Missed the storms
Pam and I got another early start Saturday morning for a nice tandem loop from Battlefield, through Republic, Billings, Marionville, and Clever. In fact, we got our earliest start of the summer, pulling out of the church parking lot in Battlefield at 6:09 AM. We joked that with our sunglasses on, it felt like it was early enough that we needed the lights on!
The good thing about that is we were early enough to get through Republic before people got up and about, so it wasn’t the usual mess of traffic we normally encounter there.
We had storms back to the east that we watched carefully the entire morning, and the sun took it’s time making an appearance. When the sun did start poking out, though, it made for a pretty morning. As an aside, back in the day when I had an interest in photography, I went to great lengths to find a nice soft-focus filter. Little did I know that I could have just put the camera in my sweaty jersey pocket to achieve the same effect, as demonstrated above!
We made easy time over familiar roads to our first c-store stop in Billings. From there, we headed nearly due west to the little community of McKinley, then headed south to Marionville. This section of our trip was only partly familiar to me, and we had to rely on my Garmin for direction. Fortunately, I did a better job of following it than I did a couple of months ago when Mike, Jim, and I rode out there.
We had a serious dog chase along the way. This one got the angle on us as we were going uphill. We poured on as much power as we could, and as it got close, I yelled a big loud, “NO”! Unfortunately, in my excitement, I forgot we were using the intercom, and my loud yell went straight into Pam’s ear. She responded, “Stop yelling! I’ve got this.” and let the dog have a blast with our air horn. Problem solved, and I did remember to speak quietly the rest of the ride.
As we approached Marionville, Pam noticed the sky to the east was looking pretty dark, and thought she could even see lightning! While we were stopped at the c-store, we pulled up radar, and sure enough, it showed a big looking storm back in that direction. We were encouraged by the fact that it seemed to be tracking due south, pretty much along a line east of Highway 160. That meant we would have about a 10 mile buffer that should keep us out of it.
As we headed east out of Marionville, though, we started to feel the wind coming off that storm. It was nice and cool, but was right in our face. We were riding on Highway 265, which is flat as a pancake until you cross 413 and get into the hills south of Clever, so the breeze slowed us down and made us work for a while, then we got into the hills that slowed us down even further!
As were pulling into the outskirts of Clever, we got a text from our daughter asking if we got wet on our ride. Pam carried on quite a texting conversation with her for a few minutes, learning that she had ridden her bike 15 miles, but had seen a big lightning show herself before finishing her ride. If you’ve ever wondered what actually goes on on the back of a tandem, now you know!
We pulled into the parking lot at Battlefield by about 10:15 with 53.65 miles behind us. After loading the bike, we made a quick stop on the way home and had to improvise a vase for the impulse purchase of flowers!
It was another good morning on the bike! To see the GPS track, click the map above.
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