50K and 100K Routes Updated for 2012 Flaming Foliage Ride

Received an email from Ed Pane at Serento Gardens that the 50k and 100k routes for the 2012 Flaming Foliage ride have been updated.
Updated 50K Ride Map
Updated 100K Ride Map
According to Ed, PennDOT recently tar and chipped the roads along the old routes, making them awful to ride on. The new routes go around the affected areas, which is good. I'm glad the ride organizers acted quickly to change the routes and didn't decide to just make us tough it out.

If you've never had the displeasure of riding on chip seal, allow me to break it down for you. Chip seal is extremely rough to ride on. You'd think it would be about the same as riding on a well groomed trail, but it's not. It's very hard and unforgiving, whereas a gravel trail tends to offer a softer ride.

It also slows you down and makes it hard to keep pace. Ever have one of those dreams where you're running as hard as you can, but just can't move forward? That's exactly what it feels like. Then the rocks stick to your tires and slowly dig in, until you end up with something like this. Oh, it's fun stuff, and I don't think it's a coincidence that I rode across chip seal and then had a blowout on my very next ride. There's a reason I don't use the Quakake Road past Weatherly anymore.

Chip seal is awful; I hate it. Rather than attempt to fix a road properly, someone decided to save money by pouring tar all over it and stuffing holes and cracks with millions of sharp, tiny rocks. It's a half-assed solution that doesn't fix the problem, it makes the existing problem worse.

Again, big thanks to Ed Pane and the ride organizers for helping us avoid this mess.


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