Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Rail Trail Ride

The Venture Crew wanted to do an interesting event and needed a fund raiser. They came up with the idea of a bike-a-thon. The logical place was the Pine Creek Rail Trail. It is 65 miles of fine scenic riding through the Pa. Grand Canyon and is known as one of the best rides in the east.
We loaded up Saturday morning and headed to the north end at Wellsboro.
We rode about 30 miles to our campsite. There are campsites along the trail. They are basic with fire rings and picnic tables. This one was between the trail and Pine Creek. We had the place to ourselves.
We had a parent drive a truck with our camp gear, so we carried it into the campsite and set up in relative comfort. We had coolers of food, camp chairs and cooking gear.
The Crew members had energy enough to play frisbee and run around before supper. Nobody stayed up late, though.
Breakfast was cooked by volunteers who got up at 6:00. When else do teenagers get up that early on Sunday? They made pancakes and bacon and scrambled eggs to order. We had a youth led Scouts Own Service since it was Sunday.
Then on the bikes again. Only 35 miles to go. The group I was with stopped for ice cream at 11:00. We need to keep our energy levels up to pedal.
The group had set a finish time of 4:00 pm. Be at a road crossing then to be picked up. Since some were getting donations based on mileage, everybody wanted to ride as far as possible. I followed the last rider in to the south parking lot at 3:40. The first few had arrived at 2:00 or so.
We all had sore butts and were pleased with the weekend. We stopped on the way home for pizza and recounted the trip. Another fine adventure.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Strategic Planning

I decided to withdraw from the McNaughton race. I iced my knee for a couple of days and it felt better. I ran gently on it Sunday and Tuesday. I just don't dare subject it to 150 hard miles right now. I don't want to risk the whole season being lost to an injury. I have too much at stake here to blow up now.
That means I will get a decent training week in and be able to ride with the Venture Crew on their bike-a-thon next weekend. They want to ride on the Pine Creek Rail Trail as a campout and fund raiser. We will start Saturday morning at Wellsboro Junction and ride to our campsite below Blackwell. We'll camp overnight and Sunday everybody will ride as far as they are able. Some might do all 65 miles. Some probably won't. We have lots of adults going along and it should be a lot of fun. I have encouraged them to get on their bikes and get some miles on. I don't think anybody has. I have not ridden since last fall either.

Friday, April 3, 2009

More Spring

Things are looking better. There are more signs of the new season. Local folks are making maple syrup. I heard turkeys gobbling this week and saw a gobbler puffed up and showing off one day. I saw a bear when I was coming back from class one night. The ospreys are back to their nest at the high school. A pair have nested there for 7 or 8 years now. Their nest is on a pole a few feet off the track.
I have been running well the last couple weeks. I have a road run that is 26 miles with almost 2,000 feet of climbing in it. There are a couple of stores where I can get something to eat and drink. Doing this twice a weekend is good training. Combined with weekday morning track work, I'm aiming at 80 mile weeks. I have started doing some speedy laps in the mornings. If I can keep this up and not injure myself any more, I'll be ready for the season.
I did smack a knee a month ago on a jackhammer I was using. It was pretty well settled down, but I bashed it again today in the shop. I'm taking the afternoon off and icing it. I need that knee for McNaughton. I think it will be OK. I'll decide by Tuesday. No sense tearing it up this early in the most important running season of my life.
My Badwater crew has a new member, Niki. She has done some interesting outdoor adventures and will fit right in.
Gotta go tend my knee now.