As one of the first rides on my newly repaired bike, in April I met my friend Chris for a sixteen mile trip on the new Route 202 Parkway Trail. The trail is new, as is the stretch of Route 202 it follows. It offers a car-free transit between Doylestown and the outskirts of Montgomeryville, and as PENDOT reconstructs the roadway south the trail could be extended as far as Norristown.

Chris and I met at Doylestown’s Central Park, and rode the connecting trail over to the parkway. I felt strong, stronger than I had riding my other bike. One rise did defeat me, but that was stamina, not muscle power. Part of the problem might have been the saddle was too low. I didn’t notice until I was a couple of miles from the car, and I’d forgotten my multi-tool. I rode with it as is because I don’t have anything in my knees to hurt anymore. The clicking was annoying, however, and I resolved to get a better saddle height so I didn’t have to listen to my joints on the next ride.

Aside from the rise that defeated me, I found the regular road crossings annoying. When they designed the trail they included grade crossings at intersections and having to stop and press the signals to cross slowed me down. Still, despite the crossings, its a pretty trail and I enjoy riding it.

So did Chris. As he makes his first appearance on this blog, I should introduce him. I met Chris on a bicycle message board I used to post to, and suggested we meet for a hike. We did, and we hit it off.  He was 430 some pounds at the time. He’s now working to make himself less of a man, with the help of riding and hiking as motivators. Apart from his size he cuts a distinctive appearance on the trail; he rides a recumbent, and his fashion sense is an odd mixture of foppishness and sloppiness – imagine Oscar Wilde and Oscar Madison as one, if you will.

We finished with sixteen miles, and as usual with us we went to Olive Garden for dinner and to Planet Fitness to work out afterward. Dinner came none too soon, as the photo indicates….