Seven years ago I started attending reunions regularly with my parents in part so I could ride from Somerset to Punxsutawney and have a ride back. A normal ride would be 80 miles. Except I previously left from Friedens which is north of Somerset. Today I would leave from Somerset.
The weather forecast was ominous. With a 40% chance of rain I pushed off just as soon as I found daylight. Except it began to rain. I wasn’t crazy about riding on wet roads and still a little bit dark. I decided not to follow Rte 281 through Friedens but took back roads over near Shanksville, passing the Flight 93 Memorial Chapel along the way.
Rain, heavy at times, kept me from going fast. I’m not normally scared on the bike but there were a couple of descents where I was scared. I was descending too fast down Mostoller Road because I had no brakes. Everything was wet and I wasn’t getting any grip on the brakes. I came to a stop sign at the bottom of the road and had no choice but to fly through the intersection even while grabbing a handful of brakes. With corn fields on either side I could not see approaching traffic but hoped for the best. I went through the intersection with no problem.
I was in a steady rain until Johnstown when the skies turned grey. Just grey. But it was nice not to be fighting the rain and knowing, hopefully, that drivers can see me on the road.
Haven made this ride numerous times, there was nothing tricky about it. I followed my route through Davidsville to Johnstown where I picked up Rte 271 to Nicktown and Northern Cambria. In Northern Cambria I stopped and saw friends/cousins, Don & Nancy Lowmaster, before heading up to Cherry Tree and Indiana Co.
I passed one Amish buggy and waved to the people inside. I find the Amish are always very friendly to me when I’m on my bike and we do share that common bond: drivers hate us.
Otherwise, the ride was uneventful. I am always on the look out for dogs and seemingly get by the one house every year before the loose dogs notice me. They missed me again today.
I was dirty when I arrived at the reunion although not too wet as my wicking clothes got rid of the rain only to be replaced by sweat. But I was thankful, especially with the early weather conditions, to have made it safely.