Saturday, October 10, 2015

OVER THE NEXT RIDGE -- October 10, 2015

There are many reasons why I might limit one of my rides.   Time is a reason.  There sometimes seems not to be enough of it.  Weather sometimes limits me.  It just doesn't always want to accommodate me with perfect days like today.  And...I hate to say it...but sometimes the ridge to the north and west of my home in Manchester limits me.   Anyone who cycles in York County is familiar with names like Bull Road, Lewisberry Road, and Copenhaffer Road.  

In the distance you can see the ridge off to the north that is the home of Lewisberry Road and Copenhaffer Road -- October 10, 2015
Don't get me wrong...I'm not afraid of those roads and I'm fully confident in ability to ride them.  But sometimes I just look at them and think to myself, "No."  They are a challenge.  But like any challenge the reward is great. Today I wanted the reward.  Leaving the house today I decided to take a quick detour though Emigsville  to get an extra few miles in.   The other thing that sent me through Emigsville was the fact that I hate to backtrack on roads.   Just a stupid quirk of mine.  I figured that by taking this route to get to the other side of Interstate 83 I would eliminate any doubling back on today's ride.  

St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Emigsville, PA -- October 10, 2015
Today's ultimate plan:  up Bull Road, down Andersontown Road, and back up and over Copenhaffer. 
Daunting...but I really was up for it today.   Heading out Canal Road ( one likes riding a bike on Canal Road) I came to Hake's Grocery.  Hake's is the quintessential small town grocer and today it seemed to have everything...pumpkins, harvested cornstalks, and a local fire company doing a chicken barbecue.  Gotta love small town Pennsylvania!  

Hake's Grocery at the intersection of Canal Road and Bull Road -- October 10, 2015
Turning right onto Bull Road I put my head down and just began to turn the pedals.  I knew what was coming...but I really didn't mind.  I was looking forward to it.  Climbing Bull Road really has never bothered me.   It goes up...levels off...goes up.  Just put your head down, find an easy gear, and go.  After coming up and over Bull I intersected with Andersontown Road.  I love this part of ride.  The road just rolls parallel to the ridge, through beautiful countryside, and past a cool little chapel that looks like it belongs in a movie.  

The autumn colors are beginning to show on Andersontown Road -- October 10, 2015
Mountain Grove Church on Andersontown Road -- October 10, 2015
Just past Mount Grove Church, Andersontown Road becomes Copenhaffer Road.   Now the real fun begins.  The north side of Copenhaffer is a category four climb.   Whoo Hoo!  Again.  Let's focus on the reward...not the climb.   And here it comes...the reward.   The view.  The feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment. The "high" of a great work out.   Then, finally, the descent.  There are no words to express the giddiness that overcomes me as I fly down the south side of Copenhaffer Road.   It's exhilarating.  

The power lines on the top of Copenhaffer Road looking east towards Manchester, PA -- October 10, 2015
Isn't that what life is suppose to be?  Exhilarating!  Rewarding!  I think so.   All you got to do is remember to press on over the next ridge.  Focus on the reward...not the climb.

David A. Raymond -- October 10, 2015