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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 06-29-08, 11:36 PM   #1
Neil_B
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The Historian's First Ride Back!



Well, I finally felt recovered enough from my rib fracture three and a half weeks ago to attempt my first substantial ride. This afternoon at 4:30 PM, I met Bike Forums poster "derecola" for a 15 mile ride. We started from the trailhead in Pottstown's scenic but postage-stamp sized Riverfront Park, and rode the Schuylkill River Trail about six or seven miles to near Birdsboro, and then turned back.

Chris, to use his real name, and I hit it off immediately. He's new to serious cycling, and has an infectious enthusiasm. He reminded me why it's fun to ride with other people. Also, I'd never been as far north on the trail as we went, so I was happy to have fresh ground under my tires. Even if it was wet gravel.

Speaking of which, I held up pretty well. Aside from a slight twinge now and then, my rib felt OK on the ride, and I've had no stiffness or soreness since I got back hours ago. I had a little fatigue in my right shoulder from scoliosis, but that's normal for me. I still had some soreness in the heels of my palms - I landed on my hands when I fell back in Cumberland - but I suspect that will eventually go away.

And, now, some more photos. My apologies for the quality - this is my buggy camera that I landed on when I crashed:

Chris and his bike at the turn around point:



Chris again on the bridge spanning the Schuylkill River:



Schuylkill River:



Trail approaching Birdsboro:



Matawany Creek in Riverfront Park, taken from the pedestrian bridge:



Trail as it winds through Riverfront Park:

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Old 06-29-08, 11:42 PM   #2
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Looks like a nice place to ride. I'm glad you are back at it. I have had a rib injury myself and know how painful they are. Mine seemed like it took forever to heal. Also glad you were able to meet up with a board member, its always nice to have someone else to ride with.
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Old 06-29-08, 11:51 PM   #3
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More photos. Rocks at the confluence of the Matawany Creek and Schuylkill River:



A photo of the river taken only a couple of feet from those rocks:



PA Route 100 bridge reflected in the Schuylkill River:



No comment:



Roark posing on the bridge over the Schuylkill:



Another view of the river from the bridge:



You can barely make it out in the photo, but that's a snake sunning itself on the bridge support below.

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Old 06-30-08, 12:00 AM   #4
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Looks like a nice place to ride. I'm glad you are back at it. I have had a rib injury myself and know how painful they are. Mine seemed like it took forever to heal. Also glad you were able to meet up with a board member, its always nice to have someone else to ride with.
Thank you. I'm not quite healed yet, and I'm going to take it easy for a while, but at least I'm riding again. Chris and I have made arrangements to ride again next Sunday. I'm sure I'll be out during the week as well.
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Old 06-30-08, 12:44 AM   #5
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I wish we had anything similar to that in the Houston area. Only trail nearby me is alligator and mosquito infested and muddy water in the Brazos.


Keep up with the riding, I hope one day I can meet a BF member and go for a ride.
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Old 06-30-08, 01:30 AM   #6
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Glad to hear you're doing well. That's an awesome fishy bike rack!
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Old 06-30-08, 03:20 AM   #7
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Nice pictures Neil. Glad to hear you're feeling better.
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Old 06-30-08, 05:24 AM   #8
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Nice Pictures. Makes me wish they would get more sections of the Schuylkill River Trail done up in this area.
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Old 06-30-08, 06:00 AM   #9
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Good to see you are back in the game. Thanks for the beautiful photos.
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Old 06-30-08, 08:18 AM   #10
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Welcome back, and what a way to get back in! Here's hoping that you continue to heal well and enjoy many, many more miles.
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Old 06-30-08, 08:49 AM   #11
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Congratualtions on getting back on the bike. I can't imagine being off of the bike for three weeks now.
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Old 06-30-08, 08:53 AM   #12
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Nice Pictures. Makes me wish they would get more sections of the Schuylkill River Trail done up in this area.
I'd be happy if Chester County could ever get its act together and construct its share of the trail. At the moment the trail ends in Mont Clare and resumes in Pottstown. Meanwhile, Phoenixville, East Vincent Township, Spring City, and suburbs await the trail coming through. It would make my commute so much easier.
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Old 06-30-08, 08:54 AM   #13
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Congratualtions on getting back on the bike. I can't imagine being off of the bike for three weeks now.
It's one day at a time. I woke up with some soreness in the rib cage, and oddly enough, the left shoulder. So no riding today. I'll try again tomorrow.
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Old 06-30-08, 09:31 AM   #14
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I had a lot of fun riding with Neal he is a ca rector.I learned a lot on the ride.lets see how many other members we can get together for next Sundays ride.
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Old 06-30-08, 09:50 AM   #15
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I had a lot of fun riding with Neal he is a ca rector.I learned a lot on the ride.lets see how many other members we can get together for next Sundays ride.
4:00 PM Sunday, Riverfront Park, Pottstown, PA.
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Old 06-30-08, 09:55 AM   #16
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Neil, good to see you out and about! Yeah, that shoulder pain is likely from you favoring the side right now. It's pretty normal. I know how you feel, Bro! Stay wit it and things will get easier again.
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Old 06-30-08, 11:06 AM   #17
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Glad to see you back in the game, Neil... But would you please STOP with the goshdarn photos of great scenery? I'm rapidly approaching my annual "what in the name of all that is Holy am I doing in Texas" fit (happens around Aug 1st every year,) and you are not helping! Seriously, that's some sweet terrain and some great pics, even with a buggy camera...
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Old 06-30-08, 11:34 AM   #18
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good to see you're riding again. That looks like a nice trail, I'll have to check it out.
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Old 06-30-08, 04:10 PM   #19
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Welcome back, glad you are feeling better. Looks like you passed some nice fishing spots too
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Old 06-30-08, 04:15 PM   #20
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Glad to hear that you are back out there, and that the ribs held out so well. Pennyslvania is so GREEN! I used to live there, and miss the trees. It looked like a lovely ride.

Keep mashing those pedals!
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Old 06-30-08, 05:58 PM   #21
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I'd be happy if Chester County could ever get its act together and construct its share of the trail. At the moment the trail ends in Mont Clare and resumes in Pottstown. Meanwhile, Phoenixville, East Vincent Township, Spring City, and suburbs await the trail coming through. It would make my commute so much easier.

From what I have seen online, the trail is supposed to start up here in the Pottsville area, and run down to Philly? So far they have about 1 mile or so done right out the road from my house. And there is a section about 7 miles long from Auburn to Hamburg. Not sure of the Hamburg end, but the Auburn trailhead isn't much, not much parking.
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Old 06-30-08, 11:40 PM   #22
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Glad to see you back in the game, Neil... But would you please STOP with the goshdarn photos of great scenery? I'm rapidly approaching my annual "what in the name of all that is Holy am I doing in Texas" fit (happens around Aug 1st every year,) and you are not helping! Seriously, that's some sweet terrain and some great pics, even with a buggy camera...
I feel mean spirited. Take this:

Matawany Creek meets Schuylkill River:



Roark chilling while I walk on the pedestrian bridge over the Matawany:



Another shot of the trail:

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Old 07-01-08, 05:44 AM   #23
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Glad to see you back in the game, Neil... But would you please STOP with the goshdarn photos of great scenery? I'm rapidly approaching my annual "what in the name of all that is Holy am I doing in Texas" fit (happens around Aug 1st every year,) and you are not helping! Seriously, that's some sweet terrain and some great pics, even with a buggy camera...

I'm not happy with his photos either, but for a different reason, I have not had my camera and bike out together this year, because the weather here has been so awful, either it's been raining or high winds. I think we had like 20 days in June where it rained, and 40km/h+ winds the rest of the time.....
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Old 07-01-08, 06:35 AM   #24
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From what I have seen online, the trail is supposed to start up here in the Pottsville area, and run down to Philly? So far they have about 1 mile or so done right out the road from my house. And there is a section about 7 miles long from Auburn to Hamburg. Not sure of the Hamburg end, but the Auburn trailhead isn't much, not much parking.
The entire trail is supposed to run from the Delaware River at Philadelphia to Pottsville. In theory one could ride a century on the trail between those two cities. As it stands, the trail runs from 25 miles from Philadelphia, a few blocks short of the Delaware, to Mont Clare, at the border of Montgomery County. You must then cross the river on roads into Phoenixville, picking up a short trail in town. From there you use local roads with a LOT of rollers to reach Pottstown and Riverfront Park. From there you have about ten miles of trail to Birdsboro. At the Berks County line the trail surface changes from asphalt to gravel. Another few miles on roads brings you to the next trailhead as the trail continues into Reading, PA. From Reading there is a greenway to ride, but the trail itself stops until it reaches you in Leesport.

It's maddening waiting for this to be finished, but if Chester, Berks, and Schuylkill Counties can get it done, we could have a trail as wonderful as our friends in Western PA have in the Great Allegheny Passage. The GAP is a wonderful achievement, serving as both a means to see the natural wonders of the region and as an experience in its own right. Imagine the economic benefits for the region! Diners, bike shops, B & B and hotels, tour operators and outfitters...... plus reducing traffic on local roads as people use the trail to commute, as I do.

Sorry for the rant, but seeing the GAP turned me into a trail advocate.
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Old 07-01-08, 06:43 AM   #25
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Sorry for the rant, but seeing the GAP turned me into a trail advocate.
That's not a rant, Niel. Use that passion to advocate for it publicly. Use your images, etc, as well as your writing skills to submit some articles to the local papers.......you might just get them published, you know.
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