Lesson Learned

Thursday evening I was so excited to be riding home in the dark for the first time with my new super bright light (Valentine gift from hubby), the Cygolite Expilion (I love it!) Things couldn’t have been going better. Great weather, very few crazies on the trails…Happily I’m riding along the Lincoln Drive trail, mid-way between Ridge Avenue and Forbidden Drive, when my chain snapped. Ugh. I nearly fell off my bicycle! Since it was pitch black it took me a second to even figure out what happened. (And the first thing my husband wanted to know is if I brought home the chain. Really?) I quickly went from feeling like a super hero to feeling like a scared sitting duck. So, when I get around to writing that “how to be safe on the trails” post, I’ll make sure to add “be sure your chain is in good shape”. Add this one to stuff I should have paid more attention to: When to Replace Your Chain

The good news is that hubby was easily reached by phone and did a rescue pick-up. Bad news is that my bike is in the shop until Wednesday. Since I was so late in replacing my chain, I also need a new rear cassette.

Lesson learned. Take better care of my bicycle!

After I endured a 45 minute lecture/ridicule session from my “real cyclist” brother after this incident, he sent me these fun videos:

http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/12674956/cycling-explained
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMCkuqL9IcM&feature=youtu.be

A run in the woods

I had a delightful solo run through the woods today. So peaceful. So few people. Such a beautiful thin blanket of snow. Running bliss…I stopped to take a couple of pictures so that people could see the current state of the trails after the light snow this weekend. The trails are certainly passable on foot or by bike, but look out for the patches of ice. Here are some pictures taken this (Sunday) afternoon:

Wissahickon Creek

Bottom of the hill leading up to the Kitchen's Lane parking lot, Lot 11

Forbidden Drive near Valley Green

Ice patches along Forbidden Drive

The (very icy!) bridge over the Wissahickon Creek near Kitchen's

More on the Lincoln Drive Trail closing

This is the sign posted along the trail alerting people of the upcoming trail closing. In the background is the retaining wall they are planning to fix.

So, I stopped to get the scoop on the trail closing to on my way into work and was told by a very nice crew of about 10 city(?) workers that the trail would be closed, starting tomorrow, for some “temporary fixes” that would help “keep Lincoln Drive from falling into the creek until some federal dollars come through”. The sign posted (photo above) said the trail closing would be Feb. 7-April 30, but the crew I spoke with said they thought it could be opened back up earlier. Let’s hope!

When I came home tonight I had a message on my phone and in my inbox. So, while I wasn’t given much warning, at least information about the trail closing was eventually disseminated. As for getting around the closing, we plan to take Kitchen’s Lane down to Forbidden Drive to connect with what I believe will be an open section of the Lincoln Dr. Trail from Forbidden Drive to Ridge Ave. (and then on toward Center City). On lazy or busy days, we’ll just park in East Falls and bike from there. Here’s hoping this plan works out and the repairs are made quickly! I’m viewing it as a nice excuse to spend more time along Forbidden Drive, which I usually cut out via Wissahickon Ave and Rittenhouse Town in order to save time…

This From West Mount Airy Neighbors, via email:

Repair Work on Lincoln Drive

Emergency repair work begins on February 7th along Lincoln Drive between Rittenhouse Street & Forbidden Drive.
The stone/masonry retaining walls in this area were damaged by last year’s record rainfalls. The work is expected to take 2 months. The parking areas on the southbound side will be closed. The Park Trail between Forbidden Drive & the Pabst Lane Bridge will be closed to pedestrians & bicyclists.There will be some vehicular lane closings during off-peak hours.Check local traffic reports & updates if you’re planning to use Lincoln Drive.
No detours are planned.
For further info, contact the Streets Department at 215-686-5560.

Whew, it has been awhile…updates on riding in the snow, bridge work and an upcoming trail closing (?!)

Riding home from work today I saw signs along the trail leading from Forbidden Drive Trail to Rittenhouse Town (near Lincoln Drive) stating that the trail would be closed from February 7 to April 30th! What? I’ve done a bit of searching online, but I haven’t found more details (such as the reason for the closing, exactly which sections of the trails will be closed, whether or not the trail will be closed at all times of the day, every day of the week…). Anyone know more? Let me know!

Anyway, when I saw the signs I remembered this blog and how I’ve long neglected it. So, a few quick updates:

Biking this winter has not been as much of an adventure as the last few, because it has barely seemed like winter at all. Our weather has been so nice! I’ve had a whopping ONE bike commute in the snow (January 23rd). (Our one other snow storm was on a weekend…in October!) Yep, just one day of commuting in real snow. But, I did take some pictures.

Commuting through snow (Lincoln Drive Trail, bridge near Forbidden Drive Trail)

Lincoln Drive Trail

By the time I got here, along the Kelly Drive Trail, the trail had been plowed, as the Kelly Dr. Trail usually is when it snows (often well before most streets are plowed), and the remaining snow was starting to melt. So pretty!

In other Philly bicycle commuting news, the bridge over the Kelly Drive Trail that used to periodically drop large rocks onto the trail has been fixed (January 13th). So, now the only thing I have to dodge on the way to work is the woman who rollerblades in zigzags wearing only shorts and a tank top tucked up under her bra (in January!). Yes, it has been warm, but I haven’t yet had the urge to bike in a tank top, much less tuck it up into my bra. I haven’t gotten up the courage to take her picture yet, but here is the construction on the bridge:

Crew fixing the bridge above Kelly Drive Trail (and shadows of Ivan and me)