“The Susquehanna Valley is a region of low-lying land that borders the Susquehanna River in the U.S. states of New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. The valley consists of areas that lie along the main branch of the river, which flows from Upstate New York through Pennsylvania and Maryland into the Chesapeake Bay, as well as areas that lie along the shorter West Branch in Pennsylvania.” – Wikipedia
The focus of this article is the Susquehanna Valley River Valley of Pennsylvania, the scenic backdrop of unPAved (link to press release).
“Easy on the eyes. Hard on the legs.”
Continuing where I left off from Part One, the second day of media preview / riding fun would see our crew grow in size. Joining us for this ride was Bina Bilenky (check out her custom gravel bike), and Gloria Liu and Taylor Rojek, both editorial staff with Bicycling Magazine. Dutifully following the group in the support truck was Mike Kuhn and photographer extraordinaire, Pete Bakken. Be sure to follow Pete on Instagram at betepakkenpetebakken and keystonephoto. Brett Chadderdon of Valley to Vista Cyclery (far left of the above photo) kindly provided my loaner bike, an appropriately sized Open U.P. Thank you Brett!
Before the ride began, we toured Camp Woodward in Woodward, Pennsylvania.
This massive facility is home to skateboard tracks and ramps, gymnastics and other sports-related activities.
Following our tour of Camp Woodward, day two would see the group depart from Millheim, Pennsylvania.
There is a large Amish community in this area, horses and buggies are a familiar sight on the local roads.
We rode a very pleasant stretch of pavement that paralleled an unknown creek, before the real fun of the day began. There were at least two long and steady climbs on the day’s route, that would ultimately lead to more amazing views of this part of Pennsylvania. Dave Pryor, promoter of unPAved, kindly spared the group four of the toughest climbs in the area, all of which will feature in the full monty, 120-mile version of unPAved. This won’t be an easy ride…
Following a brief stop for chow and water at Poe Paddy State Park, the group made a beeline for Penn’s Creek Trail, formerly a railway line through this part of Pennsylvania.
Before the group could ride the gravel rail trail of Penn’s Creek Trail, we’d need to cross Penn’s Creek and pass through a former railway tunnel.
Day Three, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania
Day three of media camp at the unPAved preview opened to a bout of dreary weather. I was flying out late afternoon from the Lehigh Valley Airport, Allentown, Pennsylvania, which gave me an excuse to bag the ride… bags already packed and all that. On the positive, a day off the bike gave me an opportunity to join Dave Pryor in the support car, for a spot of video here and there.
Pictured above is the Miller Recreation and Wellness Center, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. This fantastic facility will play host to the start, finish and festivities of unPAved.
Despite the dreary conditions, the group relished the scenery of the Susquehanna River Valley. Mike Kuhn and Pete Bakken took a break from driving the support truck to join, whilst Jim Cummins and Gloria Liu departed for their respective homes… Jim had a long drive home to Emporia, Kansas!
unPAved Pennsylvania is due to run on October, 14, 2018. This is a must-do event that traverses gravel rail trails, the Bald Eagle State Forest, Amish Country, and so much more! At the time of writing, there are three routes on offer. 30-miles, 90-miles and 120-miles.
Still to come, JOM’s unPAved, Pennsylvania, preview video which highlights the beauty of this area and the fun of the ride. Watch this space!