Paoli is a sizable climb from Valley Forge, rising above the area on a high ridge. The ride leader describes the route and the ride below, in a report we have taken from the BCP email list.
"On the way to the Bryn Mawr Rehab Center, there was oneI was knocked out by the ride, to the point I felt nauseated by the time we reached the hospital. After rest, water, food, and electrolytes, I felt better, and the massive downhill at 35 MPH leaving Paoli helped as well. Still, my legs and lungs were spent by the time I'd reached Valley Forge at the end of the ride. I'm not sure if I should blame the cold weather, the headcold, or the additional weight I've added in the offseason for my troubles this day. Fortunately, I had parked in Audubon, up the Schuylkill River Trail, which allowed me to add miles above the 26 the ride took for the price of relatively little additional exertion. Total miles for the day, 33.
thought that was inescapable when I drew up the map in my
head. There is NO easy way up the ridge!
"This knowledge led me to make the only possible choice. Take
the roads up the ridge that would ensure the least amount of
traffic! Three intrepid riders met me in the lower parking lot of
the Valley Forge Visitors Center.... Once we arrived at the base of the ridge, the
only assurances I made was that while the easiest way up the ridge
was to our right, we could take our time going straight ahead, and
that was preferable to being run down by a car going 50 miles an hour up Route 252!
"It took some time, but we all made it up the hill and
continued on our way. The most traffic we encountered was on Paoli
Pike, (the miles closest to the hospital,) but I can say without any
hesitation that we all made it no worse for wear.
"Anyway, the trip back was relatively uneventful,
but we did have a chance to do a ripping descent down that ridge! I
am not sure that everyone thought it was worth the price of
admission, but we all managed to make it back to the parking lot
where we bid our farewells. Rides like this are the reason why it is
so cool being a ride leader!"