Fifth leg – Undulations of Road and Rain

Made the seventy five miles to my son’s house in Harrisburg today without too much trouble. I got an early start at 730. The bike route followed Old Route 22, parallel to Interstate 78, which was often in view, more often in earshot, and never more than one ridge away to the north. Old Route 22 rolled through dairy country in a never ending series of hills, none too steep or too long, but each one just enough to break my pace. The first two hours of the ride were in a steady cold rain, too.

Towns as such were few and far between. After five hours of riding and more than half the day’s objective, I promised myself I would stop for lunch at the next restaurant. Jonestown looked promising, a real collection of houses and churches on top of a hill. The first eatery on the way up the hill was a pizza joint but I decided to h9ld out for something more interesting. At the top of the hill, there were hardly any businesses at all in the town. I doubted I could sit down for lunch at the general store. My stomach rumbled as a rolled down the hill on the west side of town. But I wasn’t going to bike back up over the hill to the pizzeria. I got lucky, though. At the bottom of the hill on the west edge of town, a sign next to a brand new building announced that Ivana’s Italian Bistro was “now open.” I was the only customer.

West of Jonestown I had to decide whether to follow the Google maps suggested route on Route 22, or keep following Johnstown Road west. Graded four lane highway with incessant traffic and wide shoulders, or a rolling two lane road with the occasional dairy semi trailer full of milk or manure and no shoulder to dodge it.  After fifty miles of rolling hills, I chose the gentle grades of Route 22, but the traffic and commercial strips were a jarring contrast to the quiet country roads of the morning ride.

I also figured Rte 22 was more likely to have shops I could duck into when the afternoon line of storms came through. I could see the rain coming a mike away, and decided to check in to the Sleep Inn for twenty minutes. Or its portico, anyway. I don’t think the receptionist ever noticed I was there.

I Got to Justin’s house in Camp Hill right at five, and Justin and Danielle had cold beer and snacks ready! 

My legs feel fine, but my right foot has swollen up from the pressure of the bike cleats, I think. I am going to try some gel inserts in my bike shoes for tomorrow’s ride.


2 thoughts on “Fifth leg – Undulations of Road and Rain

  1. Karl, I don’t know your cross country route, but we are in Lander, Wyoming and would be pleased to provide housing, meals, provisions or whatever as you advance westward. The town is a popular spot for cross country bikers and Gannett Sports downtown has a few such individuals on its staff. Please keep us in mind. You effort is truly epoch! Bill Mayo

    Liked by 1 person

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