Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Are You Faster Than a Buggy?

In short, yes, apparently so. For my birthday this year, my friend Tess and I decided to celebrate on two wheels in Lancaster County, PA. This was version 2.0 of a similar trip in 2006, when we happened to be biking through Tour de France "winner" Floyd Landis's home town the day after the doping allegations surfaced and all the news crews were clamoring to take action shots of "devastated cyclists." (We actually hadn't checked the news that morning, had no idea what was going on, and probably smiled and waved like dorks.)

Why Lancaster County? Our requirements were simple: easy drive from DC. Open roads for cycling. Some hills, but not too many. Good beer. As it turns out, Bicycling Magazine had an article about the top ride in every state and the Maryland and Pennsylvania routes were relatively close together. Weekend made.

Maryland boasted the Covered Bridges tour, which supposedly included three covered bridges. We found one, maybe two, and wound up hitting the first one twice because we got lost. Yay GPS! We also rode past a picturesque college that looked like a monastery from afar and, fittingly, offered classes in quilting. (Unfortunately, our schedules did not allow for such a detour. Next time...)

Actual covered bridge. 

We then drove to Lancaster via Gettysburg ("home of factory outlets...and some history, if you're into that type of thing") and a bunch of small towns out-boasting each other on their antiquing creds. If there had been more room in the car, I might have given myself an old wagon wheel as a birthday gift. Since who doesn't need a wagon wheel (singular)?! While Lancaster is traditionally a farming community with a large Amish/Mennonite population, a new crowd has sprouted recently: yuppies. We stayed at a boutique art-themed hotel that was way cooler than we were (hint: bikes and expensive hallway sculptures don't mix) and had dinner at a microbrewery. A flight of beers = carbo loading, right?

Why you can't take me anywhere.

The route on Sunday was called the Ice Cream Lovers' Ride. Awesome, right? Hot summer day, small farms, winding roads, local ice cream. Just one catch: everything is closed on Sundays. So it was more like the "get lost in the corn fields again" ride. But really, with signage like this, can you blame us?

This is why we packed a map.

All in all, a fun weekend. Special shout out to Tess for being willing to chase down some buggies with me, as well as Rose PT for keeping me riding pain free. (Strong glutes = happy cyclist)

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