Pam made a quick run to KC with her sister, so I was left to amuse myself this afternoon. I worked on a cedar chest I’m rehabbing for Libby for a while, then couldn’t stand it any longer and went for a bike ride.
I knew before I started that the wind would be a factor on the way home, but it was too pretty and I had too much time on my hands to care! It didn’t take long, however to realize that my legs were in pretty sad shape from running three days in a row already. In spite of that, the ride out to Rogersville was pretty fun because of the NW wind. I just played sailboat and let it push me along at a good clip. In fact, my average speed on the way out there was 16.9 mph, as opposed to the 13.0 on the way back…but more on that in a second.
As I approached the Logan Rogersville high school, I encountered this:
It didn’t surprise me, given the amount of rain we had this week, and I’ve actually ridden through quite a bit more water on the road at this spot several other times. Since it was only a couple of inches deep, I just rode carefully and safely navigated it.
Once I made my turnaround at Rogersville, things went downhill fast. I was now feeling the full force of the wind, and my legs were toast. Each revolution of the pedals was a hard-earned victory, and I just put my head down and pedaled without too much thought. Sometimes that’s the best way for me to get through a tough ride…but today it was my downfall.
I did score a minor victory on this stretch of road:
Never pass up a tool that someone has lost!
As I approached Mentor church, I realized that if there was water on the road out by the high school, the big bowl heading into the river valley would probably be under water as well, and it’s likely there will be at least a foot of water on the road. Crap! I rode past the turnoff that would take me around it several miles ago. Faced with the prospect of back-tracking, I decided to just go on and cross the river at Lake Springfield. I could then take the Greenways Trail over to the outer road and be home free. I figured it would be just about the same mileage as back-tracking, but at least I wouldn’t be going backward part of the time.
As I crossed the bridge, it looked like a good plan to me…then I saw the sign indicating that the trail was closed at Highway 60 for road construction…and I knew that it was also closed at Highway 65 for the same stinking construction. Now I was looking at an even longer back-track. But, wait a minute…what’s that?
Its a mileage marker for the Springfield Marathon in the morning. I read in the paper that MODOT had laid down a temporary trail for the runners. It wouldn’t be paved, but I should be able to get through! It was just a few hundred yards around to the construction site. I had to get off and walk over the boulder field, but it was only about a hundred feet or so. Maybe this won’t be so bad.
Then I encountered this…
Flood debris over the trail. Boy those runners are gonna love this mess in the morning. I gingerly carried my bike over it and continued on…to find a pool of water six inches deep over the trail. I had no choice but to ride through it. Not a fun experience, but I knew I should be getting out of the wooded section soon. After that, I thought it would probably be OK…..until I saw this horrifying sight:
Yep…that’s deep mud followed by a really nasty boulder-sized trail surface. Those aren’t my tracks, so I wasn’t the first fool to be down there today. I walked the bike through (should have carried it) and emerged a muddy mess on the gravel. When I did, I could see that I had at least a half-mile to walk before I could get back on anything solid.
The picture above is looking back after I finally got to the pavement again. What a nasty stretch! I found out later that the Marathon has been rerouted to avoid this mess! Good for them.
I got home with a shade over 29 miles on the bike. The first thing I did was grab the hose and clean the mud off both my bike and my feet. By the time I got home, the little gremlins were coming out, but I felt like they had been with me for while!