Friday, August 9, 2013

Blue Knob in the Rain


Despite breaking my collarbone last month, I am currently on the second longest consecutive streak of daily rides with 42. I define a "ride" of at least 10 miles although I could make exceptions in special cases like the climb up Mount Washington which is 7.6 miles but is more intense than most 100 mile rides.

With rain forecast all day it looked like it was a good day for a rest. But after spending a morning in Johnstown at the library the rain broke and I decided to go to Altoona to ride Horseshoe Curve. On my way there I decided to try something different - the climb up to Blue Knob Ski Resort.

I parked at the park entrance then went down to Pavia which I would consider the start of the five mile climb. I got about three miles up and I knew I was caught. The skies turned black and within a few minutes I was soaked. The rain was coming very hard.

Not much to do except ride through it. I made it to the top and looked for a place for water or someone who had water. I found none. The climb was harder than I thought. Despite the consecutive days of riding, none had been intense or had been hill climbs because of my injury.

Still raining hard, I started down the road. Normally loving descents, I did not like this. Not one bit. Visibility was poor. Braking was difficult. And I was very scared about a crash that could shatter my still-healing collarbone.

But I made it safely to my car. I checked and recorded 10.1 miles. It would count. (Although I'd be OK counting less than 10 today given the conditions. This was a bike ride.)

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