When I ride my bike, I think of all sorts of things. Over and over again. I run over ideas, dreams, and past thoughts. I know some folks ride to escape, which I do as well, but sometimes I ride to tune in to my thoughts. The cadence, wind, and heavy breathing give light to all sorts of new ideas. Sometimes those thoughts come to fruition and I am able to see how they pan out.
One of the thoughts I had while out riding was to invite folks to come ride some of the crazy routes that I think up. I have always dreamed of riding my favorite routes with pros like John Tomac and Missy Giove, but now I get to share my routes with my friends and family in the form of the Lu Lacka Wyco Hundo bike ride.
The Lu Lacka Wyco Hundo was conceived on top of a climb where I was looking around for a spot to take a quick rest after a bunch of hard earned miles. I ended up sitting among chainsaw carvings of Native Americans. There were three of them looking over the valley that was once ruled by people their likeness represents. I contemplated what the valley was like at that time. Before the roads, the farms, the mines, and the railroads. I thought of names to tell their story. I came up with Lu Lack and Wyco. Their names represent the counties that lie in their stoic glare.
The Lu Lacka Wyco Hundo features a 100+ mile route that challenges the hardest of riders to finish all in one piece. But this ride was not designed to challenge anyone, it was meant to tell a story. The story of my life.
The route starts at one end of my childhood hometown and takes riders to the neighborhood that I grew up in. From there, we ride the first single track I have ever ridden — with my dad on a BMX bike — and onto some of the trails that my boyhood friends and I would rip around on. From there, the ride takes you past the swamp where we fished when we were kids and onto the wilds of Pennsylvania that I love.
We stop for a rest at Lake Winola where I spent my summers. This is also where you will find the steepest climb of the entire event. I wouldn’t be upset with you if you walked this part. Cars have a hard time climbing this road.
If you are riding this event, you will come screaming down a dirt road feeling that you are going a little too fast for comfort, but you will love every minute of it. At the end of that descent, you will cross a plain enough looking bridge, but as you make your next left, you are passing one of my favorite places on earth. It is just a quiet creek, but was my spot to ride my bike to, escape, and just think.
From there, the ride takes us on a route that I have come to enjoy as I have grown as a cyclist. I am not a fast rider so I seek out the dirty, remote, steep roads that make you contemplate every meter. Even if your body breaks down, you come home stronger from rides like this.
As you start to roll back towards town, you spend time on the Susquehanna river dyke which was a highway to further exploration for me as a youngster. When you come back over the last bridge crossing and head back into Pittston, look across the river and take in the majestic peaks of Pittston’s churches. These churches were built by my ancestors. We have had many memories develop in and around those churches. My whole family could be traced back through the community of steeples in Pittston.
Turn right and head back for the finish line. Now enjoy what this ride is all about: the friends and family that volunteer for the event, and the riders that grit their teeth, pound out the miles, and tell their own stories.
That is why we ride the Lu Lacka Wyco Hundo.