28 February 2015
The air was at 20 degrees, 12 degrees with the wind chill.
Tom, Ron, Chris, and I didn't care. None of us could take another weekend indoors. We met at the Yardley Park and Ride, and we followed Tom in our cars to Tyler State Park.
After a few minutes on the paved trail, I said to Tom, "I know you guys just bust on me when we're out here, but I missed it."
"I saw your post from last week, where you said you didn't want to make me put up with you all by myself," he said. "I don't hate you. You're like spice. A little is good." We rounded a corner. "A lot, not so good."
"God, I missed this!"
Ahead of us, a fox crossed the path.
The Neshaminy Creek was mostly frozen:
Tom led us down a long hill. At the bottom the path was covered in snow and ice. Beyond the ice was a covered bridge. Chris rode over it, of course, without the slightest wobble. The rest of us wussed out and walked.
I busted on Tom for promising us clear trails. "Is this another one of our adventures?" I asked him. Trudging through the snow was worth it, though. On our way back from the bridge, Ron spotted a bear's paw print.
It wouldn't be a mountain bike ride without Chris having to mess with his components:
To get back to the main path, we had to climb a long hill. It was work, made worse by having to take in such cold air. We'd just about caught our breaths when we faced another climb. The guys griped about being out of shape.
More Neshaminy Creek through the trees:
We'd done a 9-mile loop. Now Tom had another, shorter loop in mind. One more long ascent was rewarded with an old bluebird box and farmhouses:
A feeder stream covered in snow:
Field, trees, and sky:
Back at the spillway:
We got close to the creek again:
Bear prints across the ice? They were too round to be boots, too big to be deer. I couldn't get close enough to find out.
We hung out in the parking lot, making plans for Bike Virginia. Tom, Ron, and I are going for the three-day weekend half of the ride at the end of June. Y'all are welcome to join us.
Then we talked about Tom's mission for the year: to climb the highest point in each of New Jersey's counties. By the time he was finished describing the northern ones, I was a little nervous. With a worried expression, I looked over at Ron, who looked at me and said, "Now I'm scared."
Aaaaah, we'll be ready. Provided this snow melts by June.