PA border signs

I got up early to run out to buy bagels and the morning air had a definite feel and scent of autumn. I ate a large breakfast—bagel, 2 eggs, bacon, and toast—so I would hopefully have enough energy for a ride to Montrose, PA and back. The route I planned would be about 53 miles round trip.

It was a cool 55° and breezy when I left around 8:30 am. I knew getting into PA would be a bear; much of the ride from home to the PA border would be climbing nearly 1000 feet. Some of that was on a State Line Road, a road I had never been on before, so I was not too sure of the road’s grade. Knowing that I had a long ride ahead, I did not push myself up the hills to the border. At the top of State Line, I was still feeling good. I paused to snap the photo above, then had to figure out if I was on PA 167 or not. I saw someone getting into the truck just beyond the "Welcome to Pennsylvania" sign and they confirmed I was on PA 167. PA 167 would take me the rest of the way into Montrose.

Well, that hick steered me wrong. It turns out I was on route 4006, which dropped me almost 700 feet onto PA 267. I knew there was a way to get to Montrose via 267 and some backroads, but I also knew 267 had crappy shoulders and a lot more traffic than 167. I called H and got directions back to 167 via Quaker Lake Road (4002). I found my way back to 167, but not after adding about 2.5 miles and, more importantly, 700 feet of climbing to the day’s ride.

PA 167, like 267, had no shoulder. But with very little traffic, I never felt threatened. Every vehicle that passed me gave me plenty of clearance.

From looking at elevation profiles, I was expecting some gentle rolling hills. But the climbing on PA 167 was a lot steeper than it looked on those profiles. I was hoping to see Montrose at the top of each climb. The further I got, the more I doubted that I’d want to pedal back.

Once I made it to Montrose, I found a nice stopping point overlooking the Montrose Club and Lake Montrose and called for my second rescue from H in as many days.

Riding in a car or van, I have a tendency to underestimate the grade and difficulty of hills. I was glad I did not try to ride the bike back to Endicott because even from the van, the hills seemed difficult. On top of the hills, there would have been a 15-20 mph chilly breeze out of the north in my face the whole way back.

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