I took off late Thursday afternoon to ride part of the route I had planned for the solo century that got preempted by the grandbaby earlier in the week. I had planned a southern leg that went down through the outskirts of Ozark to nearly Sparta, and a northern leg through Strafford and Fair Grove. Because the southern leg was some newer roads to me, that’s what I chose. Pam was at a work function, so I knew I had at least a couple of hours before I would be expected back.
With forecasts for rain later in the evening, the skies were a dreary gray and there was a little wind from the northwest. Between those things, it wasn’t the most pleasant day to be out, but it was at least warm enough for shorts and a long sleeve base layer.
I was pedaling easily, and the miles just flew by. Before I knew it, I had passed down Smyrna road, up McCracken, had wandered over and beyond J Highway and was crossing the Finley river for the second time. I was right with the world, and the world was right with me. Traffic was virtually non-existent, and the dogs behaved as well.
As I passed through Rogersville, I encountered a bit of an obstacle to my progress:
Yep..a train stopped on the siding. As I approached, I was pretty sure I could hear a westbound train coming, so I figured it would be just a few minutes. Sure enough, within about two minutes, here comes the westbounder, and it was a long one! It finally passed, so I patiently waited for the eastbound train to clear itself out of my way. And waited…and waited…and waited. Finally, I decided it must be waiting for another westbound train, so I turned around and headed back to FR183 to get around it.
When I got home, I was astounded to see an 18 mph average speed for the 40 miles. I felt like I was riding fairly easily, and although there were some fairly flat spots around Rogersville, it was hilly further south. I guess it just goes to show that a day off every now and again is beneficial!
You can click the link above for the full GPS track.
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