Saturday, May 31, 2014
Bicycling from Houston PA to Wheeling WV via Wellsburg Wv May 26
43.8 miles in 3:53....May 26.....There are so many ways to do this trip, but none of them are real easy. I'm still testing my recovery, and trying to see how the legs are bouncing back from the ride home. I decided to let GPS girl give me directions today, just to see how outrageous they might be, since she's famous for giving bizarre routes, at least in my opinion. As it turns out, I'm glad I listened to her, as I discovered a few roads in Washington County that I had never been on before. My legs also showed great improvement from the last time I rode, which makes me happy.
It was Memorial Day, so I had memories of one year ago today, when we hiked out of the Grand Canyon, after our six day rafting trip, only to find out that my mom had been moved to hospice care. Part of the reason of riding to Wheeling was to go to the cemetery, which Pam and I did. After she Jeeped down, and we had a picnic lunch and afternoon with Kenny and Lori Siburt.
My route took me over to PA 18, north of Washington, via Pike Street and N. Main Street. Pretty normal, the way I would always go, but instead of crossing Rt. 18, I turned north, and went on Lynn Portal and Taggart roads, among a couple of others. Roads that I never had been on. They were traffic free, as was the entire ride, and I was impressed by the really nice homes and farms that were out that way. I popped out on PA 844, missing some major climbs that 844 takes right out of Washington. I was on 844 for 12 miles, riding through historic farming towns, like West Middletown and Independence. PA 844 does nothing but go up and down, most of the time a 8-9 % grades, and my legs were passing the test, along with a little help from serpentine action as I climbed. I stopped along the way and talked to a guy who was dragging a possum across the road in a trap, and he was interested in my story about riding all over. I also saw deer, turkey, rabbits, hawks, whistle pigs (groundhogs), and cardinals, my favorite bird, ( along with magpies). PA 844 turned into WV 27 at the state line, and it was five more miles, with two, one mile sections of 9% descent down to Wellsburg at the Ohio River. One unique feature that I never saw anywhere else, between the two descents, was a sign naming a dip in the road. It was called 'Painters Run Dip, ' and it was sort of big, so I guess it deserved a name. Once into Wellsburg, it was bike trail for 18 miles, along the Ohio River, right to Wheeling Civic Center, where Pam picked me up to go to Siburts. The finish on the trail was into the wind, but it really was easy on my legs, which I probably needed.