Two Bicycle Trails – Part 1: East Branch Trail in Spartansburg, PA

We went for a bicycle ride this morning.

Bob attached our bicycle carrier to the car.

We departed home at 8:02 am and arrived in Spartansburg about an hour later.  We parked in the Dutch Treat parking lot.  We rode the 3.1 mile East Branch Trail, which means we bicycled 6.2 miles. 

Signage at the East Branch Trail
The trail is wide.  There is room for walkers, bicyclists, in-line skaters, and people in wheelchairs. Horses, specifically horses pulling Amish buggies to and from markets in Spartansburg, use the adjacent 8-foot gravel path.
An Amish homestead
East Branch Trail
Bob rode up the hill; I didn’t.

The deer flies were bad.  As a result, I don’t know if we will ride this trail again.

Upon our return, while Bob placed the bicycles on the carrier, I took a few pictures around Clear Lake. 

Clear Lake Flower Garden
Clear Lake Footbridge
Clear Lake (view from footbridge)
Platt’s Mill and Dam
Two Amish women and an English woman had tables set up at the edge of the parking lot.

The Amish women were selling baked goods.  The English woman was selling soaps, cheeses and, I think, honey.  We bought baked goods from the Amish women–a dozen molasses cookies for $3.50 and two peanut butter filled donuts for $2.50.  We ate the donuts and saved the cookies for later.

We departed Spartansburg around 10:30 am and returned home about an hour later.

Our bicycle ride in Spartansburg was the first of two rides that we did today.  My next blog post will be about our second ride of the day.

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!

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!

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!

New Handlebar Basket

This is the first time that I have been able to ride my bicycle since Sunday’s ride around Presque Isle.

Apparently I overdid Sunday’s bicycle ride.  About 4 hours after coming home from Presque Isle, a muscle spasm in my left inner thigh hit me hard, as I began to stand up from a sitting position.  I felt good when bicycling Sunday and afterward, while on our way home.  The bicycle trail was flat for the most part.  It was a low-impact, not a strenuous, ride.  We made a few rest stops during our ride.  I drank plenty of water before, during and after bicycling.  I don’t feel I lack potassium.  A banana is a frequent snack.

Why do I get these “muscle spasms”?  I want to be active.  My body seems to want something different.  This muscle spasm was the second one I had in a week’s time.  The first one was in my left inner thigh, after walking almost 15,000 steps.  The spasm, then, happened about 4 hours after coming home too.  I was sleeping, when that spasm hit. 

After a muscle spasms, it takes several days before I am able to relax (to not fear another muscle spasm will hit) and get back to my “normal”.

It feels good to ride again, with less pain.

I wanted to show you my new bicycle accessory.

New Handlebar Basket

I can carry my camera with me now.