- to track online our current location, see instructions on the Ride the Nation Route plan page
- also, follow us on Twitter, search “ridethenation”
- check out our Monday blog on www.bmxmania.com for exclusive details you won’t find here. (Fyi, sometimes our Monday blog doesn’t appear until Wednesday … so check back often)
First, this is for UNCLE JIMMY: Your pseudo name, JTB, was a thin disguise … what does that mean? Jimmy the Blade?? Uncle Jimmy, Uncle Jimmy … come in to the new millennium and stop sharpening your dinner knives on an old grindstone!
It was a beautiful, sunny morning after a night of continuous rain. I was just too tired to tackle laundry last night so we all “re-wore” some of our wardrobe. I’m glad we’ve all accepted that occasionally it’s o.k. to get dressed from the floor up.
Again, we had a nice downhill ride to start the day. It must be a campground thing: they are always at the top of a long hill! And, we don’t go to campgrounds until the end of a long day of riding.
We crossed route 78 and got onto “Olde Route 22”, passing several farms. There were plenty of colorful Hex signs on the barns that are popular here in Pennsylvania Dutch country. The Beast and I moo’d at cows and then all three of us played several rounds of “20 Questions”. Some of the hills were too steep to utter questions and we all fell into our “routines” to make the hill climbs bearable. I don’t know how many rounds of “100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” I sang in my head but I made it down to 74 bottles during just one ridiculously long hill.
I checked Google maps on my Blackberry for a local bike shop along our route and found that the only feasible one was in Lebanon, PA, about 10 miles before our campground. I gave the Beast the bad news that she’d have to contend with her current shifting issue for another 20 miles. She sighed and rode on like a trooper. In fact, she might have been riding better, according to Frankenbutt. He thinks the Beast and I shift gears way too often.
Now that I’ve gotten the hang of Pennsylvania’s hills and now, that we’ve cut our expected miles per day down to 30 or 40 … I’m coping better with this leg of the trip. Plus, at the tops of hills, we get amazing views that truly are picture perfect postcard vistas.
Once he finished the transaction, we asked for the gear shifting cables that we needed for the Beast’s bike. We then noticed he was wearing an ABA t-shirt and that there were flyers on his counter top for BMX racing. We asked how involved he was in the Lebanon ABA track and told him that we had left messages for them regarding a possible stop at their track but had not gotten any return calls. We told him about our journey and he realized that we were the crazy family he had read about on BMXmania.com.
We all launched into a discussion about the ABA/NBL merge into USA BMX. He, John Luxx, has been in the sport since the 80’s (maybe before) and has been in both sanctions. He had definitive views on where the sport has been and where it’s going and was very animated in his opinions. It was great to see someone who truly cared about the sport and could see the big picture, not only nationally but also internationally. We enjoyed connecting with a fellow BMX enthusiast and to be honest, it was hard to leave. I swear this bike journey is turning into an awesome Bike shop tour! John sent us on our way without charging us for the shifting cables … thanks, John! … PLUS he gave us each t-shirts with his bike shop’s name on them. I LOVE MINE! It’s my favorite color RED! John, we’ll look forward to seeing you at the tracks! Keep the fire burning!
We stopped for a bite to eat and checked our GPS. Much to our surprise, the campground was only 8 miles away. Woo hoo!! As always, I thought, “piece of cake”. As always, I was wrong. Again, we tackled some real behemoths of hills and of course, the last 2 miles to the campground were long, steep uphills that had all 3 of us dismounting in order to make it to the top. We arrived in full body sweat, yesterday’s “twice as smelly” clothes, and checked in. We chose a nice shady spot near the shower house, threw the tent up and headed for the laundry area near the pool.
Once the clothes were merrily sudsing and spinning, I joined the Beast and Frankenbutt at the pool. We sat in CHAIRS! (I miss having a chair with back support and it’s just not feasible to carry one on the bike.) The Beast spied an ice cream sign on the general store; I checked it out and returned with a double scoop of Moose Tracks for Frankenbutt, Cotton Candy for the Beast and Orange and Cream for me. We truly relaxed and enjoyed the creamy treat with our feet up poolside. It almost felt like we were on vacation!