NBG Denise's rain riding joy - More riders join

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Here is Day 6 from Denise Hill, Jim Muellner, OraSue Mckinnon and now Ken Lloyd and David Hiebert,
who are on the road from Washington DC to Pittsburgh!! 67 year old Jim, last year's Indy to Chicago
relay rider, the inventor of the Smart Carte shopping cart system that passengers rent to shuttle
their baggage around at airports is riding the trike, made by his new company Just Two Bikes
<http://justtwobikes.com>, that folds to fit in a suitcase. . If you want to contact them, you can
reach them on their Pocket Mailer at this address <[email protected]>. If you want to start from
the beginning and/or follow them as they move forward in the National Mayors' Ride at
<http://www.bikeroute.com/NationalMayorsRide>, TransAm Vet and last year's Mayors' Ride relay rider
powerhouse, Andrew Morton <http://drewish.com>, has their reports (as well as all the relay cyclists
who will follow) blogged (a web log). Point to their blog at
<http://www.nationalbicyclegreenway.com/Events/Mayors_Ride/reports.php>.

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location: David's kitchen, Scottdale, PA (45 miles from Pittsburgh, as the crow flies, ed)

we rolled out of bed early today to get a head start on our 60 miles of trail, and had breakfast at
a coffee nook in Meyersdale. then we climbed the steep hill to the highest point of the rest of our
journey, the Great Allegheny Passage trail (GAP).

after the first mildly bumpy mile, the trail was smooth and sandy and with a constant 1.5% downhill
grade. this brought us great joy. of course we endured the usual: flat tire, rain, etc, but the
terrain was a pleasant change and the scenery is much more dramatic here. I trust Jim will take care
of the poetic naturalist descriptions.

we passed some big geese so defiant that my front tire and foot grazed this one goose's tail, as I
rolled by at about walking speed. talk about brass!

Ken pointed out these coal seams, which are visible deposits along the steep rocky walls flanking
the trail's west side. he also showed us the subtle remains of the railroad that paralleled the
trail. we followed the Casselman River for a long while, crossing it a few times over long, high
bridges with gorgeous views. we have former PA governor and avid biker, Tom Ridge, to thank for the
bridge work. cheers, man.

we were treated to a thunderstorm which made everything smell even more amazing than it already did.
the rain unrolled a blanket of fog on the river, and the air seemed to double its oxygen content. it
wasn't too cold out, so we didn't mind being covered in sloppy sand and trail grit. every time we'd
pass a little waterfall or creek running down the steep rocky walls, the air temp would noticeably
drop for a few seconds.

at the town of Confluence, the Casselman meets the Youghiogheny River, and we'll be following that
almost all the way to Pgh. we rode on through Ohiopyle State Park, stopping to see some lovely falls
there. Ken told me about him and his friends scuba diving and swimming beneath the falls. I can't
imagine what the fine would be for that these days. hee hee.

further along we met David on the trail, so now our merry band is complete, and we'll be riding into
Market Square on Friday as a five-some. our riding day ended at Connelsville. Jim, Ora Sue and Ken
went on to a motel, and David and I scrambled up hills, trespassed across old train bridges, hobbled
along gnarly gravel paths and climbed steep potholed roads to his home in the (not-so-) nearby town
of Scottdale. it's like what Jim says about the emotional ups and downs of adventure traveling...
one minute you think you're gonna die of dehydration along a bumpy 15% grade Appalachian road, and
the next minute you're making rhubarb crisp in a warm, clean kitchen.

the numbers:

peacocks (I kid you not):1 giant windmills (go sustainable energy!): 7 4' black rat snakes
slithering up trees: 1 chipmunks, owls: 1 each big white geese that looked like lawn ornaments till
they moved: 3 deer carcasses: 3, all smelly. yuck. tires successully patched: 2
# of times we hosed off our bikes: 3

Denise, Ora Sue, Jim, Ken and David

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All of the above excitement will all be consummated at the second annual Santa Cruz NBG Bike Fest
<http://www.nationalbicyclegreenway.com/Events/Festival>!!

THX for tuning in -- THX 4 U!!

MARTIN KRIEG: "Awake Again" Author c/o BikeRoute.com 79 & 86 TransAms, nonprofit Nat. Bicycle
Greenway CEO Ever wanted anything so bad U were willing to die for it? Really die? By moving thru
clinical death and reversing paralysis, *I saw God* when I answered that question.
 
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