We were tired. The hills in Pennsylvania really took their toll on us.
Which came as no surprise, as everyone we’d met who knew anything about either bike travel or geography had told us that our biggest challenge during the journey would be the Pennsylvanian hills.
But relief was just around the corner. Sure, we were still deep in Pennsylvania, but we had been told about this wonderful thing called Rails to Trails, where old, decommissioned railroads are turned into bike paths.
The beauty of the thing is, due to the trains’ inability to climb at steep angles, that these pathways have a maximum elevation of 1 %. Which in practical terms means they are flat.
This what we were dreaming of while pushing our bikes uphill in the excruciating heat.
Now you know how as a kid you wanted something rally badly. Really, really badly. Like an all encompassing craving devouring you from inside.
And then once you got the thing you had wished for so much, it turned out to be a disappointment. Which kind of is the way of this world. Even if we’re all adults now.
But not this time.
Once we reached the Great Allegheny Pathway it was like we had crawled out of the desert, and were offered a glass of clear cool water.
It was perfect.
And we were flying along the trail at an average speed we had already forgot was even possible.
The interesting thing is that in order to be this happy we had to endure the hardships of the hills. How else would we have been able to appreciate the beauty of the flat shaded surface we were now riding on?