The best day ever. 5/27/2010 Lancaster, NJ

I was super worried about my knee before today’s ride.  I tied a bandanna around my knee to stop my IT band from moving as much.  Riding out of Philly, I knew it was going to be a scorcher.  It was.  At one point it reached a heat index of 98.  This is not fun biking weather folks.

I started with a slower group than usual to take it easy on my knee.  We got on the PA bike trail and I found that the bandanna I had put on was nothing but a nuisance.  I took it off and wrapped it around my head.  This was the best thing I could have ever done.  The bandanna took all of the sweat away from my face.

I was beside myself.  I didn’t know how fast I wanted to go today.  All signs pointed to me taking it easy so that I wouldn’t aggravate my knee.  Tough.  After a snack stop at the forty mile mark and a cheeseburger hot dog, I hopped up in front.  We flew.  I have never ridden this hard before.  My knee didn’t hurt and I felt great on the hills.  My confidence was growing.  I think the group I biked with was the perfect group for each other.  Our riding styles and goals were all similar. 

After a very quick 17 miles to Churchtown, PA, we filled up our water at an amish bakery nearby.  This bakery was something else.  Everything was made from scratch and obviously homemade and totally original.  I am still convinced that the water we filled up with was the best tasting water ever.  Some of the guys bought some ridiculous deserts and we ate outside waiting for the other groups to arrive.  As we were sitting and laughing, the cute old owner offered us deserts that were intended for her grandson!  A whole shopping bag full!   Instead of saving the yummies for the rest of the team and lunchtime, our group managed to take care of almost all of the deserts right then ad there.  Nutrition!

We finally saw the rest of the team ride by and we quickly hid our yummy desert wrappers.  As we caught up to the team to meet for lunch, we found the can stuck in a ditch.  Whoopedee.  A nice Pennsylvania farmer grabbed his pull chain and pulled our van out.  Upon leaving, Sean realized he forgot Lauren, who had no bike becuase she was riding in the van.  I managed to flag down the first random car to hitch her a ride.  To my surprise it was the husband of the bakery owner!  Score.

The first group quickly rode past the rest of the group eating lunch (who had no idea our stomachs were full of cookies, rice crispie treats and pumpkin pie)and hopped on the trail with an eccentric sugar high.  20 more miles.

These miles were absolutely beautiful!  Amish country!  Horse bugeys, baby black sheep and very friendly horses!  The last twenty were finished in no time.  We concluded our route in the town of Lancaster, PA in possibly one of the nicest places we will stay in for the rest of the trip.

Shower!  Talk about irony…. The man who drove Lauren to the lunch stop was so happy with getting to know us at the bakery and at his farm that he served the rest of the team homemade strawbarry ice cream.  What a day.

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