Over the weekend Beth and I loaded up the bikes and pedaled from Pipersville to the PA mountain biking mecca of Jim Thorpe. The proposed 200+ mile round trip had us paralleling the Delaware river until we reached Easton where we would attempt to follow sections of the D&L Trail along the Lehigh river. The overall navigation of the route proved challenging and the terrain composition may have been the most varied I have encountered in any single ride. From pavement, crushed gravel, sand, dirt, mud, grass, woodchips, river rocks, railroad ties, to single trackâ€¦.But for some reason the large river rock and railroad tie sections stick out in my mind.
Along the way we encountered countless, â€œinterestingâ€ people, but this can be expected anytime you are traveling by bicycle. Most people you come across think you are crazy when they see you riding with camping gear strapped to your bike, especially when they hear you are not from or traveling to within a 5 mile radius of the current destination. This held true when we made our first stop in Allentown about 50 miles in at Big Woodyâ€™s. After our brief dialogue to place an order we were asked, â€œyou know you are in Allentown, right?â€â€¦. It was pretty safe to say we were the only ones who walked in there that day in spandex and that also did not order a 40oz. We did take advantage of the $6.99 large pizza special thoughâ€¦ï¿½
From there it was a serious of U-turns, rough trail, big climbs, and long descents that eventually landed us at our resting place for the night, Mauch Chunk Lake Park. Our waterfront perch was the perfect setting for the evening, so much so that a couple was enjoying our site and making-out for about 15 minutes while we were setting up campâ€¦Anyway, After a quick ride to town, a few beers, and a feast of eggplant Parm, chicken fingers, and French fries we settled into the comforts of the Stiletto 1 for a great nights sleep. Well, Beth enjoyed the comforts of it anyway while I braved conditions outside the mesh.ï¿½
It was a pretty easy decision to sleep in the next morning so after a quick camp breakdown we were off to the local Turkey Hill mini-mart for chocolate milk, doughnuts, Tastykakes, honey buns, and Pringles – Good fuel to get you to the next town. On the way home we traded rough trail for long climbs and a change of scenery so the route was navigated on the go with the occasional stop at a gas station to sneak a peek at a map. Overall it was a great trip in the warm weather and perfect preparation for Tour Divide.ï¿½
Next up, 12 hours of Lodi Farm!ï¿½
Along the river and through woodsâ€¦Bikepacking we go!
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