Monday, September 26, 2011

My Journey to Becoming a Music Together Teacher

Click on 'view full route' below to see details of my ride from Collegeville, Pa to Hopewell, Nj.  I used ridewithgps for route planning, and it is an excellent resource.  I participated in a Music Together Teacher Training Workshop last weekend.  I had the opportunity to ride the 55 miles it took to get there, so I did.  Rain was a high possibility so I prepared well for it.  I finally bought the waterproof Ortlieb Panniers I've been wanting.  But not a drop fell from the sky on the day of the ride.  The next night I did have to ride 5 miles in the dark and rain though.  Those are not ideal conditions, but like I said, I was prepared for it with waterproof gear and very good lights and reflectivity.  It wasn't a problem.

A member of the Princeton Freewheelers, Ken, let me stay with him for two of my three nights that I was there.  I am very grateful for that.  It saved me alot of money, and I got to meet a fellow cyclist.  He was an excellent host, and I can't thank him enough for helping me out.  

I was concerned about being chased by dogs, but that didn't happen.  I really hate it when dogs chase me.  

My jersey from the Flwrider group in Hong Kong came just in time for me to wear it on this ride.  I was very excited about that.  Brian, the founder of Flwrider, remembered that I had asked him for some stickers of their logo while we were riding one day, and he put a few sheets in the package for me too.  I appreciate that.  The stickers look perfect on my fenders, and the one in front kept me motivated to keep going strong as the miles built up (especially the uphill miles).  It provided many good cycling memories for me of my time in Hong Kong.  

I could have rented a car, or simply had my wife or a friend drive me to Hopewell.  It is only an hour drive.  But then I would not have gained the personal satisfaction of having made such a beautiful ride.  There really is a sense of freedom from being on the bike that just isn't there when sitting in a car.  I didn't want to deprive myself of that when I didn't have to.  

I have not planned for a ride yet the way that I planned for this one.  I'm very unfamiliar with the roads around this area since I've only lived here for a year, and have not been able to get out and ride them yet.  One thing I did that helped was to simply google a bicycle route and then drive it.  Ultimately though I ended up only using part of that initial route.  I discovered that part of Adventure Cycling's Atlantic Coast section 2 route fit perfectly into where I was going more directly than what I initially had from google maps.  So I mapped out a good way to connect to it at Tennis Road in Ambler, Pa from where I live and used it the rest of the way.  That turned out to be a great strategy.  The whole way from my place until I connected with the Adventure Cycling route, I kept seeing 'BCP' painted white on the road with a small arrow under it.  That may mean the Bicycling Club of Philadelphia, but I don't know for sure.  It gave me a reassuring feeling though making me feel that I made good road choices when I put the route together.  I wasn't able to drive those roads before I left, so I wasn't exactly sure if they were the best choices or not.  

I passed the weekend training activities, and can now teach the music together curriculum.  I look forward to beginning that process with Melanie, the center director for Littlest Music Makers here in the Collegeville, Pa area.  Music Together is an amazing early childhood music program.  If you haven't heard of it and have little ones, please check it out.  If you're lucky enough to have one in your area, you should do it!

I rode my fuji touring series iv.  It fared me well, and I look forward to my next ride on it.  Ultimately I plan on taking this one across the country someday.

No comments: