I slept too good last night. In fact, I was in the basement with no sunlight to wake me up and I hadn’t set an alarm. It wasn’t until 9:30 that I woke up and Artie was saying it was time to get on the road.
Whoops! He did make me some eggs and toast smothered with some delicious smoked peppers before we left.
He drove me right back to where he picked me up yesterday – at Gift Horse Brewing.
My riding day was just beginning at about 11:30 and the sun was hot!
I was feeling weak as I started to ride. Maybe from all the beers last night at Appalachian Brewing? Maybe I slept too much and just feel groggy? Maybe since it’s almost noon and I haven’t even put in a mile?
Whatever it was, I was not looking forward to the riding. I had tried to plan out the days to where I would be in Philadelphia by Thursday and then in NYC on Saturday so that I could attend one of the New York Liberty Churches. (I go to the St Pete FL Liberty Church).
This meant that I needed to put in at least 30 miles. If I did 30, then tomorrow I would have to do roughly 70. That sounded doable to me at that point.
I am just winging the route since it is not a part of the East Coast Greenway. As you can see from the map above, it was pretty much a straight shot east from York, just barely skimming Lancaster.
Once I made it over the Susquehanna River, I started to feel better and stronger. This was a good thing cause later in the day I was gonna hit some steep climbs!
Just barely stepping foot in Lancaster, I found Spring House Brewing Co which was recommended to me by Artie.
I only had a pint, but they really only had IPAs on draft. I asked for the bartenders favorite, and got a pair of large soft pretzels. Perfect combo!
Seemed like a strange area for the brewery, but the inside was real nice with games on the second floor and a delicious looking food menu. Unfortunately only those pretzels were in my budget!
Next part of the ride was actually super awesome! It was through Amish country!
I was pressed for time trying to make it to the campground before the office closed at 5 so I didn’t get to stop as much as I would have liked in these small towns.
The biking was awesome, I had a whole lane to myself and other horses and buggies but I was much faster than them. All I had to do was keep an eye on the road in front of me so I didn’t kick up horse poo all over me.
Every other house was selling something. Whether it was homemade root beer or fresh milk or baked goods or wooden trinkets, it was fascinating to me seeing their lifestyle.
I was able to pass by a lot of Amish families (yes I was faster than their horses) and the kids would always stare, smile, and wave hello. The teenage to young adult girls would always show a little smile and turn their head away. The older folks were hit or miss whether they would say hello or pretend they didn’t see me.
I didn’t get many pictures, cause I didn’t want to be “that guy”. If I get the chance, I’d go back and spend a lot of money trying all their delicious looking foods and handcrafted stuff.
The last couple miles up to Hidden Acres Campground was brutal. Steep climbs with no downhills.
By the time I got to the campground (which was 20 minutes before they closed) I looked like I just got out of a pool. I paid for the campsite and chugged a large Gatorade before she could even process my credit card.
This is the first time of my trip that I have paid for laundry. I gave in today. The dirty smelly stack was almost everything I had. However! I washed them all in the sink first by hand and then paid for just the dryer. It was worth it.
Woke up quite early today. Got going on the bike at 7am because I knew there was a lot of rain in the forecast for the day both where I was and where I was going.
I rode a good ten miles before my body woke up and realized I hadn’t had any coffee or food yet.
Stopped at a little diner, got a breakfast bagel sandwich and a couple cups of coffee. I didn’t stay long though as I knew I needed to keep biking since it was going to be a bit of a longer ride.
The good part of today’s ride is that it is almost completely downhill! I felt like I was cruising!
Sure enough, though, by the time I made it to King of Prussia, it started raining. I was able to get cover and stayed there under a slight roof overhang of a park bathroom for about 20 minutes.
I was tired of waiting and it looked like it was clearing up. I found a Brewpub about 30 minutes riding down the Schuylkill River Trail. Figured I could make it.
Wrong! It started dumping again. By the time there was somewhere to take cover, it was pointless as I was already soaked. So I kept riding and made it to Conshohokin Brewing. Waddled into the bathroom and used a bunch of paper towels to semi dry me off.
Plopped my wet clothes on a barstool, and ordered a flight or brewski’s.
This was the one time I was not a fan of the cranked AC. I was freezing in my wet clothes. Timed it perfectly that once I got into the Brewpub it stopped raining outside (of course). So I drank them quick and got back out on the bike, now with a little bit of sun peaking out.
Wasn’t long before I was dry again as I made my way into Philadelphia.
Almost all of the ride today was on bike trails which was awesome! The one part that wasn’t, which was near the beginning, I almost had my first spill of the trip.
I was cruising down a hill which I clocked in at 39mph and all of a sudden there were a bunch of large sticks on the shoulder.
A truck was coming up to pass me on the left, so I had nowhere to go. So I braced myself, nailed one of the sticks, it threw my front wheel off the ground and to the side.
Luckily I quickly corrected and kept a firm grip so keep from wiping out.
Tonight I am staying with a buddy I have known since kindergarten! This is the second time I’ve stayed with Sean in Philly. The first time was after my 5 months abroad. Seems like I’m always on some big adventure when I see him!
Once he got off work, it started raining again. We ordered an Uber and went out to Evil Genius Brewing. We both had a flight with one of mine having sparkles in it. Their beers were good, but the names for their beers were even better!
Names like: Ma! The Meatloaf!, #Icanteven, #analbumcover, Stacy’s Mom, Purple monkey dishwasher, and the sparkling beer For the Gram.
We decided on our next spot – Yard’s Brewing. It was still raining pretty hard outside but we decided to walk. Sean said it was only a little over a mile away.
I was walking with a sesame Street umbrella, and Sean just had a rain jacket on. After we walked about 2 miles, he said “only half mile more”. After that half mile, we were still walking in the rain, sandles sopping wet and squeaking.
Yard’s was packed and we sat and tried almost all their beers as well as had some food. While I didn’t have a Philly cheese steak while in Philadelphia, I did have a bomb chicken cheese steak here.
After the storm passed, we made our way back to his place and I slept on my first couch of the trip. It was definitely a comfy couch though.
Sean gave me a portable charger while I was with him to have and it can in quite handy for me today! Wish I could have had this the whole trip!
Spent the morning exploring downtown a bit and drinking coffee before setting out for the next destination.
I had the option to ride from Philadelphia up to Trenton NJ either on the New Jersey side or the Pennsylvania side.
I decided on the NJ side for no particular reason.
There were some rough neighborhoods that I rode through on my way up to Princeton, and I got a lot of stared, but it was cool to see.
(My wife is going to appreciate this next part) I think this whole trip is giving me insight and contentment on where I am living now. I am from Colorado originally and now live in Tampa, Florida and I’ve always said I want to move cause I don’t like Florida.
This trip is really helping me appreciate where I do live and today was a prime example of being thankful that I don’t live anywhere that I rode past.
I got up to a cool little city called Bordentown, NJ and stopped for some ice cream. Two kids riding their bikes probably around 13 years old came and hung out with me for a while.
They were impressed with the ride but said they would never want to do anything like that! If you would have asked me to ride 3000+ miles I would have said the same thing. This is my first road bike I have ever owned, actually!
The only brewery that was open and near my route was in Princeton.
I feel bad for those college kids that only have Triumph Brewing Co available to them. I thought their beers were average or below, the service was top 3 worst on my trip, and the only good thing I enjoyed was the TV in front of me and the location right across from Princeton campus.
I’m sure those college kids are too busy studying or practicing lacrosse, or fencing, so that’s why they are the only brewery nearby. I take it back, they will be my boss someday, so I don’t feel bad for them.
There was nowhere to camp, so I opted to treat myself to a nice hotel room. I got a good deal, but used Google maps to get me there. It took me on this grassy strip that turned into a Marsh and then led me to stairs. Next to the stairs was a little clearance to push my bike up the hill so I went for it. Once I got to the top, I had to lift my bike over a street guard rail. Oh Google…. I can only imagine the thoughts from all the cars passing by..
But right down the road was the DoubleTree by Hilton greeting me with a delicious chocolate chip and walnut cookie. I asked for a second. So good. I’m a cookie monster.