I opted for a flat training ride — and to find a way to a microbrewery 20 miles away.
Yes, I’m once again doing the East Coast Greenway‘s week-long fundraising ride, that one with the unimaginative name of Week-A-Year. This time it’s 385 miles over six days, from Wilmington, N.C., to Savannah. In October, so not killer heat but still hurricane season, as we learned last year. (Here’s the first pitch to please support it with a tax-deductible donation.)
I admit I wish it was a seven-day ride. The mileage is more than other rides, though we’re promised it will be flat. Hopefully with a nice tailwind. We’ve got 80-mile days going into and out of Charleston, S.C., and it would have been nice to split one of those in two, just to have more time to play tourist. But it is what it is. Sometimes you’re constrained by where you can get hotel rooms for all of us.
Flat or not, 80 miles is a lot. As are 385 miles (see the full itinerary here). So time to get serious about spending more time on the bike.
I didn’t feel like hills today, so I decided to figure out what it would take to get to this new microbrewery I’d read about last year called Screamin’ Hill. Not that I care about beer. But it could be a fun group ride sometime. (Just bring your own food — they have none. Not even pretzels. No permit.)
This place is only open Friday afternoon/evening and Saturday afternoon — the owners have real jobs, we were told when we pedaled by on a Sunday early this year (that ride was from Allentown, not from home, to kill time while the car was getting serviced).
Every craft beer has to have a story, and this is how this one starts:
“Screamin’ Hill Brewery harkens back to a time in America when life was simple, when farmers brewed with what was at hand from the year’s harvest.”
Whatever. I just wanted a ride.
So off I went, following the route we often take to go through the Assunpink Wildlife Management Area for more than half of the way. Then it was new sights. I hit the nine-mile Union Transportation Trail but gave it a miss since it’s not paved and I was on my road bike. I passed the Cream Ridge Winery. And a farm I know from the Trenton Farmers Market. And horses. It’s rural.
Turns out it’s just under 20 miles to the brewery. As good as flat. I tried a different route on the way back. The road to Allentown had more traffic. I’ll stick to the quiet option.
Add on a second, 12-mile ride to get some groceries, and I am feeling virtuous about my 52-mile day.