With the day off work and temps in the high 60’s, nothing was gonna stop me from riding my bike today. Not even a little wind. OK….not even a lot of wind.
Mike was foolish enough to agree to come along, and we cranked out nearly 40 of the toughest miles I’ve ridden in a while. The wind was crazy strong, making us suffer for every mile we rode that wasn’t due north.
Knowing how bad the wind would be, I plotted a route that would give us a nice tailwind at the end. It’s a route we don’t use very often because traffic can get a little heavy (and fast) on a Saturday morning. Being the afternoon of the MLK holiday, I hoped it would be OK, and it was.
Our route consisted of a quick northern leg up to Cherry Street, then we followed it downhill along the James River Valley to 125. From there, we continued east on AD to B. AD is the road that can be busy sometimes.
About 1/2 way down AD, you pass the intersection pictured above. There is a road that comes in from the south just behind the picture. If you look down that road, it just seems to drop from sight, doesn’t it. Well, it does. That sucker is one of the steepest hills around here, and the problem with it is that every time I’ve ridden it, the route continues to the left on AD, which is a steep hill in itself. It’s so demoralizing to finally get to the top of hill, then turn left and continuing to climb on AD. I’ll be honest and say I’ve not ridden it for several years because of how tough it is.
Edit: Perhaps I should have read Fatty’s post for the day before I left home. I might have had the nerve to give it a try! Click the picture below to read it. Notice I’m wearing my Fat Cyclist jersey.
I had just finally hit the peak of the AD hill when I snapped the dork shot above. I had worked up a good sweat by that time.
We passed the historic Cook’s Store building. It dates from 1924 and still watches over it’s country intersection. I think somebody actually lives in it now, but every time I pass it, I can easily imagine the bustle of activity that must have been occurring at this intersection.
I like riding AD on my single bike. It’s a continual series of rollers that keep you on your toes.
The six miles between the intersection of AD and B and Rogersville were at best a crawl into the wind. If that section had been much longer, it could have easily turned into a death march. We made it to Rogersville just in time and stopped for a break at the C-store. While there, we debated our options. We had already ridden 19 miles, and knew that our intended route would net us nearly 20 more. We continued on, knowing that we had at least a couple of of bailout options if we needed to save a few miles, but luckily we didn’t.
Our plan was to ride out to Linden lure, then jump onto Smyrna road to get over the ridge and climb back out of the Finley valley on ParchCorn Road.
I really enjoy the big climb up ParchCorn. It’s a long haul out of the river bottom, but most of it is a gentle climb. Mike was feeling good and gave me a salute as I turned to ask him if he was still feeling OK.
At this point, we had a blessed tailwind that pretty much pushed us the rest of the way home. We made it in exactly three hours, but our average speed wasn’t anything to brag about. You can click the map above for the GPS track.
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