Sunday, January 29, 2012

Going to town ...

The last two days, I've been down in Center City, Philly. On Saturday, Joanna and I took a drive down to the Convention Center for this year's Philly Car Show.  I know that's not about bikes, and for the hard-core anti-car crowd, it may be a mortal sin to talk about a car show in a blog about bikes, but I'm not hard-core and I love the car show.

I'm also at the point in my own car's life where I have to start thinking about the next one - 8 years and over 150K miles. So I went to the show this year with some definite ideas about what I wanted to see:

The GMC Sierra was the surprise of the show for me.

I've been thinking that a common sense choice for my next car would be a pickup. While gas mileage isn't ideal, the practical benefits of a pickup for someone who has the interests and hobbies I do outweigh that consideration in my mind. So I was on the lookout for the new model pickups for 2012. 

I saw a bunch of them, some nice and some pretty drab. One of the F150s was a special "Raptor" model. It was really cool, but the $42K price tag was a little steep and at 13 MPG local, it would have eventually cost me a whole lot more than that.

The Ford F-150 Raptor
The surprise of the show for me was the GMC Sierra (above.) I loved it -- its features, it's size, its haul capacity and its look. Everything I heard about this year's model's redesign was great. Definitely something to consider.

Of course ... it wasn't all I looked at. A few other cars that caught my eye:

One of the Camaros - I think this was the Transformers car

I love the Challengers..

This was Joanna's favorite car in the whole show - the "Call of Duty" Jeep ...

... I preferred the "Arctic" version.

I don't even know what this Lexus is, but it's a hot car.

And how can you not include at least one Bentley?
It was a great trip. Joanna and I both had a lot of fun and saw some cool cars.

So then, today, I went back to the city, this time on my road bike ...

The run-in to the Art Museum along Kelly Drive
It was the first time I've ridden down there on the bike, so I had to figure out the route. There are a couple of different ways to get there. I took North Wales Road to Yost Road to Township Line Road to Butler Pike to Spring Mill Road to Ridge Pike. Ridge Pike eventually becomes Ridge Ave, which goes through Roxborough and drops down to the Kelly Drive on-ramp. I then just took Kelly Drive to the Ben Franklin Parkway and I was there.

The Art Museum on the way back from Center City

Boathouse Row form across the river

A familiar sight, but from a new perspective

The Monster viewed from Bell's Mill Road

After I went to Center City, I headed back into the suburbs and cut northeast to Doylestown before heading home along Route 202 to Lansdale. The ride back was fun. I climbed Levering Street out of Manayunk (aka "The Wall") to get back to Ridge Ave, and took Bell's Mill to Germantown Ave. Bell's mill brought me past the north end of Wissahickon. It was nice to look at the Monster and know I didn't have to climb it. Of course, I wasn't aware that Bell's Mill Road becomes its own version of the Monster just past the park.

In fact, I did quite a bit of climbing today, which was okay. I didn't mind that as much as I did the headwind that pushed on me all the way back to Lansdale from Doylestown. That was brutal. After 65 miles, to take a headwind for the last 10 when the longest ride I've done in the last few months was maybe half of today's ride was rough. I was happy to be done, but all in all, it was a great ride -- 76 miles, about 5000 feet of climbing, and my first long road training ride of the year was in the books!

Stopping to eat on Butler Pike

The climb up Alms House Road

The final turnaround location - the Doylestown Courthouse

1 comment:

  1. It's definately acceptable to talk about things other than bikes on a biking blog. Changes things up a bit. Those Jeeps are my fav's too. But it's good you threw some bike related bits in there for good measure. :-)