Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Valley Forge-Week 2
This week, bike patrol training was a lot of fun! Chief Tinkham administered the class and Rangers from Independence participated in the training as well. It took me a while to get adjust to a mountain bike with the different gears but I eventually got the hang of it. Throughout that week, I became accustomed to which gears worked best for biking up or down steep hills, or even flat surfaces. Learning that aspect of the training was extremely influential in preserving energy and making roads or trails less difficult to peddle through.
Everyone was extremely helpful and we all practiced the bike courses together. Everyone was offering suggestions on how to get through this one particular course that required you to bike inside a box surrounded by cones. Circling a total of six times inside a ten-foot square box was pretty challenging.
By far the most difficult challenge was the steep hills that we biked up almost each day during the entire course. I believe one day out of that week, we biked 17 miles over muddy hills, gravel roads, and grassy surfaces. It was a really good workout that was pretty physically challenging which helped me develop a higher endurance level.
The training was split between in-class lectures and outside bike techniques that included riding up and down curbs, biking down hills and steps, and learning how to dismount from a bicycle. We were taught how to use safety precautions and necessary equipment appropriate for bike patrolling. The Chief also covered the basis of law enforcement technique when making contacts on a bike. During the course, we were conditioned on changing out tires and inspecting the bikes before going out on patrol. Maintaining the bikes in decent condition is also an essential aspect of bike patrol, so keeping them clean throughout the training was an important task.
We biked the Joseph Plumb Martin trial and the Chapel trail which had a steep hill that was the most difficult to peddle through. We biked over by Pawling’s Farm and came across the gigantic Sycamore tree that has been standing for decades at the Walnut Hill Spring House. It is by far my favorite tree because the branches are so huge and the width of the entire structure is extremely impressive.