Saturday Tandem Ride
With the steaming forecast for the day, we knew we needed to be off the bike by 11:00, so Pam and I got up way too early for a Saturday and drove over to Elwood for a loop out to Ash Grove and Halltown. Our goal was to leave the parking lot in Elwood at 6:00. Our actual departure was 6:15, and we knew we could count on four hours with our stops to complete the 50 miles we had planned.
As we pulled out into the golden sunlight, it only took a couple of minutes before we were entertained by the sight of two turkeys running across a field in their haste to put distance between themselves and us. It’s so comical to watch them run, with their necks extended in front of themselves and heads bobbing wildly. We got a good chuckle to start our morning.
As we headed out, there wasn’t a breath of wind blowing, although we expected it to pick up as the morning progressed. We had the choice of going to either Halltown or Ash Grove first, but we usually have south or southwesterly winds this time of year, so we opted to head for Ash Grove, knowing that probably meant a headwind between there and Halltown but a push from behind on the final leg. Our logic worked!
After a quick stop in Ash Grove, we continued on roads that were nearly devoid of traffic that time of day. Pam got a big laugh out of the fact that at 7:15 in the morning, there were already two guys parked outside the local barber shop waiting for it to open.
As we turned south on Highway MM towards Halltown, we immediately noticed that the county had been doing some paving out there. Unfortunately, they didn’t use very high grade asphalt, so the newly paved patches weren’t much better than the older road. Fortunately, we only ride on MM for a few miles before it intersects with Highway Z, which is a much smoother road and the bike rolls more efficiently.
At the Halltown c-store, this old dog was hanging around outside. There were a bunch of guys standing around inside talking, and apparently in no hurry to get anywhere, so we weren’t sure if the dog belonged to one of them or not. It sure acted like it knew someone inside, as it was intently watching the door most of the time we were there. He did come to get his ears scratched for a minute, but was more interested in the door than us.
Just outside of Halltown, we encountered a nice little roadside patch of wildflowers that were thriving in spite of the drought, so we stopped to snap a few pictures before setting our sights on Elwood.
As we approached, however, we decided that we couldn’t be content with the 47 miles our route would give us. After all, we had set out to do 50, so there was no other option than to find an extra three miles. I decided that if we rode over and around the airport roundabout, that would do the trick, and it did. Unfortunately, that gave us the opportunity to finish a great ride into the wind! Oh well. It’s all the same anyway, and we pulled up to the truck right on schedule at 10:15
Click the map below to see the actual GPS track.
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