(Almost) Philadelphia

The concept for this ride was born halfway up a mountain by Alan ‘Kanje’ West and Andrew ‘Captain Undercrackers’ Hallett.  The idea was that the gang of us riders would head down to Philadelphia on our bikes and then have a night out in the city of brotherly love.

Well, we’re not quite sure why it just ended up as Alan, Andy and myself, but far be it for us to back out on a solid plan so off we went, although the off was a little late as it turned out and would later bite us on our behinds (and more of behinds later).

We got going at about 10.30am for the leisurely 107 miles to Philly, pretty sure that we’d roll into town at 4pm latest, more than enough time for a cheese steak and a nap before a night on the town.

As has become the norm though, things did not go exactly to plan.  First off was the massive inadvertent detour from the cue sheet that we only realised after about ten miles, oops.  Next was the complete destruction of my rear derailleur as we were making our way back on cue, a mechanical failure that cost us a good two hours, but not the ride, thankfully.  Big thanks to Tim at Wheel Life Cycles in Belle Mead NJ for not only coming to get us from six miles away, but skilfully bringing my bike back to life in a masterful way and allowing me to continue with my compadres on the way to Philadelphia.

If all that wasn’t enough, Mr Hallett will from here on out be known to all as Captain Undercrackers for his shameful display of the non-wearing of underwear as revealed by his paper-thin fully worn down and faded to almost clear five year old cycling shorts.  Very funny for Alan and I when we realised this, but after five minutes of making fun of the lad not pleasant to paceline ‘behind’ (du dum dum).  I’ll spare him (sorry ladies) the indignity of publishing the photographic evidence but he’s taking contributions towards a new pair of shorts.  Cheques to the usual address please.

Despite a relatively flat ride, the headwinds we faced made up for the lack of hills.  Despite all this, we had a tremendous time once again.  The highlights for me being the massive amount of laughing we did, the paceline that we collectively achieved and riding though a homecoming parade which was great for three English lads to see as we don’t really have that kind of thing back home.

As our total mileage would suggest we didn’t make it all the way.  Having crossed into Pennsylvania at the historic and very beautiful Washington Crossing and then cycling ten miles or so on River Road south of the Delaware River we decided that it was too dark out with inadequate street lighting to safely ride the thirty or so miles we still had to go in order to complete the intended ride.

So the late start, the getting lost and the mechanical failure I suffered ultimately conspired against us.

Whilst naturally disappointed we were too much looking forward to a night out in Philly to not jump on the train and rush there.  As it turned out, it was by far and out the best decision as we went and enjoyed the hospitality of a truly wonderful city and it’s people.  Many laughs were had, not the least because Alan had forgot to ship shoes so slid noisily around on his way around the Philadelphia night.

New this week is some video footage from parts of the ride after the photos, hope you enjoy.  You can also find a larger version of the movie here.

Until next time...

saturday, 10th october 2009

82.72 miles, total climb 3,333.6ft, average speed 16.1mph