The longest bike path in Eastern Pennsylvania is the forever in progress Schuylkill River Trail. The SRT, when complete, will run from the Delaware River in Philadelphia 130 miles to Pottsville, headwaters of the Schuylkill and home of Yuengling, America’s oldest brewery. (I expect ultracyclists will complete the ride in a single day and then have a Yuenling as a recovery beverage. But I digress….)  But its far from complete at the moment. The biggest chunk, the paved trail from Philadelphia to Mont Clare, is 26 miles or so. From Mont Clare the trail skips and jumps between gaps and sections on roads. One day the trail will be complete; perhaps my grandchildren will see it happen.

The most recently opened stretch of trail was between Cromby, outside of Phoenixville, and Parkersford, passing through Spring City. I rode a stretch of it in 2011, as one of my last rides before surgery. But I’d never done the whole segment, and now I had a bike that fit me. Chris joined me at the trailhead in Parkersford, and we set out.

Well, Chris set out. I had my usual small problem. Years of moving a crooked leg onto the right pedal gave me a set of muscles and a mind that is adjusting to a new pedal stroke. It took me a minute to get my foot onto the pedal. But once underway, I felt like myself again.

There’s no need to adjust your monitor; that color splash in background of the photo above is Chris. Admittedly he’s riding a bike that’s designed to be ridden in ordinary clothing, but then again there’s nothing ordinary about Chris’ attire. 
The trail segment ranges from flat and well-groomed fine gravel as it nears Spring City and Phoenixville, and slightly rougher in condition elsewhere. The two parts I enjoyed most were the slight climb up from the Cromby trailhead, and a stretch along the river which reminds me of the railroad cuts on Western Pennsylvania rail trails. The area below, for instance, brings the Great Allegheny Passage to mind. 
It was a good dozen miles for me. Chris seemed to enjoy it as well, although he found riding on gravel harder than riding on pavement. For my part, the two big problems I had were the difficulty with my right foot, and my hands going numb. I’m sure time and practice will let me correct both troubles.