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What Is Chip-Seal: The Cyclist’s Bane

Along the way we saw what we thought was a cyclist repairing his bike, so we stopped to offer help. Turns out he was just stretching, but I'm really glad we stopped to talk. He solved the mystery of the Washington bike shop - it's been closed for over a year - and directed us to a bike shop and trail in Wheeling. There we bought tires and tubes from two great kids and I also picked up Nike cycling insoles. I was sad but not surprised when they didn't really work either; I'm going to be mailing a lot of insoles home. We found our way to the bike path, and then found our way onto it again when we ran into construction equipment and ambiguous 'trail closed' signs. It was entirely worth it. The path was paved and often shaded, and included (not scary) tunnels, bridges, and a viaduct.

What Is Chip-Seal: The Cyclist’s Bane

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Make that a long, difficult day punctuated by moments of panic. In fact, I'd like to address the residents of Pompey Hill Road: Why do you all need to own intimidating dogs, and what do you do to make them so angry at cyclists? (Except for the friendly Mennonite family whose giant dog was a perfect gentleman; thank you.) Ironically, out of all of the overly aggressive dogs we encountered, the only one we had to spray with Halt was a chocolate lab. The dog tore off running as soon as he saw us and stayed hard on the chase, refusing to respond to his owners' yelling and nearly running us into a car. (Partly because I was busy freaking out and being very little help.) I think Kyle will always feel a bit sheepish admitting that he maced a chocolate lab, but we didn't have much choice and our patience with dogs was running very low.

This one has been the bane of my existence and still is to a certain extent. Today, however, I focus more on the what and not as much on the how much. Sure, sometimes I over do it but when I do I back off the next few days.

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