Monday, March 13, 2023

A Very Yinzer Spring Break

I was sitting on my apartment couch writing a blog post, watching some TV, and listening to the maintenance worker in my bathroom installing some new drywall.

He was using a drill, and then all of a sudden, I heard gushing water and a loud "Oh f*ck!" coming from my bathroom.

Apparently he accidentally drilled into a water pipe in my ceiling and it burst. To make matters worse, it took him and other maintenance guys almost an hour (seriously, almost an hour) to find the water shut-off for the house. By the time they got the water shut off, there was water spewing out of a light fixture in my hallway and dripping into my bedroom through the ceiling.

Black mold? Never heard of her. Apparently Continental Real Estate never has either, because here I am right now two weeks later sitting on the same couch in my apartment writing another blog post. They tell me the place doesn't have any mold and they just need to do some re-painting. I guess I'll take them at their word, because what else am I supposed to do.

But anyways. That happened on a Tuesday, and even though Spring Break wasn't until the next week, I decided to just drive home early, since I couldn't stay at my apartment while the restoration company was drying it out, and I didn't want to get a hotel. It worked out alright, because my one professor was sick that week and another class was canceled.

I did a few fun rides on my bonus week of early spring break. On Wednesday, I did a fixed gear gravel and trail ride out to Will's farm. I stopped and talked with Will for a little and then took some of the Rachel Carson Trail on my way home. But shhh. That's a hiking only trail. And it's really stupid on a fixed gear gravel bike.

The next day I did some trails with my brother, and then took it pretty easy until the weekend.

On the first Sunday of spring break, I planned a big 110 mile gravel ride from Moraine State Park. It came together sort of last minute, but luckily Rob and Rege both came out to do the ride with me, which made it really fun. I gotta give a shout out to Rege for finishing the ride on a singlespeed with 45x19 gearing, which is super hard, and not having done a long ride in a long long time (self-admitted). I was also singlespeed, but I was a measly 38x18.

The riding up north of Moraine is pretty different from around Pittsburgh. It seems flatter, but there's still 100 feet of climbing per mile or so. The term "rolling hills" is a little cliche, but that's how I'd describe it. The landscape up there has been dramatically affected by the glaciers from the last ice age, or so I've read, so there are a lot of pretty neat house-sized boulders in places. Aside from the landscape, it's also very quiet up there. Except for a couple main roads here and there, you hardly ever see a car.
The Cinderblochner

During my actual week of spring break, I drove down to Laurel with my brother Wednesday for a big ride. The trails down there are some of my favorite anywhere in the country, so it's always a treat to ride them. 

There's something about moss-covered boulders that just really does it for me. My brother and I rode for over five hours and hit almost all the good singletrack in the Laurel trail system, if you could call it a trail system.

The next day, I drove down to the city in the evening to ride with Rob, Rege, and Chrissy in Frick Park. The trails were in great condition, and it was a great night to do some riding.

On the second weekend of Spring Break, I planned a ride up to Will's farm on Saturday with Rob and Chrissy so they could see the goats. We pedaled up in the afternoon on Saturday and Will met us at the goat barn and showed everyone the goats. We all enjoyed the little farm tour, plus, it's been a while since Rob and Chrissy have seen Will since he started running.

Then on Sunday, Stick was eager to try out his new bike, so we planned a big group ride at Frick Park. There ended up being six of us at the ride - me, Rob, Stick, Simon, Davey, and Jesu - and the trail conditions were really nice considering the wetness the day before.

Stick's new bike is a Trek Top Fuel, and even though it has gears on it now, he will be joining the full suspension single speed gang soon enough. I don't ride my Epic full suspension singlespeed that often, but it's definitely fast. As much as I love hardtails, there's no denying that full suspension is way faster on rough trails.

After the ride Sunday, I decided to just drive back up to State College in the afternoon. That way, I wouldn't have to wake up early today (Monday) to drive up before class. When I got to my apartment, I was shocked to find it pretty clean. Today, the maintenance guys came back to finish up painting and some drywall repair from the water damage. Actually, there's two guys working in my apartment right now as I type this. I must admit, they are doing a pretty clean job this time. Well, that brings me up to current time, so I guess that's it for this one.
Big crew at Frick

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