Sunday oh sweet Sunday. This weekend was great, since we did not have to really drive anywhere, or stay in any other bed but our own. It is hard to relate what a good feeling that is when you have spent a good portion of the last year living on the road. In a few more weeks, I will be sleeping in my bed every night! That will be a change that I can not wait to make!

This morning, I got up real early and worked on my bike for a good deal of time. I wanted to make sure it worked, since I was going to go out for a ride with Pete. Pete and I used to be roommates, till I moved to Virginia and left him all on his lonesome…not really, his girlfriend moved in when I left. Well, Pete and I used to ride together all the time. I got him into mountain biking, and he made me better at it. We have not had much time to ride together with the mix of our schedules these days, but we put this Sunday morning aside for a great ride.

My rear deriluer was messing up on my Friday ride, and I did not want to screw this one up, so I figured I would fix it right. While fixing and lubing, I see that I need some new cables. Soon enough they are going to snap and I will have a single speed to ride home on. I got it working best I could, got dressed and ready to ride, walked outside and whoosh…here comes the rain. I figured screw it, once we are in the woods the canopy will keep us mostly dry anyway. I picked up Pete and we were on our way. The trails were not all that far from our houses, but considering he is riding a single speed, and one of us usually brakes something on a ride, we drove to the Belmont Plateau.

The plateau is part of the Fairmount Park System in Philly. It is part of the largest urban park in the world. Central Park in New York City and Hyde Park in London look like dog runs compared to Fairmount Park, and the whole thing is within city limits. This part of the park is known for softball games, Greek Picnic, cyclocross and mountain bike races, as well as some other unsavory pastimes of Philly residents. We stopped riding here a long time ago in favor of the Wishickon part of Fairmount, because the plateau was too easy. This all changed when I took a ride here in the springtime, and I found a whole new system of trails and connectors all through the woods. This made this place intriguing once again.

It was a good place for Pete to get back on the bike, and I love the tight technical riding that is out there now. There are not too many hills, but a bunch of little ones that you could just power up and over. I much prefer this type of riding versus some of the crazy climbs I usually end up doing. I am sure that if I were in better shape, I could clear them better, but they just aren’t fun, and I don’t think they add much in the way of skill. I usually end up running out of gas, or slipping a chain going up most hills. I would rather practice my log jumping and rock and root riding than spinning up a never-ending hill.

We got to the plateau pretty quickly, and we were off onto the trails. Pete was not too happy with the pace, but like the trooper he is, he kept up well. It was nice for me to be kicking his ass, because it is usually the other way around, or we are doing it to each other. My bike was working great and we were having a great time. We took one trail that ended up having a few too many logs for our liking, but we made good work of it. On the way back to the car, I was flying out in front of Pete, and we were almost back when I had a blow out of my rear tire. The sidewall stretched too much I guess. I have had these tires for a long time, and I run them at high pressure, so it was only a matter of time before they went. I want new ones anyway, so this is a good excuse to pony up and get some new ones.

We walked out of the woods, and headed back downtown. We hung out a bit longer, and then I went and picked up jess from the Gallery mall. We went home then met up with some friends

Living on South St. is nice sometimes, because when friends come down there, they call us to hang out. We ended up meeting up with Missy and Skylar for some Taco Bell and shopping. At Taco Bell, the counter person gave us two extra parfait desserts. We ordered two and they gave them to us immediately, then when our other food was ready, they brought over two more. I bet they do things like that all the time.

After running for the boarder, we went to Time Zone then left to meet up with Jim and his new girl. We walked around with them for a little while, then headed off to the Atwater Kent Museum. There was some cool stuff in there, but for the $5 admission fee, I could have looked at the stuff online and it would have been just the same.

They did have some incredible stuff in there like tree trunks that were hollowed out to use as plumbing in Revolutionary times, a scale used by Joe Louis in a huge match in Philly, and a slave harness. The piece they had that struck me the most was a silver bowl. Why silver bowl? It was made with the sweat of relatives that are not too far off. The piece of silver was given to a politician in Philadelphia by Coal Barons as a token of thanks in trying to put down the unrest of the “Molly McGuires”, a pro union group from the coal mining region where I hail from.

The rest of the day we spent in the house. I napped for a while, then jess made dinner while I cleaned up for a while. We had some DQ for dessert and watched some TV. What a great end to a great weekend.


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