Never Say “Never”
We all know, that you should never say “never”. As sure as you do, you’ll eat those words. We got a laugh out of that Saturday, because at some point in the past, Ron brashly told his wife, “I’ll never ride on Farm Road 193 again!”.
Well, I’ve got news for you. When you leave on a ride from my house, there’s a good chance you’re gonna get to ride on Farm Road 193. It’s not that bad…just a little hilly, especially in the section I’ve circled on the map above. It’s kind of pretty, though! Ron joined Mike and me Saturday morning and even chose our starting point, so we had no sympathy for his dislike of 193!
But before you get there, you’ve gotta cross the river. Ron says he knew he was in trouble when he was going 30 mph within three minutes of leaving my driveway!
Yes, it’s true. What goes down must come up. As soon as you cross Kinser Bridge, you have to climb part way out of the river valley on Battlefield Road at about a 9% grade.
As soon as you get past that minor obstacle, you turn south on 193 proper, cruise over a few rollers, then take a quick dip down and start climbing a relatively short 10% grade. Unfortunately, as soon as you top that, you go down again and back up at 8% for a bit before crossing the highway.
For all his complaining, though, Ron climbed right up those hills with no problem. We rode on through Mentor and into the wind to County Line Road (FR 194) before we turned back to the east and headed toward Rogersville.
At one point we saw several riders in a cluster. There was a group of two or three, followed by two more maybe 50 yards behind. Perhaps another three hundred yards behind them we met a single rider. I gave him a wave, and he responded with a sheepish little grin and wave that told me he was trying his best to keep up with the others but had been dropped! Oh well, it’s all good anyway!
We started with decently bright sky, but as the morning wore on, it got progressively darker and felt like rain was eventually going to fall (it did in the afternoon). I was glad we had planned a shorter ride today because of that.
The last time I rode this route, I noticed this oddity. It’s a milk can buried in the pavement. From the other side, you can see it actually extends down into the ground under the asphalt, although I wondered how in the world the asphalt got tucked so neatly under the little ridge. Mike joked that it looked like a spittoon, so I took a shot at it, but being on the fly, missed by a mile. In reality, I suspect it might have contained a mailbox post at one point.
We made our usual stop at Hardees in Rogersville, where Mike enlightened us about a new kind of Snickers bar. The one in the blue wrapper is supposed to have three times the chocolate than the normal one. I’m thinking I need to try that one of these days! Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) the c-store didn’t have one to try, so we headed for home.
As you get out to the hay fields between Rogersville and home, the grass absolutely beautiful. Just about as far as you can see, the fields are a deep green right now. I’m thinking the first cutting is going to be a little earlier in the year than normal for around here.
We pulled into the driveway with 30 miles under our belt and took one last celebratory picture of the three of us.
Ron’s the only one of us with arms long enough to pull off that shot!
You can click the map above to see the full GPS track for the day.
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