The photo I kept showing people after my 112 mile ride to Locust Lake was the bike. I really like the Fuji Jari. I’ve tended to ride bikes that I like. These include a several Treks, a Breezer, and a few Dahons.
Leaving Jenkintown, I was in Phoenixville for breakfast in two hours (27 miles). That included stops at traffic lights and to refill my water bottles. I don’t try to ride fast. By 10:45, I was in Reading, PA. It’s been quite awhile since I was in Reading. Ironically, it seems I could bike there and back home in a day.
My favorite time to bike is 5:00 am. I left around 5:30 am. I arrived at a little before 7:00 pm after 112 miles and a few hours of stops. Near Locust Lake, I chose to take a longer on-road route due to hunting.
This was my plan:
- Home 0 mi Depart at 5:00 am
- Valley Forge 20 7:00 am
- Pheonixville 27 8:00 am breakfast
- Pottstown 40 9:30 am
- Reading 60 noon time for lunch
- Hamburg 80 3:00 pm 21 mph @ 7 mph, pick up dinner
- Pottsville 98
- Locust Lake 106 7:00 pm dinner
This was the reality:
- Left home at 5:37.
- Left Phoenixville at 8 am.
- Arrived in Reading at 10:55
- Walked around Reading for two hours
- Arrived in Hamburg at 3:00 pm
- Arrive at Pottsville at 5:00 pm after biking in the rain for several miles
- Arrived at Locust Lake shortly before 7:00 pm
I picked up a 2 lb 3oz Marmot sleeping bag for $111, a 2 lb 8 oz REI quarter dome tent for $227, and a large half-frame pack for $90. My stuff went into a very small Ortlieb handlebar bag. I liked the aerodynamics much better than front and rear panniers.
My setup can be improved
Given that my neighbor was meeting me at Locust Lake and would have some extra clothes, I was able to carry what I needed.
The weak link was definitely that the Ortlieb handlebar bag interfered with the headlight and also the Garmin GPS. I duct taped the light to the handlebar bag. The handlebar bag was also too small to hold my stuff. For these reasons, I have purchased a different Ortlieb bar pack, one that holds more and is set below the handlebars.
Water bottles were another challenge. For the bottles to work as they did, I used two bottles that were small enough so as not to interfere with the front wheel. (See the photo). When I buy a bike, it may have a slightly larger frame so that I can have three water bottles.
The third issue that I’ve yet to resolve is the electronics. A hub generator is a must. something that I can use to recharge the GPS.
Biking to the Schuylkill River Trail, I followed the GPS and learned a shortcut. There were water stops along the trail that I took advantage of.
The Schuylkill River Trail provided flat (or gradual ascent), off-road biking. This trip I made could be made in two days. Spending time in towns like Phoenixville and Reading was fun.
I walked around Reading because I had a flat tire and thought my bike had tubeless tires. It didn’t. The last several miles were largely uphill. I walked a lot of it. The on-road portions of the route had decent shoulders so that I could ride away from trucks. I walked in the shoulders some during the last few miles. It was more relaxing, and I felt that I was on-schedule.
I enjoyed the area between Reading and Hamburg.
Locust Lake has several walking campsites, and this is where I was headed (#15). But first I stopped by the camp store to find something to eat: Two ice-cream sandwiches, a can of potato chips and some Gatorade. Yuck, but I needed something.
I really liked REI quarter dome tent. It has a side door, making it easy to get into. The pole system works well, the tent is free standing and it has good headroom. The sleeping bag is comfortable and compresses well.
After my daughter arrived, and we set up a tent for her that is an old MSR two person tent.
Biking got me outside. My week was more productive because I didn’t want to leave things undone. My GPS stopped after 80 miles (Hamburg), and the solar charger only helped a little.
The grips on PJ’s bike, which I used, are now worn. I’ll need to replace them prior to returning the bike that he generously loaned me. And other than one flat this year, the bike continues to run well. I try to keep it clean.
Today I got an Ortlieb handlebar roll bag in the mail. When it arrived, it was so light that it surprised me. Installing it, I could see why they provide spacers. Without the spacers, the bag is too close to the handlebars and I can’t grip the top of the handlebars. The new bag holds a sleeping bag plus more.
My concern about the new roll bag is that it rests against the front brake cable. This doesn’t seem to affect the brake.
I look forward to the next ride. Below are photos of the bike with the new roll bag.