Windy Sunday Ride
Mike and I got out for a very windy ride late Sunday afternoon. It was 3:00 PM by the time we got away, so we planned a route down toward Ozark and the Finley River before we looped through Rogersville on the way home. We knew we would be fighting a bad wind part of the way, but I guess we’re kind of gluttons for punishment because I don’t think either of us cared.
The sun was shining and temps were in the 60’s, so that helped to offset the frustration of the wind. It’s been unseasonably warm around here, and I’ll take every bit of that we can get.
Heading out from my house, you have no choice but to climb out of the river valley as you head south or east. In the pic above, Mike is nearly up on top, but once he gets there, he’s gonna be rewarded with a couple of smaller valleys that combine with this to make it seem like you’re going up for a long time!
After passing through Mentor, we eventually turned to the east for just a few miles and got the full force of the wind behind us for the first time. We only got to go a couple of miles, but our average speed for that leg was 19.8 mph, and that was really without putting much effort at all into it! It’s a shame that didn’t last, because we had to turn back to the south very shortly and had to deal with the strong crosswind again. Our average speed for the period where we headed south toward Linden then back north dropped to 15.7 mph.
As we started to descend the hill on Cottonwood down into the Finley River Valley, we passed a couple of riders (a guy and a girl) stopped on their way up. They were kind of looking at one of the bikes, so I asked if they were OK. They said they were, then the guy said, “I’m just new at this!”. That explained everything….they were at the top of a long climb, so I guess they had stopped to catch their breath, although Mike wondered if they guy had maybe dropped his chain trying to make a hard shift on the front. Seems that he’s been guilty of that more than one time!
We eventually made our way to Rogersville, where we stopped for a quick fuel break at the c-store, then headed out to what we knew would be a grind to home. We had hardly gotten started when Mike called out that he had something wrong with his front brakes. When we took a close look at them, we discovered they were just loosely bolted to the frame and could easily be shifted to either side with just a little finger pressure. That was easy to fix!
We noticed several places where the pastures were starting to green up. It certainly is a pleasure to see that green poking out instead of the dry brown we’ve been looking at all winter.
When we got to the hay farms out on the flats, the green grass was nearly two inches tall! It will be a while before it’s ready for it’s first cutting, but I think I’m starting to see the light of spring!
We made it back to my house by about 5:30, so our calculation of the time necessary for our mileage and route was just about right. Had we taken much longer, it would have started feeling a little dark.
Oh, and our average speed for the leg home against the wind dropped to 12.82 mph. Not good, but we were trying to not kill ourselves fighting it. You can see the entire GPS track by clicking the map above.
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