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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 03-23-09, 08:01 AM   #1
Neil_B
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Roark Goes Hollywood!, or, Mr. Historian Goes To Town

It's a 22 mile coming of age story - young man from the country rides to the big city, experiences the evils of urban riding, and heads back home. Call it Mr. Historian Goes To Town, if you like. But please, have Gary Cooper and not Adam Sandler play the leading role.



The Perkiomen Trail's gravel surface was hard and dry yesterday. The young, or perhaps not so young, man headed off on his bike to Schwenksville, and then turned around and rode back to the connecting Skippack Trail. He felt strong on his bike, climbing some rises without a problem, even powering up the Perk's major concession to a property owner - the trail routes up and down a 12 per cent grade to go around someone's home.



The Skippack Trail is paved, and the man made good time climbing up from the creek valley to Skippack Village. He stopped at a small pond to drink.



Soon enough he was in the big city - Skippack. The man rode up and down Rt 73. All he saw were trendy stores and eateries, and the Yuppies who frequent such stores and eateries. And cars passing him at 45 MPH on a rode with next to no shoulder.



He turned to ride back to the trail, and noticed his front tire looked low. He reached over and felt it. FLAT! He had been forced into some broken glass by a passing car a mile before. He walked his bike the short distance back to the trailhead, and began to replace the tube. The going was tough, for his hardcase tires have a very hard bead, and it took 45 minutes to get the tube replaced and the tire reset. Time to leave the corruption of the big city. He turned and looked at the trailhead, and the only covered bridge in Montgomery County:



The bridge was the portal of his escape back to the world of riding he knew. Off he went like the wind - a slow, large wind, but wind nonetheless. He left the evil world behind him as the sun set:



...and pedaled back to a better place, a wiser man for what he had learned, but happy to have left it behind.

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Old 03-23-09, 08:38 AM   #2
billydonn
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Suggested Future Titles:

"Hubs 'A Smokin: Roark Blazes to Amazing Personal Timetrial Record" or

"Country Boy's Revenge: Roark Blows Doors Off Cocky City Roadbikes" or

"Roark Befriends Orphaned/Neglected City Bikes: Builds New Velo Habitat" or

"A Visit to the Zoo: Roark Confronts Anthrophcentrism, Talks to the Animals"
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Old 03-23-09, 09:36 AM   #3
BigUgly
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You are a great story teller Historian and your pictures are always enoyable to look at. Skippack is not the Skippack I remember. You brought back some horrifying memories for me. I grew up down RT 73 from Skippack in a little town called Cedars on what used to be a back country road. My friends and I would ride the back roads to Rt 73 which would put us on Rt 73 by what used to be the post office at the time across RT73 from the Skippack Roadhouse(where I had my first ever job as a dishwasher). We then ride up Rt73 to RT113 where there used to be the Skippack Deli(Now Chiaros if it is still there, and the Skippack Pharmacy) to buy candy and whatever else we could think of. I would always dread the ride on 73. There were no curbs and sidewalks back then. Only about 2 inches of shoulder that would drop off into eroded soil with jagged rocks and broken glass. I had many scraped knees, hands, and elbows from these epic rides we used to go on as a kid. I had one of those 70s type bikes with the big sissy bar, bannana seat, and high handle bars. That covered bridge looks familar, is that at the back of a parking lot where the old 'Trolley Stop Restaurant' used to be. I think they built some huge fancy hotel/restaurant there. Is the Skippack Trail Head in the back of that parking lot? Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

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Old 03-23-09, 10:12 AM   #4
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Nice pictures, nice ride. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 03-23-09, 10:22 AM   #5
epcolt
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Tom is right, you should do a book!
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Old 03-23-09, 11:23 AM   #6
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Once again, a wonderful photo essay. Thanks!
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Old 03-24-09, 08:57 AM   #7
Neil_B
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Originally Posted by BigUgly View Post
You are a great story teller Historian and your pictures are always enoyable to look at. Skippack is not the Skippack I remember. You brought back some horrifying memories for me. I grew up down RT 73 from Skippack in a little town called Cedars on what used to be a back country road. My friends and I would ride the back roads to Rt 73 which would put us on Rt 73 by what used to be the post office at the time across RT73 from the Skippack Roadhouse(where I had my first ever job as a dishwasher). We then ride up Rt73 to RT113 where there used to be the Skippack Deli(Now Chiaros if it is still there, and the Skippack Pharmacy) to buy candy and whatever else we could think of. I would always dread the ride on 73. There were no curbs and sidewalks back then. Only about 2 inches of shoulder that would drop off into eroded soil with jagged rocks and broken glass. I had many scraped knees, hands, and elbows from these epic rides we used to go on as a kid. I had one of those 70s type bikes with the big sissy bar, bannana seat, and high handle bars. That covered bridge looks familar, is that at the back of a parking lot where the old 'Trolley Stop Restaurant' used to be. I think they built some huge fancy hotel/restaurant there. Is the Skippack Trail Head in the back of that parking lot? Thanks for the trip down memory lane!
Yes, there's a small "hotel", although it's more like a puffed up diner, and, in back, a high-end Asian cuisine place. I've been to Tokyo, it's nice, although paying 60 bucks for raw fish isn't my cup of saki:

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Old 03-24-09, 09:01 AM   #8
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More photos of the bridge, built in 1997:



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Old 03-24-09, 12:12 PM   #9
BigUgly
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Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
Yes, there's a small "hotel", although it's more like a puffed up diner, and, in back, a high-end Asian cuisine place. I've been to Tokyo, it's nice, although paying 60 bucks for raw fish isn't my cup of saki:

It's amazing what yuppiness can do to a town. Once all the old timer officials died off, in came the yuppies. There used to be some really nice mom & pop stores in Skippack. Not that progress is a bad thing but sometimes it's nice to experience the old time simple life once in a while.
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