Cyclist logs 1,300-mile journey along 9/11 trail | News, Sports, Jobs

Nichole S. Gehr


Hollidaysburg architect Patrick Baechle, 64, lately accomplished a 5-7 days journey on the September 11 Nationwide Memorial Path. Along the way, he visited memorials at all 3 Sept. 11 assault sites.
Courtesy photo


Narrow roads and bridges, steep climbs and Mother Mother nature did not end Hollidaysburg architect and avid cyclist Patrick Baechle from achieving his aim.

He recently accomplished a 5-7 days journey together the September 11 National Memorial Trail, having him from Altoona to New York.

The 1,300-mile route took the Air Power veteran, who served as a civil engineer in California and Spain from 1976-82, to the Flight 93 Memorial, the Pentagon, the Globe Trade Middle memorial and all the small places in involving.

Alongside the way, he satisfied and bonded with many people, he reported.

“I fulfilled other cyclists, and I went to a music festival and absolutely everyone was dancing and happy, and it was a wonderful experience,” Baechle stated.

Baechle, 64, departed from Altoona on July 12, returning dwelling Aug. 13.

Normally, Baechle’s spouse, Pam, concerned about him, understanding the excursion would be physically demanding.

“I did stress about him, but we talked about that prior to he left, and I imagine it was a lot more important for him to do this than to get focused on the anxiousness of it,” Pam explained.

“We’re equally people today who are reasonably well-traveled, but what I was worried about was that it is a actually enduring vacation and whether or not he’d be equipped to do that physically,” Pam stated. “But he did.”

Pam said her partner had been on the lookout ahead to the vacation for some time.

“It was normally one thing that he talked about and desired to do,” Pam explained. “It appeared like the excellent time to do it, and he’s in excellent physical condition.”

Biking, Pam claimed, is a defining piece of who her spouse is.

“Riding a bicycle is his activity, and he enjoys it,” Pam reported. “He rode his bike via Europe for 6 months immediately after he obtained out of the Air Pressure. It is always a little something he’s liked to do and he experienced the time. He’s also a person who’s extremely taken by the landscape and geography and seems to be at the natural beauty. He loves Pennsylvania, and it was yet another attract to take a look at himself bodily again.”

Nevertheless fulfilling, the excursion was complicated at instances, Baechle admitted.

“It was pretty bodily difficult,” Baechle stated. “Every working day you had to prepare your route and deal with all forms of situation.”

Baechle mentioned there have been spots that had been hard to navigate.

“I experienced to travel on highways from time to time and cross about bridges that had been pretty narrow,” he mentioned.

Locating a spot to sleep alongside the way was tough, way too. He spent some evenings at campgrounds and other individuals in motels.

A adore of biking and regional trails — as properly as a want to see New York 20 several years right after the assaults on the Earth Trade Heart — drove Baechle to acquire on the challenge, he claimed.

The site the place the twin towers formerly stood was a certain draw, he stated, due to the fact as a young architecture university student, he stood by the towers and looked up, marveling at their stature.

“I don’t forget hunting up and I bear in mind that practical experience,” Baechle claimed.

Trips to New York soon after the Sept. 11 assaults were being depressing, he said.

“After the 9/11 attacks, I went to New York Town and I went downtown to exactly where the buildings were being on that web page. I was floored and saddened,” Baechle mentioned. “It was a definitely horrible practical experience, what had occurred, and I try to remember going for walks all around that place and viewing how devastated it was. It was practically nothing but gray, dusty dust. I try to remember looking at all the destruction.”

In the latest a long time, even though, touring to New York has been a lot more pleasant, Baechle stated.

“I’ve been coming again to New York Town and it would seem to be coming alive.”

When the pandemic in the beginning died down as the vaccine rollout picked up, Baechle realized it was a good time to make the bike excursion.

“I felt like the pandemic was receiving over with and I felt like I preferred to go to New York Town and see what it’s like after 20 several years,” Baechle reported.

“I was all cooped up and I essential to get out and do some thing and get some work out.”

The vacation was particularly significant, bringing back recollections and reminding Baechle of his beginnings in architecture.

“It was a fantastic experience when I acquired off the ferry and the town was alive with persons and every thing was new and fresh once again,” Baechle reported. “I preferred to variety of memorialize that practical experience I had seeing the twin towers as a younger architect.”

Baechle reported aspect of the trip, far too, was promoting bike trails.

“I truly adore the strategy of acquiring bicycle trails in the location,” he explained. “I believe these are great means for our group. The 9/11 trail basically arrives by way of Hollidaysburg, and I want to see far more trails connecting Hollidaysburg to other trails. I thought by performing this I could market connecting extra trails together and notify the story about what I experienced and how trails are vital to our wellness and nicely-staying in the spot.”

Baechle documented his journey through his website, Biking with Baechle, which Pam reported was very well-received.

“There had been a large amount of people today who savored reading it and felt like they went on the ride with him.”

Baechle’s close friend Diane Murray also appreciated following his vacation by means of the website.

“His web site is truly nicely-written,” Murray explained. “And it’s entertaining and funny.”

Murray explained she admires Baechle’s enthusiasm.

“He’s quite enthusiastic,” Murray explained. “He’s very seasoned and can go miles and miles at a time. He’s constantly described himself as an explorer.”

Murray’s spouse, Jack, also a mate of Baechle, claimed he’s stunned by the strength and stamina it took Baechle to total the trip.

“I could not do that at all,” Jack said.

Baechle returned from the path triumphant and sensation completed, his spouse stated.

“I imagine there is a sense of self-assurance that arrived with him getting capable to achieve that goal,” Pam mentioned. “I assume he feels like he can regulate himself in just about any condition in conditions of riding his bicycle. He feels capable mentally and bodily.”

Mirror Workers Author Andrew Mollenauer is at 814-946-7428.

The Baechle file

Name: Patrick Baechle

Age: 64

Hometown: Hollidaysburg

Household: Wife, Pam

Vocation: Architect

Education: University of Michigan (bachelor’s in 1985, master’s in 1987)

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