How long will it last?
Every time seems like it should be the last time for the year, but somehow, we’ve managed to keep riding the tandem on a fairly regular basis.
Saturday was another of those days where the conditions were far from perfect, but still too good to not get the big bike out for a while. We had unseasonably warm temperatures, but as usually happens around here when that occurs, those temps were accompanied by 25-30 mph winds from the south.
Because of that wind, we decided to go south and east to Rogersville with the idea that we could at least get a couple of tailwind pushes on the way back. As we crossed the river and labored into the wind and up the hills toward Mentor, I remember wondering if this might not become the slowest ride of the year. I decided if it did, it still beat sitting around the house. At least the sun was shining!
Just past Mentor and out on County Line Road, we discovered that a house had burned since we were last out there. Hopefully they’ll get it rebuilt or torn down before very long instead of just letting it sit there like that.
We decided to take a right and head a little further south on Finbrooke Road. I’ve only been on it a couple of times, and and never on the tandem, so it was new to Pam. It’s not particularly scenic, but it is another way to get down to Highway U. I knew that past U, it dead-ends at the Girl Scout Camp on the Finley River, so there was no point in following it further.
About the time we hit Highway U, for some reason we both started thinking about the Snickers we would have when we got to Rogersville! Both Pam and I love them, but the only time we can justify having them is when we’re out for a bike ride. When we turned toward town on VV, we had the wind at our backs and a Snickers calling our name, so we made pretty good time for those three miles!
We thought we might see some other cyclists at the c-store, but we were the only ones there except the local Liars Club sitting in their usual booth inside Hardee’s. We enjoyed a quick break in the sun before mounting back up for our return trip.
We hadn’t made it very far before we were forced to take another break when we got stopped by a coal train at the railroad crossing. There’s a lot of rail traffic on that line and it isn’t unusual to get stopped. There’s a siding there where trains often pull off to wait for an oncoming to pass. When that happens, you can sometimes walk up the tracks a few hundred feet and cross in front of it. It’s generally easier to head in a different direction altogether. Luckily, this one passed by without stopping so we were only delayed a few minutes.
By the time we were approaching the river valley again, both Pam and I were feeling a pretty good burn in our legs from spinning in the wind. We laughed at the idea that our actual calorie burn was going to be greater than any of our calculators would give us credit for because as Pam put it, we were “riding with our brakes on” all the time. It didn’t matter, though, because it was good to get out together and get some exercise.
Besides that, we felt like we had “earned” a really nice lunch!
You can click the map above for the complete GPS track.
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