Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Weekend Adventures

With a forecast calling for temperatures in the mid-60s and sunshine all weekend, this weekend seemed like the perfect one to get out and about on foot and on two wheels. Chris and I started the weekend with a brisk Saturday morning bicycle ride at Black Moshannon State Park. Unfortunately, when we arrived at the park, which sits at 1,900 ft. in elevation, the temperature was still in the mid-40s. And someone (not me!) was only wearing a t-shirt and shorts. We set out on our ride from Boat Launch #4 down Beaver Road toward the beach. We turned left on Route 504 and then left again onto West Side Road.

Taking a break on the West Side Road fishing pier.

Chris tries to absorb as much warm from the sun as possible.

Striking a pose with my still-to-be-named Vaya 2.

Chris' road ride is on loan from his brother.

Helmets. They do good, but look bad.

We rode West Side Road to the end and turned around. When we turned back onto Beaver Road, I asked Chris (who was clearly freezing), "Are we done?" to which he replied, "I think so. I can't feel my fingers." We got back to the car having logged 4.69 chilly miles and thought, "That's better than nothing!" 

When we left for the park Saturday morning, we didn't realize that BMSP was the start/finish point for the Nittany Cycling Classic. Just as we wrapped up our ride, the men's 43-mile race started. 

We wound up behind the peloton most of the way down Beaver Road. It was fascinating to watch them climb the few changes in elevation before reaching the summit on Beaver and then heading downhill. We estimate that they were going about 40 mph on the downhill. Way cool!

We returned home, grabbed a quick bite to eat for lunch, and then headed back out on two wheels for more adventure. Except this time? Both of us were on the same bike. 

That's was motorcycle time!

Ready to head out for my first ride of 2014!

The plan was to head over to Lewisburg, PA to the Lewisburg Freez for an afternoon ice cream treat. We left our house and headed north on PA 550 to Bellefonte. 

Check my reflection in Chris' helmet.

I've made this right turn to the airport quite a bit recently!

Loves me some country churches!

It's hard to tell, but I'm smiling behind that smoke visor.

Once in Bellefonte, we turned onto PA 144 south toward Pleasant Gap. In Pleasant Gap, we turned left onto PA 26 north and eventually PA 64 north. We took PA 64 north to Narrows Road to PA 880 north, which we followed to PA 477. We took PA 477 south to PA 192 east to Lewisburg. We gassed up at the Sheetz on US 15 north of Lewisburg before returning to town to hit the Lewisburg Freez.

I like when I can capture a good shot of this tobacco barn.

It's tough to tell, but this is the work of a chainsaw artist.

Heading under I-99.

Passing one of MANY fisherman!

Along the way, we were slowed by PennDOT paving (notice the asphalt strip on the right side of the road) and this "contraption" crossing in front of us. It crept like a bug; it was odd.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day for a motorcycle ride.

Most of the trees are still bare here in Central PA.

At the Freez, Chris opted for a small hot fudge sundae and I chose a kid's-sized orange sorbet.

Chris' hot fudge sundae. Yes, that's a small!

My little orange sorbet - all 180 calories.

We took a direct route back home - PA 45. I had to take the requisite picture of the round barn on the way home.

And finally today, we decided to hike Mt. Nittany and we invited my Penn State FastStart mentee Michael to join us. Hiking Mt. Nittany is a "bucket list" item for Penn State students, so Michael was able to check this one off in his first year! 

Hike Mt. Nittany - check!

The Mike Lynch Overlook is the one that everyone visits - it's the one with the view of the Penn State campus.

Chris and Michael wait patiently for our turn to take pictures at the vista.

Chris checks out the map in the meantime.

The Penn State campus as seen from Mt. Nittany.

Zoomed in on Physical Plant (the Service Garage, at least) - the brown brick building just to the right of Beaver Stadium.

With Michael.

With Chris.

Michael with the Penn State campus behind him.

We decided to do the Blue Loop trail so we could hit all of the overlooks. 

The Boalsburg Overlook.

There are several "non-trails" on top of Mt. Nittany.

Chris tried to locate this non-trail on the map.

We found a rocky spot where we could enjoy our lunches and take in the view. 

The Tussey Mountain overlook.

SCI Rockview is on the right.

Nittany Mall through the trees.

We added rocks to the pile.

The Blue Loop at Mt. Nittany is approximately 4.8 miles and it took us about three hours to do the hike, including a 20-minute break for lunch and a few stops for pictures. We had a great time hiking up Mt. Nittany. I'm glad we did it this weekend before all of the trees get their leaves and the views are obstructed.

So that's our "active Easter weekend." Biking, motorcycling, and hiking...not too shabby! I always say the best weekend is the one that makes you want to go back to work on Monday morning just so you can rest! 

Monday, April 14, 2014

My bike needs a name!

I name stuff. My Subaru? Scooby. My old bike? Betsy. My first car? Shadow One. I don't know that my parents know this, but I used to refer to their old Dodge St. Regis as Kathy Lee. Get it? Regis and Kathy Lee?

Anyhoo, I have a dilemma. I need to name my new bike. Betsy got her name because I was feeling alliterative that day - Betsy the Blue Bike. In hindsight? Total cheese. So I want my new bike to have a good name, but I'm struggling with what that should be. 

And that's where I want your help. I want your suggestions! And, if someone suggests one that is an absolute gem - AKA the winner - I will reward him or her with a $10 Amazon gift card. I do, of course, reserve the right to come up with something on my own but several heads are better than one, right?

Alright, so the bike is a 2013 Salsa Vaya 2. It is "vanilla" in color with blue accents. The following pics are duplicates from previous blog posts that you should recognize. If you don't, well then go back and read the last two posts, slacker! :) 

So, readers...whatcha got for me?!? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!