Riding in Reverse

There was no way I was going to resist the chance to get on two wheels, today. The weather was perfect, and the road was inviting. I simply had to heed the call...

As promised in a previous post, I rode the Lehigh Valley Gorge route in reverse -- going out Stockton Mountain Road first, then through Beaver Meadows into Weatherly, down into the gorge and then up past Eckley.

I have to say, I like the reverse route better, although it does ruin my favorite part of the ride -- flying down Buck Mountain Road, screaming through tight curves and holding on for dear life. Things are a lot different when you're sweating and panting on your way up it, instead.

One of the things I always forget to mention is the amount of wildlife I get a chance to see. Unfortunately, most of it is dead when I get to see it, like the porcupine I saw the other day. Still, though, a porcupine! I also felt really bad that I saw a dead groundhog, especially since it occurred coming up out of the gorge where people aren't supposed to be going very fast in the first place.

But today, going out Diamond Avenue towards Stockton Mountain Road, I could swear I saw a live coyote. I mean, I don't know... there's a lot of houses back there, it could have just been someone's dog that ran away, but it was grey and had a long, bushy tail. It took off as soon as it saw me, but it looked like a coyote.

Finally, into the gorge. There are picnic tables set up every mile or so as you ride through the gorge, and I knew there was one that sits in an open area with plenty of sunshine on it about 5 miles in. Sure enough, I made it to the table to sit down and eat, and I was very grateful for the sunlight. Sections of the gorge get kind of cold because the sun doesn't get through the trees very well. This section was nice and warm, though. Perfect.

My plan all along was to add another 10 miles to my route by riding into the gorge a bit. I want to increase that number slowly, until I'm able to go 60 miles, or better. I just seem to be hitting my limit at 40 miles, and that bothers me. Fortunately, I only need to do 30 miles for the 50k in October (JUST 21 DAYS LEFT!!) but even some days, that feels like too much. Today, though, even at 40 miles, I felt great.


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