Day three GAP

Sleeping outdoors sans tent has its rewards.
Even though I had decided the night before to take a really short day, the trip downhill from the campground and the unpleasant memories of the previous evening started around 6:30. When I was pushing the bike up the hill the day before, the stated quarter mile had seemed at least a third more the distance. With gravity on my side, the trip down seemed much shorter.
I took advantage of one of the several restaurants in Ohiopyle for breakfast and then just kind of hung around the old train station for a while.
It seems like a lot of bicyclists need to have the “look”. The shorts are functional, padded seats, and the tight fit assists circulation. Those I can understand. Maybe because I use them myself. But the jerseys? Outrageous prices for brightly colored clothing advertising products. While hanging around the old train station I complimented a young guy for his bought everything at Walmart choice of cycling apparel. It was something we had in common. It turned out that he also thru-hiked the AT in 2013, so that led to a very long discussion of the trail. By the time I left it was around 9:00. I was planning a short day to Confluence, PA if there was a place to stay overnight.
Somewhere in the eleven miles between Ohiopyle and Confluence, I heard the snap of another broken spoke.
I mentioned in the “the night before” entry that I felt it would be a good idea to get a front rack and some panniers so weight could be moved from the rear wheel to the front wheel. The first day out I was within a few blocks of an REI in Pittsburgh, but couldn’t afford to wait until 10:00 when they opened. The next day in Connelsville I did check to see if the bike shop had what I needed, but they didn’t. I knew Confluence had a bike and could repair the newest broken spoke. I knew something else too. With my weight, plus the added weight of the gear, if the shop in Confluence did not have what it took to carry the heavier items on the front wheel, my trip was probably finished.
Luckily, they did. I left the shop with the bulk of the gear weight on the front wheel. I also left knowing that I had a place to stop for the night at a private campground in Rockwood, PA.
The trail I am riding is located on what was once the roadbed of the Western Maryland Railroad. So far, it has paralleled a river – not always the same river, but a river. Also so far, there has always been an active railway near the opposite side of the river. In fact, when I take Amtrak from D.C. back to Pittsburgh, I will be following the same route I am now pedaling. The first night out at Cedar Creek campground the passing freight trains were loud enough to wake you up. At the Husky Haven campground, the sound of warning horns for crossings was added to the din. Other than that, it was a really nice campground.
It got almost too cold for the summer bag I am using, but being a little chilly was modified by knowing the next night would be spent in a B&B in Meyersdale, an indecently short ride away.


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