out all kinds of stuff. I remember all kinds of funny stuff from my childhood and my wanders to new things I want to try in the future. It’s pretty darn therapeutic and a whole lot cheaper than a shrink!