New Bicycle Carrier

We drove to Erie today to look at (and possibly purchase) a bicycle carrier.   Bob was looking for a certain brand and model , Saris “Bones”.  We stopped first at Dick’s Sporting Goods.  They carry Saris carriers but didn’t have the “Bones” model.

From Dick’s Sporting Goods, we drove to Competitive Gear, where we found the bicycle carrier that Bob was looking for.  We purchased that carrier.

The salesman put the carrier on our car.

We were impressed with Competitive Gear.  The prices were similar to Amazon’s pricing; the salesman was personable and helpful.

Our two folding bicycles are now for sale.  We will be going to places and riding our full-size bicycles.  I can ride my full-size bicycle much better than the folding one.  I wish we would have bought the carrier in the first place and not the folding bicycles.  We would have saved some money!

An Unwelcome Change

We spent an extended Easter weekend (March 29-April 1) at Chincoteague, Virginia.  We brought our folding bicycles with us, intending to ride them all over Assateague Island.  After removing the bicycles from their carrying bags, unfolding them, and adjusting the seats we went for a short bicycle ride soon after arriving in Chincoteague. Best Western Chincoteague Island is the closest hotel to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. We rode our bicycles almost to the refuge entrance, a distance of about 1/2 mile.

On the way to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, there is a very nice view of the Assateague Channel.

Assateague Channel

Returning to the hotel, we ditched the bicycles and drove to Assateague Island.

Our hotel provides several outdoor bike racks.
This particular bike rack was located behind the hotel.

This is where our bicycles stayed for the remainder of our vacation.  I did not have the leg strength or the stamina to ride the bicycle.  Riding caused extreme pain in my knees.  I don’t know what changed to cause the pain, but bicycling was no longer a fun activity for me.

Bicycle Ride Around Lake Wilhelm

Bob and I went for a bicycle ride this past Saturday (June 10th).

Bob is carrying our folding bicycles from the house to the car.

We ate breakfast at Richard’s Family Restaurant in Youngsville, PA. Bob ordered an omelet filled with onions, mushroom and cheddar cheese with rye toast and sliced tomatoes on the side. I ordered scrambled eggs, bacon and French Toast. Breakfast was good and quite filling.

Leaving Richard’s, we began our drive to where our bicycle ride would begin.

 

Youngsville, PA to Lake Wilhelm, PA

Lake Wilhelm is the centerpiece of Maurice K. Goddard State Park.  We have visited Lake Wilhelm a few times, circling the lake by car.  This was the first time that we planned a bicycle ride at the lake.

The John C. Oliver Multi-Purpose Loop Trail is 12 miles long. The paved, predominantly off-road trail traces the northern and southern shores of Lake Wilhelm.  The loop trail is a pleasant, largely wooded loop around the lake.  We began our ride at Boat Launch #4, which is located on the lake’s north side.

We arrived at Boat Launch #4 at approximately 9:30 am.

Lake Wilhelm Boat Launch #4

A flock of geese flew overhead, as we were preparing for our bicycle ride.

The geese made quite a noise, as they flew over us at Boat Launch #4!

We didn’t begin our ride until 10:00 am. It took approximately 30 minutes to unfold our bicycles and attach a trunk bag to each rack. The next time we go for a ride less preparation time will be required, as the trunk bags already will be attached. We planned to ride from Boat Launch #4 to the dam and back, which I had read somewhere on the Internet was an approximate 5-mile round trip. I guess I read the information incorrectly, as it was about 5 miles ONE WAY to the dam from Boat Launch #4.

The trail on the north side contains several sharp bends and short, steep runs that I found challenging. The payoff, though, are scenic vistas overlooking the water.

En route Lake Wilhelm Dam

En route Lake Wilhelm Dam

The trail crosses over Lake Wilhelm Dam.

Once we reached the dam, we decided to continue rest of the way around Lake Wilhelm, rather than back track, as it would add only a few more miles to our day’s ride.

The trail on Lake Wilhelm’s south side runs from the dam to Lake Wilhelm Road.  The trail shares Creek Road with motor vehicles from the dam to Boat Launch #1 and ends at the marina.

Amish buggy along Creek Road; no horse in sight

Before reaching Boat Launch #1, one can choose to stay on Creek Road or take the bike trail up over a steep hill.  Bob took the high road; I stayed on Creek Road.

We found lots of horses and more Amish buggies at Boat Launch #1.  I am certain that one of the horses pulled the Amish buggy that we saw earlier.

Horses and Amish Buggies
Note the picnic areas shown in this photograph.

Picnic areas are abundant and restrooms can be found at each of the four boat launches around the lake.

There were lots of Amish buggies at Boat Launch #1.
Boat trailers were parked nearby.

10-mile marker
Two more miles to go!
(photo by Bob)

Actually we had about 2 1/2 miles to go, as we entered the trail about 1/2 mile from the start.  Oh, and in the photograph displayed above, I was not walking my bicycle at this point.  I got off to take a picture of the 10-mile marker.  I DID walk my bicycle, though, several times during our 12-mile ride!

We made it to the marina!

The south and north portions of the John C. Oliver Multi-Purpose Loop Trail are connected via Lake Wilhelm Road.  You can see Lake Wilhelm Road (across the lake) in the photograph displayed above.  There is a large berm along the side of Lake Wilhelm Road, so traffic was not a problem.

We began our bicycle ride at 10:00 am and completed the ride at 1:00 pm.  Bob used the MapMyRide app to track our bicycle ride.

 

Screenshot from MapMyRide app

The MapMyRide app records moving time. We made stops (to take pictures and to rest) equaling approximately an hour. The last 1/2-1 mile didn’t go well. I had to make frequent stops because I felt weak and dizzy. Eating a chocolate bar, when we made it back to the car, quickly ended the weak feeling and dizziness. We carried water with us. We need to carry candy too, e.g. hard candy or protein bars that won’t melt.

From Lake Wilhelm we drove to Erie. We ate a late lunch at Texas Roadhouse, using a gift card for a portion of the cost. Lunch was good and filling as well.

We began our drive back home, after lunch. We made one stop along the way. We stopped at Walmart in Corry, where we purchased two bicycle seats.  Our new bicycle seats are wider and more cushy than the seats currently on our folding bicycles.  Our next bicycle ride will be more comfortable on our buttocks!

We both enjoyed the John C. Oliver Multi-Purpose Loop Trail and would like to ride it again, perhaps sometime during the autumn months.

Bicycle Ride at Marilla Reservoir

Yesterday we went for a bicycle ride at Allegany State Park.  After that ride and a light picnic lunch, we decided to go to Marilla Reservoir (Bradford, PA).

The Erik Benjamin Covered Bridge spans the spillway of the Marilla Reservoir.

We rode our bicycles on the Marilla Bridges Trail.

Marilla Bridges Trail

The one mile loop crush limestone surfaced Marilla Bridges Trail is a very nice trail, but it is better walked than ridden!

Bicycle Ride at Allegany State Park

We went to Allegany State Park yesterday for a bicycle ride. It was our first time riding bicycles in the park, as well as the first time transporting our new folding bicycles to a ride destination.  Both bicycles fit nicely in our back seat.

Allegany State Park is divided into two areas: the Red House Area and the Quaker Run Area. We entered the park via the Quaker Run Area entrance and made our way to the Red House Area. Our ride destination was the Red House Area, where there are 5 miles of paved hike/bike paths.


We rode our bicycles around Red House Lake, a loop trail of 3 miles. Our starting point was at the Red House Boat Rental parking lot. We rode clockwise around the lake.  The bicycle trail was very nice, paved throughout. We rode level with the lake, below the lake (at creek level) and high above the lake. I both rode and walked my bicycle on the trail. Eventually I hope that I am able to ride all the way around the lake.

Red House Lake Bicycle Trail

Across the lake is a bridge.  This is the Red House Lake Dam bridge.  We won’t cross over that bridge.  Instead the bicycle trail takes you below the Red House Lake Dam, across a wooden bridge and back up the other side. On our way to the Red House Lake Dam we passed by the Red House Administration building.

We stopped briefly at the stone fishing pier,
located in a picnic area near the Red House Administration building.

Passing by the Red House Administration building

As I mentioned earlier, the bicycle trail takes you below the Red House Lake dam and across a wooden bridge.  The descent below the Red House Lake dam is steep.  It is recommended that you walk your bicycle down the trail.  We rode our bicycles.  I used the brake often!

Bob took this picture of me on the wooden bridge.

Wooden Bridge at Red Lake House Dam Spillway

Across from this bridge is the new Red House Nature Boardwalk, which we visited for a short while.

Reflective Boardwalk

A bird blind was at the end of the reflective boardwalk.

Red House Nature Boardwalk

There is a large observation platform
at the end of the long boardwalk shown in the preceding photograph.

View from Red House Nature Boardwalk
The marshland is beginning to get its Spring colors!

Leaving the Red House Nature Boardwalk we began our ascent to the other side of the Red House Lake dam.

The ascent was a bit steep.
I had to walk my bicycle on this part of the trail.
Spring tree blossoms are so pretty!

The bicycle trail took us high above Red House Lake.
Again, I had to walk my bicycle on a portion of this part of the bicycle trail.

A short distance from this point the bicycle trail went through a forested area and down a steep slope.  There was a sign that suggested walking bicycles down the hill.  It didn’t look that steep, though, so we rode our bicycles down the hill.  At the bottom of the hill the bicycle trail crosses over ASP 2.  It isn’t easy to stop at the end of the hill.  I should have respected the “walk your bicycle” sign in this instance.  Thankfully, I was able to stop (barely), and there wasn’t any traffic on ASP 2!

After crossing over ASP 2 we quickly arrived at the Thomas L. Kelly Covered Bridge.

Bob took this picture of me at the Thomas L. Kelly Covered Bridge.

From the covered bridge, we returned to our starting point.  We found a lovely site for a picnic.

What a beautiful spot for a picnic!

After lunch we left Allegany State Park.  Rather than go straight home, we decided to go to Marilla Reservoir (Bradford, PA) — the subject of my next blog post.

New Bicycles

We didn’t get much use out of the trailer hitch bike carrier that we purchased in late August 2016, as we traded in the Nissan Xterra for a Subaru Legacy in March 2017.    Less than a month later we became interested in folding bicycles, as our new car had no mechanism for hauling bicycles.

Bob ordered a folding bicycle from Walmart on April 5th.  The bicycle arrived on April 11th.  We went for a ride on the Warren to North Warren Bike Trail, which we can access easily from our neighborhood.

Bob has a new bicycle, a 20-inch FOLDING bicycle.

I took the folding bicycle for a test ride as well.  We both liked the feel of the new bicycle.

We picked up my folding bicycle at Walmart today.

Bob and I now both have folding bicycles.  We need to plan a day trip to make use of our new bicycles.

Crazy Weather

What crazy weather we are having here in Northwestern Pennsylvania!  Bob and I went for a bicycle ride this afternoon.

We rode to Pioneer Arboretum, located along the Warren to North Warren Bike Trail approximately 1.5 miles from our house.

Today is January 21st.  The temperature was just shy of 60 degrees, when we left on our bicycle ride.  How nice it is to have Springlike weather in the middle of Winter!