Our intrepid team from the Main Line Unitarian Church—Andy, me (Pam) and Dilip—took our first official ride towards the 100 mile challenge yesterday afternoon (May 10). We started in a parking lot in Bala Cynwyd at about the midway point of the lovely Cynwyd Trail and rode the mile into Manayunk and over to the Schuylkill River Trail that runs adjacent to the canal and, further north, to the river. We got as far as the edge of Valley Forge Park, so round trip, 31.08 miles accomplished!
I love this trail, a wonderful blend of urban gritty (okay, we passed at least three water--er, sewer--treatment plants), urban creative (funky murals and graffiti, old city buildings sporting beautiful brick masonry), mixed trail passages (paved, unpaved, wooden bridge segments, and the like), and natural surprises: fields of wildflowers, sturdy rock overhangs, and animals galore. One nice environmental surprise: a large array of solar panels facing us (and the river to our left), set up at a home on a hill. Andy delighted in the discovery of a bird he hadn't seen before, while I enjoyed an at-a-close-distance encounter with one of my favorite critters, the groundhog. There were rabbits, deer, dogs a plenty on leashes—even a bossy rooster and his brood of chickens in the backyard of a Norristown home. And throughout the journey, the river at our side.
It was chilly and overcast as we started in the early afternoon, but we were granted a bright gift, as the sun broke out about 5:00 pm—just when I needed a little boost to pedal those last miles back to the car!