personal blog of Jonathan Fretheim

Well, I limped out of West Virginia with a cracked rear rim (screaming down foggy, rainy, steep descents), and got a new wheel in Cumberland, MD in the midst what was one of the most intense weeks of climbing I’ve had all summer. The mountains out west are taller, but the climbs are nowhere near as steep as they are throughout the Appalachians. The C&O Towpath was too muddy to use, so I took the Old National Pike one of the first grand east-west highways in the nation, which is now mostly empty because of the interstate highway system (paralleling I-68 and I-70 through western Maryland). More huge climbs. I’m not the first cross-country cyclist to think this, I’m sure, but I underestimated West Virginia and western Maryland. Pennsylvania I’m sure will have lots of ups and downs between here and Philadelphia.
I rode through Hagerstown and onto Frederick, MD and had a great visit with my cousin Eric and his wife Alex. Yesterday afternoon, I rode into Pennsylvania to catch up with an old friend. Today, on through York and toward Lancaster mostly using one of Pennsylvania’s signed cross-state bike routes about which I’ve read mixed reviews (route information link - I’ll be on route S across the southern tier of the state).
I’m fast approaching the end of this long trip. I’ll stay in Philadelphia through the weekend and then plan on riding through the pine barrens of New Jersey, up the Jersey shore, and then taking the 35 minute ferry from Atlantic Highlands (at the very northeast tip of the Jersey shore) to Manhattan. I’ll likely ship the bike home from somewhere close to the ferry terminal to simplify things in New York City. A couple of days there and then I’m homeward-bound, either on planes or trains–I haven’t decided yet. So far, I’ve ridden somewhere in the neighborhood of 4,500 miles.
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