Tour de Eats 2012
Our day started kind of chilly. We planned to ride over to the Evans Road c-store to meet Mike for a ride to Rogersville, then we were going to do something to get some additional miles. It was 58 degrees when we left the house, which was enough to to send Pam scrambling for some cooler weather gear, then she voiced her displeasure at the coolness for a quite a while. I figured she was at least on the bike with me, so she deserved the chance to complain if she wanted to!
We picked Mike up and headed out down County Line Road toward Rogersville where we intended to grab breakfast. Mike set a pretty good pace through the hills in the first couple of miles, then settled down to a pace more reasonable for his second ride since being injured.
Breakfast at McDonald’s isn’t really our preference, but the breakfast choices out there are limited to Micky D’s or Hardee’s, and we perceive Micky’s to be the least onerous of the two. As we parked the bike, I noticed a little boy inside glued to the window watching us, then when we got inside, he was trying to coax his dad over to see the tandem. We’re pretty used to that happening!
After eating, we started back, and the tailwind, smooth roads and predominately downhill reminded Mike of why we ride to Rogersville. It was smooth sailing all the way back to the c-store!
We dropped Mike off at his car, then went inside to use the restroom. Since we were there and knew we were going back on the road for an undetermined distance, we took the opportunity to sit and eat a Snickers bar. Yeah, I know…it was only 11 miles since breakfast, but you’ve gotta stay fueled!
We left the Evans Road c-store with no real destination in mind other than “towards Strafford”, reveling in how nice a day it was. By this time, Pam had finally shed her jacket and was down to arm warmers. As we came up Farm Road 186 past the golf course, we saw a good sized flock of turkeys in a field, bringing our wildlife sighting total for the day to 1 deer and 25 turkeys! In addition, we were seeing a bunch of cyclists on the road. The nice weather brought folks out in droves!
We crossed Highway 60 on Farm Road 205, then I decided just to stay on it until it ended at J and take that over to Turners instead of jumping over to roads we ride during our Tuesday/Thursday morning rides. The implication of that is J Highway is pretty darn hilly just south of Sunshine. So much, in fact, that we were traumatized on it during our early cycling days and have avoided it out of habit since. What we found is that our fitness level is high enough these days that the hills just didn’t seem as nasty as those times years ago. In fact, I kind of enjoyed them!
As we crossed Sunshine, we calculated we could get a 50 mile day in if we only rode to Danforth Cemetery and turned back to home, but the day was simply so nice and we felt good so we decided to go all the way to Strafford. The idea was to get a Powerade Zero to replenish some of the electrolytes I was beginning to sweat out. If we did that, we could tell it would be nearing lunchtime before we got home, so we decided we would go in on Eastgate and swing far enough into town to grab something.
When we got to the Strafford c-store, however, Pam looked down at the little drive-in down the street and said, “Too bad that’s not open. We could get ice cream”. I reminded her that we could get ice cream at the c-store so at that point our mind was made up to have dessert, then go on to lunch!
There was an organized ride out of Fair Grove, and we started meeting a bunch of riders as we pedaled our way back toward Springfield on Farm Road 94. We joked that we sure hoped they were finishing up the longer of the routes, because most of them looked absolutely beat! I remembered seeing something about that ride and knew the long route was a metric century, so I knew we actually had as many miles behind us as they did at that point. I only hoped we didn’t look as rough as they did!
As we were passing one of the big dairy farms just east of Springfield, Pam called out, “Tracy. Stop! That cow is having a calf!”. Sure enough, there was an old cow in labor. We stopped for a few minutes to see if a calf was about to be born, but who knows how long it might have taken, so we moved along.
Qdoba is one of our favorite places to eat, and it’s pretty easy to get to by bike so that became our lunch destination.
They’ve got a really nice outdoor patio, but it’s next to their freezer, so it’s always noisy and nobody sits out there. Yesterday, however, we decided we could live with the noise and enjoyed a pleasant dining experience complete with cool breeze, lots of shade and good food!
We had completed our own metric century by that point, so we decided to go home the long way to stretch it to 70 miles for the day. We had to make a lap around the high school to make it work, but we finished with lots of energy to spare. Perhaps it was due to all the calories we consumed on the way!
We kind of chuckled as we walked up from the garage because we started the day with not much in the way of plans other than to meet and ride with Mike, then get some more miles. In the end, we had quite the enjoyable morning!
You can click the map above for the full GPS track.
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