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Best rides of 2008

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

It’s been tough choosing my favorite rides of 2008. At first I came up with a few favorites, and realized that “a few” was 35. I narrowed it down, counted, and I was down to 28. Eventually, I whittled the list down to 10 rides. I left a lot of great rides out — I had no choice, there were just too many incredible rides to fit them all into one post.

Here they are, in chronological order. This is highly subjective — I have no specific criteria, so each ride might be memorable in a different way.

  1. An Unintentionally Epic Ride
    This ride was in Fort Wayne. I intended to ride about 40 miles, and ended up going close to 70. I rode from Fort Wayne up to Chain O’ Lakes State Park, expl0red the park, and rode back. One of my first mixed terrain rides, and it was on the road bike. A little sketchy and a lot of fun.
  2. First Bicycle Camping Trip (S24O)
    Saddle, map, firewood
    My first bicycle camping trip. And sadly, the only one I did this year. It was great, and I hope to do more trips like this when time permits.
  3. Mixed Media Ride
    This ended up being a defining ride for me. Probably my first intentional/serious mixed-terrain ride, I rode from Bloomington out to Yellowwood State Forest, and through the State Forest lands on gravel roads. I intended to ride back, but a sidewall blowout stopped me. Sarah saved the day. This experience was a revelation: riding on platform pedals, wearing sandals, stopping to wade in the creek to cool off, taking in the gravel roads — all these things made me rethink how I approach my rides.
  4. Bloomington to Jackson-Washington State Forest
    This was an experiment. Sarah and I were going camping at Jackson-Washington State Forest. I rode there, she drove, and we met once we arrived. It was a fun trip and a great ride.
  5. Brown County Breakdown
    This has been my favorite ride of the year the past two years, and the same was true this year. It covers a lot of fantastic trails, and it’s a great way to spend all day out mountain biking.
  6. Lehigh Gorge
    This was the most fantastically gorgeous ride of the whole year. I loved the rushing Lehigh River, the brilliant fall foliage, the mountains, and 40 miles of rather easy yet very enjoyable riding.
  7. Bunker Hill, Mt. Zion, Lake Louise, etc.
    My first longish road ride in Pennsylvania, this was a real eye-opener. I saw a lot of beautiful scenery, but this ride really reinforced for me how much more difficult the riding is in this area.
  8. Harvey’s Lake
    Even though I had to ride a shorter distance than I had hoped, this was a breathtakingly beautiful ride. Brutal in terms of climbing, though.
  9. Black Friday Mountain Biking – Inadvertently, Snow Biking
    My friend Dave and I typically do a ride on Black Friday, but since I moved, I had to find another option. I rode with the Hubbard Bike Club near Scranton. I wasn’t expecting snow at all, as there was none at home, but I arrived to find several inches of snow on the ground. This was a very difficult ride, but also very scenic. It was a great group of riders, to boot.
  10. Larksville/Plymouth Mountain
    This ride had me inadvertently riding some gravel roads that I was very happy to have found. It was warm-ish in the valley, but on top of Plymouth Mountain the trees were covered in a good layer of ice that crackled as limbs swayed in the wind and refracted the sunlight like thousands of frozen prisms.

One Response to “Best rides of 2008”

  1. furiousball Says:

    haha, loved the shot of the banjo bros paniers filled with firewood. oh and i am going to avoid that website at all costs. 🙂

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