I’ve had a couple days to decompress from this whirlwind trip from DC to Pittsburgh. I’ve caught up on my e-mail and wrote a sweet wrap up of the entire trip for my magazine Pittsburgh TEQ. (I’ll post it once it’s published in November.) Reviewing my blog for the TEQ article helped put the whole thing in perspective. So did a few frosty pints and some hotdogs at D’s when I got back that afternoon!
It boils down to a couple of things. Maybe more.
I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get paid to ride my bike while touting my second passion — Pittsburgh’s tech community– all along the way. The technologies I showcased were pretty awesome. Folks couldn’t get enough of my SenseWear Armband counting calories or watching me take Gigapan pictures. Others were surprised that my Cannondale came from Bedford, Pa., and that the Transitionslenses in my glasses were developed at PPG. Even more were stoked at my remote podcasts via TalkShoe.
Most of all, this trip really drilled in my head how much I love cycling. I’ve always been a bike snob and that will never change. The trip softened my snobbish exterior of high-end bikes, fancy parts and gear, fast average speed and a sprint to the finish. After a few days, I was concerned about having bacon three times a day and soaking in the beautiful scenery. On the section from Cumberland to Confluence, I was in bad shape. Blasted by a cold and driving wind, my snobby side would have me riding in the drops gritting it out to the finish. This time, I stopped for pizza! And pumpkin-shaped cookies. I talked with some other riders and Rockwoood locals. That’s a seachange for me! Relaxing while riding my bike? Who knew?
Better yet, this trip made me realize just how stunning our region is. There’s so many places like Rockwood to explore. Lots of pizzas to eat. I’m considering touring bikes for my wife and me, so we can load up and explore all the great trails in SWPA. I’m not worried about how fast we’ll go, what kind of parts are on my bike, etc. I’m just going to pedal and soak it all in.
I encourage everyone to do the same! Check out the friendly folks at Venture Outdoors. They can help ya.