The 2016 bike trip blogs are written by riders and posted daily as Internet access allows. Follow here, on Facebook (and a bit of Twitter and possibly Instagram) with #paiplonbikes. Learn more about the ride and the riders. Today’s guest blogger: Dorothy Blair
Our first full day on the road! PA IPL bikers heaved themselves out of their sleeping bags at 6:30AM and started their day with Micah’s French Press coffee and Cricket’s baked oatmeal with fruit, leftover dal, chocolate cake, and berry pie. Quiet eclectic. Meanwhile, young Ben and Daniel were being rambunctious boys and lots of fun.
To help pay back the Spicher-Schonbergs for their hospitality, we split into two groups to weed carrots and plant seeds in their new greenhouse. New lambs fresh from the fields where they were born last night were grazing near where we picked weeds. Finally, we were off toward Huntingdon at about ten.
Beautiful redbuds in full bloom were growing along the roadsides and everything was green, green, green. We spent about an hour and a half on the road. Our destination in Huntingdon was the Original Pizza Restaurant where we were greeted by “Welcome PA IPL” signs and former mayor Ethan Lashlee and his wife Jeannie from the Stone Church of the Brethren. We had a great conversation and sharing of ideas, and the sustainability circle of the church generously paid for our lunch.
After a rather substantial meal we detoured back toward Juniata College to get to Standing Stone Coffee Shop to juice up on caffeine for the afternoon’s bike tour to Orbisonia. Unexpectedly, we ran into recently elected Ferguson Township Supervisor Laura Dininni and her husband Joe Cusumano, friends from State College who were eating lunch at Standing Stone.
When we finally got back on the much-dreaded section of Highway 22, within a few miles Karl had two flats in a row on the same tire. The rest of us waited for them at a railroad intersection where a signal gate almost came down on the top of Joyce’s head, or it would have if Jon had not reconsidered his plan to video the whole event. Joyce escaped unscathed.
By bypassing the big hill on 22 we were able to see the 200-foot cuts into the mountain made by the formerly Pittsburgh Plateglass mines, now US Silica. Soon we were going through Mount Union and on Rte. 522, only about twelve miles to Orbisonia. Pastor Ed’s wife Lisa and other women of the United Methodist Church provided us with a lovely spaghetti and meatball dinner with salad. We still had enough energy, strangely enough, to take a walk to the famous Broadtop Railroad roundhouse (there were rumors that there was a tavern near the railroad station, but these turned out to be false).
The day was actually not too strenuous, and we felt blessed by the growing number of people who make our ride comfortable and possible.
—Dorothy (and the rest of the cyclists)
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