Saturday, October 19, 2013

Today I went for a bike ride

Today I went for a bike ride. I wanted a destination and decided the soccer game my sister was coaching was a good destination again. However, I didn't want to do the same circuit and I wanted to add some miles. My total two weeks ago was 20. 

I plotted a route that would take me the reverse of my home route last time ending up on Baltimore Avenue heading into the city. I mapped a route to the Art Museum but that seemed too far so I backed it ip to 30th and Chestnut - the post office. 

I left the house a little after 10 a.m. When I got to PlushMill road it was blocked off for a 5k race that was happening through Wallingford. The policeman at the barricade waved me through anyway. When I got to Brookhaven road there was another barricade at Avondale. I didn't want to be in the way of the race so I decided to head to the Leiper-Smedly trail intending to pick up my route where the trail meets Avondale at Yale road. I had wanted to avoid the trail because it is narrow, windy in spots and must be shared with chipmunks and squirrels who don't look before they cross. It was the best way now to get where I wanted to be so I figured I'd go slow and carefully.

But when I got past the arts center and crossed over the runners were coming up off the trail. I knew they would not appreciate sharing with me. So I ended up having to wiggle my way through the streets of  Swarthmore to pick up my route on the other side. This added lots of ups and downs to the route. 

I almost turned around and went home. I don't mind wandering when I plan to wander but I was getting frustrated because this was not my plan. Once I broke through onto Yale Avenue and rejoined my original route I calmed down and really started to enjoy the ride. The streets I was on are a designated bike route alternative to Baltimore Pike. They are wide and comfortable. 

Once I got on Baltimore Avenue there is a bike lane. But it's between parked cars and the trolley so between car doors opening and cars moving over for trolley ....well you get the idea. I made it through just fine. :)

 Now I was on the route I followed for my walk to Independence Hall on July 4th. The same set of houses that were decked out for 4th of July were also gussied up for Halloween. I took photos here and again in the city. I'll edit this post later and add them as well as a link to my route. Don't have access to my PC right now. 

So on I went to 30th and Chestnut. Here I stopped to eat half my apple and enjoy the view and hustle bustle of the city. From here I headed down Walnut street toward Upper Darby where Christine's soccer team was playing. This part of the ride was mostly uneventful although I was a little confused by the bike lane and the left turn lanes every other block. It is a one way street and the bike lane is on the left. I wasn't sure where I was supposed to be when the bike lane morphed into the left turn only lane. I decided to hug the right side of the bike/turn lane at these intersections. No collisions and no horns blowing at me but I'm still not sure I was where I supposed to be. I'll have to check with my biking friends and family. 

The only thing that kept this stretch from being entirely uneventful was a silly fall where I banged up my knee a little. I'm still not sure what happened. I was slowing down to stop at the light. I put my foot down to balance on the curb and instead went over sideways on the sidewalk. My left knee took the brunt of the fall. I 'll probably have a bruise tomorrow but no real damage. 

I arrived at the soccer field too late for the games but watched a second team my sister coaches do some drills. I finished my apple and stretched a lot and went on my way home. 

I was at 21+ miles now and it wasn't long before my legs were asking me to stop. In hindsight, I should not have gone as far as 30th street on the first leg. But I had to get home so I plugged away. I did ok until I got to the hill coming up State Road just past the route 1 ramps less than a mile from home.  I was struggling and weaving as a result of my leg fatigue so I decided it was really safer to get off and navigate this curvy climb walking on the other side where there was a nice wide shoulder. 

I had a great time today . I passed by several neighborhood block parties. There were lots of tents, bbq grills and people enjoying a nice- if cloudy - fall day. I'm sorry I missed my sister's team's games but they tied one and won the other so I'm happy for them. I should have done shorter miles. 22 - 25 would have made more sense than 30. But I feel good and after lots of stretching when I got home my legs have forgiven me. Grudgingly, perhaps, as they are still a bit cranky but nothing that will keep me from the Perkis People hike tomorrow! 


  1. I like how you only enjoy wandering when you plan to wander. I resemble that remark!

  2. It was wonderful to see you pop up at practice ;-) Sorry to here you banged up your knee but glad to hear you are enjoying your riding again! We have two games again next Saturday at the field you were at today 9:40a and 10:20a and then more practice from 1-5pm. No pressure, just saying :-)

  3. Wow, 30 miles! That is awesome! Good for you! :)