Sunday Tandem Time!
With the rain finally out of the picture for a few days, Sunday afternoon turned into an exquisitely delightful day. Perfect for a bike ride!
We met Mike at Elwood about 2:15 to try out a partially new route of almost 35 miles. Instead of going to Ash Grove, I had mapped out a looping route taking us to Halltown. You never know what you may end up with doing that from the internet, but this was a pretty nice route, and Pam reminded me that we had actually been on those roads once before.
That time, however, it wasn’t so fun. We had started out to do the 50 mile loop from Elwood to through Halltown, then over to Ash Grove and back. On the way to Halltown, we had been fighting a ferocious wind, and we made the executive decision to take the “shortcut” marked on our map. Well, that shortcut ended up being pretty hilly and after fighting the wind for 20 miles, I remember those hills just whipping my tail!
Not today, however. We were fresh, and the hills came early in the ride, so they didn’t seem very bad at all. We worked well together and only had to get into a really low gear one time coming up out of a creek bottom.
We were also really impressed with how the new Garmin 500 handles pre-plotted courses. The functionality is basically the same as my old 305, but much, much better. The old Garmin didn’t indicate a turn until you were right on it or maybe even past it. We were continually missing turns to the point where it was comical. Not so, with the new one. It gives you plenty of notice when a turn is coming up. We didn’t come close to missing any Sunday, and I think I would have to be very distracted to miss one using that GPS. I was very pleased.
There were a few times when we were able to get in front of Mike, but those were few and far between. What you see in the two pictures above is our standard view of him when we ride the tandem!
We stopped at the Halltown c-store for our usual Snickers and enjoyed some nice banter with an old-fart farmer who had stopped for gas. As we left, Mike mentioned that the guy was pretty funny. Pam reminded him that we usually get lots of attention and people talking to us when we’re on the tandem. It’s kind of ironic…neither of us are that outgoing, but that bike just draws people to us!
While we were stopped we took the time to apply some much needed sunscreen to our pasty white arms and legs. It’s been so long since we needed to think about it that we got out of the habit. Luckily, we’ve been carrying around a “trial size” tube that we picked up on some ride years ago. It seems like we’ve had it in our bag forever, waiting on just this occasion. As we slathered it on, we wondered, “Does sunscreen have an expiration date?”. It seemed to be effective, so I guess it’s alright.
From Halltown, we headed back on familiar roads, although about the time we hit the 30 mile mark I could tell that both Pam and I were getting tired. She’s not ridden much yet this year, and I had ridden pretty hard on Saturday, so it didn’t surprise me. In addition, this was our longest ride of the year on the tandem.
You can click the map above for the full GPS track.
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