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What a day!!! I hardly know where to begin. I wish I’d drafted this post on Sunday night right after the event so it was fresh in my mind. But I had not even close to enough energy for it. Josh and I rode a total of 35 miles on Sunday. Conor rode 25. It was amazing…

Sunday was Genesis Bicycles‘ annual Bike to Brunch event. To my knowledge, roughly 600 people joined in the fun. That’s right. 600-ish men, women, and children rode bicycles across the city of Easton to nearby Hugh Moore Park for the festivities of fun, food, and frolicking.

There were road bikes, mountain bikes, hybrid bikes, kids’ bikes, tandem bikes, trail-a-bikes, recumbent bikes, bike trailers, and of course our tricked out cargo bike. I think I even saw a recumbent trike in there. It was ridiculous!

So many bikes!

SOOO many bikes!!!

There were lots and lots of tasks for the volunteers. LCI and bike education extraordinaire Scott Slingerland set up a bike ed course complete with stop signs, twists, turns, and a narrowing plank. Had I thought of it I would have grabbed pics, but I didn’t.

Our family knows and loves Scotty. He graciously accepted responsibility of Conor so Joshua and I could lead a group ride to the park from Genesis. That was a fantastic experience. Our group had about 40 people in it. (Joshua thinks it was more like 20. One of us is wrong. I’m not certain it’s him.) It was a pretty big group. Josh did great keeping a slow and steady pace ensuring the group could stay together.

The Towpath Bike Trail is positively lovely and chock full of history. The path moves along the canal next to the Lehigh River, where for many years steel was transported by barge from Bethlehem Steel.

Bethlehem Steel stacks from the north side of the Lehigh River.

The fate of power line poles…

More power line-less power line poles.

One can witness the aging of the area in many ways. The old power lines are really a sight. They’re full of vines and dwarfed by today’s modern poles.

The few miles we rode had a couple of old bridges. Thankfully, I didn’t have to try and cross them!! (Well, only one or two.) This one would have posed quite the challenge!

Next to the old, decrepit, nearly completely demolished bridge.

Conor

I tried to capture some of the detail of the absolute ruin of this bridge.

Waterfall coming out of an old bridge.

We did have to cross here…

 

Several games were set up at the park including bicycle limbo! Again, no pics. I couldn’t be everywhere! Conor said that was really a blast.

A fantastic jazz trio kept the background noise pleasant.

The trio.

Genesis generously created this event for their loyal customers, regular riders, and Ride Ambassadors. The park was spectacular. A pavilion housed food, all the imaginable brunch fare including custom omelets! An enormous tent housed tables for all the folks to sit an enjoy their meals and one another’s company. I learned that in previous years the food and seating had been crammed under the pavilion. Apparently, we picked the right year to join in! Truly, it was incredible.

A delightful demonstration was held by Bob Swaim.Bob Swaim's collection

He has an enormous collection of bicycles and bicycle-ish vehicles, like this dicycle – that’s right a DIcycle – one of only two in the world! It has hand brakes one uses to steer.Bob Swaim rides his dicycle.

Dicycle.

Dicycle.

Not to mention this mini-tandem!

Miniature tandem bicycle.

Not only was the event free to participants, but for every registration, Genesis donated $5 to The Children’s Home of Easton. I encourage anyone in the area to use Genesis as a resource for bicycle, accessory, and parts purchases; as well as education and community rides. The shop was rated one of the country’s top 100 bike shops in 2012.

We decided to stay on the Towpath for our route home after the event came to a close. But not before we helped carry a dozen or so picnic tables back to their home under the pavilion.

Wicked dirty feet.

The section we rode, between Easton and Bethlehem, had something really cool:

Lock house.

What’s a lock house for? To house the locktender, of course.

I had never ridden this path before. It was right along the river most of the way which was such a treat for me. I love the smell of a river. A clean river! It evokes memories of musty mornings at summer camp. I’ve always wanted to live on a river so I could pull out my kayak and just cross the lawn to launch.

Josh and I share a competitive nature; we have difficulty taking it easy and riding slowly for the sake of taking in the scenery. We ride to get to where we’re going. We try to beat our best times. We sprint for the hell of sprinting. But my knee started to give way toward the end of the trip – maybe 28-29 miles in. I really had to monitor my pace to make sure I wasn’t pushing too hard. That is no small task. I iced and elevated my knee Sunday night but it’s still a little tweaked. Amazingly, it’s the only sore part of my body.

Certainly, Monday morning brought an enormous fatigue. And, granted, I wasn’t the one getting up at 3am to ride 6 miles to work. But my legs, shoulders, and seat were perfectly fine. My first climb up the stairs upon arriving home resulted in some minor complaining from my quads, but I’m mostly in ship-shape.

I remember when I couldn’t ride further than two miles without having to stop to catch my breath. I remember when I wouldn’t dream of riding terrain where I’d never been before. I remember when riding to and from Easton seemed a total impossibility.

And then I rode the 35 miles I rode on Sunday. With my happy family. All of us tired. Nary a complaint. ‘Twas a perfect day.

SO tired. SO happy. SO ready to be home.

I hope we get a dozen more days like this in before it gets cold enough that we have to put Judah in the trailer.

I’m immensely grateful to Genesis Bicycles. Joshua has been on a number of their group rides and thus has learned a lot about the rideability of roads east of us. His experience and knowledge gives me courage. I tend to fear new experiences.

The relationships being built with the staff at Genesis are exciting. An excellent bike shop is indispensable when living car-free. I’m clear that the amazing Sunday I shared with my family was made possible by Tomias, Rob, and all the folks at Genesis. Thanks for your all of your hard work, guys. Our helmets are ON to you!!

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