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Thread: Perkiomen!

  1. #1
    Neil_B
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    Perkiomen!

    Perkiomen, somewhat cloudy,
    Indian water slipping down a mountain stream,
    You know what I mean, I feel Perkiomen.
    - Hall and Oates, "Perkiomen"



    Today's ride perhaps wasn't one most Bike Forums posters would call "epic" or "important", but it was for me. It's the first time I've enjoyed riding in quite a while. Like the protagonist in the song lyric I quoted above, I've felt "Perkiomen" for a while. So it felt proper to ride the Perkiomen Trail today, or at least the central part, from the Graterford trailhead to up past Spring Mount. I didn't pay attention to the mileage computer, but the ride was about 15 miles.

    The first of the two big former Perkiomen Railroad bridges over the Perkiomen Creek. As the song lyrics imply, "Perkiomen" is a Lenape word meaning "muddy river."



    Just past the second big railroad bridge, before Schwenksville.



    My poor photography cannot convey the intensity of the colors on display. This week and next week will have the leaves at their peak.



    The trail from the pedestrian ramp leading to the sidewalk:



    Once I reached Schwenksville I rode onto Gravel Pike, or Rt. 29, for a few blocks, so I could see some of the Victorian buildings in town. (The trail follows Rt. 29 for most of the distance between Collegeville and Spring Mount.) Rt. 29 isn't great for bikes, but traffic didn't give me a hard time.





    Display at the Schwenksville Volunteer Fire Company, 134 years old in 2008.



    Roark at one of the two bridges flanking the road crossing leading to Spring Mount.



    More to come.....

  2. #2
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    Excellent! Glad you had a good time today.
    -------

    Some sort of pithy irrelevant one-liner should go here.

  3. #3
    Senior Member jboyd's Avatar
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    Great Pics. Thanks for sharing.

    I may only speak for myself, but as I am voyeuristic by nature, I like seeing the landscape of others. Gives me a perspective on what they are dealing with.

    Very nice.

    Jay
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  4. #4
    Neil_B
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    While my photos continue to upload to Flickr, let me get my number one Perkiomen Trail annoyance out of the way.

    The 20 mile trail was completed in a little more than three years, which is amazingly fast as trails go. Montgomery County decided to go ahead on their own, because waiting for federal money would have meant at least a decade to complete the trail. With Eminent Domain, purchase of land, and use of county, township, and state property, they had the trail completely planned, except for one landowner, a plumbing business outside of Schwenksville who didn't want his access to Perkiomen Creek cut off. So rather than spend years in court with a county resident, they worked out a compromise:



    Yes folks, the trail climbs up to the sidewalk, crosses his driveway, and then back down the other side! It wouldn't be so bad except it's steep - about a ten per cent grade, plus the sidewalk is sloped as well.

  5. #5
    Neil_B
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    A trail greeter at one of the homes that line the trail.



    A bridge just before we climb up Spring Mount. We've left the former Perkiomen Railroad right of way for now.





    Then the climb into the woods at Spring Mount. This is the closest ski area to Philadelphia, and it was a resort in the 19th century. Today it's a 12 per cent grade for the cyclist.



    Once down the 12 per cent grade, there are some stunning views of the Perk.







    More to come....

  6. #6
    Vorsprung durch Technik epcolt's Avatar
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    Looks like a nice place to ride and take those great pics. Sounds like you had a nice ride.
    epcolt
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  7. #7
    Neil_B
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    One more set of photos. I turned around just past Spring Mount, after crossing yet another former railroad bridge. Past Ham Road there's a rock outcropping, and I stopped there:



    I climbed the rocks and got some photos of the trail and the river from above:









    After which I turned around and pedaled back to my car.

    The new, narrower saddle seemed to work out OK. Yes, my butt hurts, but that was expected after three weeks of not riding and a new saddle. The 146 InForm chafes me a LOT less than the 154 did, and I expect I can keep the chafing down by taking more care to ride 'centered' on the saddle. (As I've whined, err, mentioned before, my pelvis faces left, meaning my right side tilts forward in the saddle.)

    As for riding, I'm in the worst shape I've ever been in. My weight is up, and my stamina down. My hill climbing legs are gone. Obviously I have some work to do.

  8. #8
    Neil_B
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    Here's the new saddle. I never thought I'd sit on something so small.


  9. #9
    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    Awesome pictures - thanks for posting.
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    Thanks for the pics....Reminds me of why I miss PA in the fall
    You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. - Robin Williams

    Never be frightenend to walk out of step with others because you will walk on ground no one else touches

    Remember, hard work pays off later but procastination pays off now!

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  11. #11
    Tilting with windmills txvintage's Avatar
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    Glad to hear you had a good ride Neil. I'm at work, so pic hosting accounts and links are filtered. I have no doubt they are as majestic as your regular contributions.

    Have I mentioned this week I envy your your ride locations?

    As for the chafing, have you considered chamois balm? It might be the last frontier if your new saddle works out, which it sounds to be off to a good start.

  12. #12
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    Nice pictures.

    I never stop on my rides, as I use them for work outs. I guess I need to live where there are bike trails and I can actually stop and take pictures.
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  13. #13
    I Ride, Therefore I Am BigUgly's Avatar
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    The colors in PA right now are awesome, unfortunatly work blocks the pix so I will take a look at them when I get home. Neil, when I was a kid there was rope swing on the Perky right behind Spring Mount, have you seen it in your rides up the trail. Then since the trail swings in through the woods near there it may not be visible from the trail. The one and only time I rode the trail we turned around at the top of the descent behind Spring Mountian. Clydes tend to sink in the soft gravel that was the trail last fall plus it was raining at the time which wasn't helping. My buddy I was riding with is close the 300 pounds and he was sinking. The rope swing was on the Rt 73 side of the creek about 100 yards before where they put a restaurant in a train station I think. There were a bunch of abondoned bldgs there when I was kid. My friends and I used to swim there in August when I was in high school. It used to get pretty crowded at the swimming hole when the Folk Fest was in town.
    Last edited by BigUgly; 10-20-08 at 06:34 PM.

  14. #14
    Chubby super biker bdinger's Avatar
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    Absolutely outstanding all around, Neil. I'm truly envious of the trail, and now itching to hit a remote trail myself . Unfortunately the trail I generally travel is smack in the middle of town, while the views are quite nice, I'm too much of a country boy to properly "enjoy" the urban setting .

    Your post has inspired me to sneak out early today and head south . Excellent work. Remember, those legs and stamina come back FAST.

  15. #15
    bcc
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
    It's the first time I've enjoyed riding in quite a while.
    I'm glad to hear that. I can't begin to tell you how much I enjoy looking at your photos - they really help capture what *I* enjoy about riding, and I've not really managed to get that in any pictures I've taken while riding.

  16. #16
    I Ride, Therefore I Am BigUgly's Avatar
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    The pix are awesome. Makes me regret not getting out for a ride this past weekend.

  17. #17
    Senior Member bbeck's Avatar
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    great pics

  18. #18
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by txvintage View Post
    Glad to hear you had a good ride Neil. I'm at work, so pic hosting accounts and links are filtered. I have no doubt they are as majestic as your regular contributions.

    Have I mentioned this week I envy your your ride locations?

    As for the chafing, have you considered chamois balm? It might be the last frontier if your new saddle works out, which it sounds to be off to a good start.
    I use balm on long rides, but I generally go 'dry' on short ones.

  19. #19
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by bcc View Post
    I'm glad to hear that. I can't begin to tell you how much I enjoy looking at your photos - they really help capture what *I* enjoy about riding, and I've not really managed to get that in any pictures I've taken while riding.
    I've enjoyed your photos. I'm never likely to make it to the UK, but I almost feel as if I've been there after visiting your photostream.

  20. #20
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbeck View Post
    great pics
    Thanks. While I was at the turnaround point I was joined by a fellow shutterbug. He's one of the 'official' photographers for Montgomery County's parks department. His photos should be online later this week. His equipment was much better than mine, so his shots should be spectacular.

    Meanwhile, the best ones I took were just before sunset. Too many of my photos suffered from too much light, and look pale or washed out.








  21. #21
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    I am very glad to read that you had an enjoyable ride. The pictures are fantastic. The colors are realy popping. Here in Wester NY we are about a week past our prime for leaf peeping. This past weekend the colors were still descent, but the weekend before was our peak. This week is starting off dark and rainy so it is no longer "Indian Summer" weather... Fall like weather had so start sooner or later.

    Enjoy your riding. I hope you get a few more nice short rides in before the weather turns icy and snowy.

    Happy riding,
    André

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