Mike, Dave and Chad joined Pam and I Saturday morning on a 50 mile loop down through Ozark and R0gersville. It’s a loop that is becoming one of my favorites in spite of a few miles on Highway B north of Rogersville.
We got an early start to the day, ensuring pleasant temperatures throughout the ride and beautiful early morning light as we crossed the river and rode out through Mentor. Spirits were high as we pedaled into the morning and conversation was sprinkled with laughter most of the morning.
We knew the mileage would equal Dave’s longest ride ever, and we warned him that there would be hills! Suffice it to say, he was dragging by the time we got back to the house, but we all thought he had an impressive ride for no longer than he has been cycling. Good job, buddy!
After the awesome sweeping downhill on Cottonwood to the Finley River bottom, we crossed the bridge and challenged ourselves on the Hawkens Hill. Well, some of us challenged ourselves more than others. Mike managed to ride it in the big chain ring! Talk about an animal – or perhaps he just has too much energy.
After brushing the outskirts of Ozark, we set our sights on Rogersville but before we could get there, we knew we would have to cross the river again.
As we made our way over the ridge, Pam pointed out the beautiful wildflowers in bloom along the ditches. They were everywhere.
As we crossed the river for the second time and began our third serious climb of the day, I’m sure David may have been thinking he was about to die, but we got to take a break about five miles later and he seems to have survived.
We pulled into an empty Hardees, but within minutes, the place started filling up with cyclists. The first was Joe, a co-worker with Chad and I at the Utility.
We’ve ridden with Joe and his wife quite a bit, but it’s been a while. His arrival was quickly followed by a tandem piloted by Gary, and then several other single bike riders.
While we were stopped, Mike made sure he was well fueled with a really thick looking sandwich from Subway. He was complaining that the girl making it was trying to be stingy with the vegetables, but it sure looked like he got his money’s worth!
From Rogersville, we headed east, then took White Oak to the north. I really like that road, but once you ride it, you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere with no options but to ride on Highway B or Highway AD for a while. Both are state highways that get a little bit of traffic, usually traveling quite a bit faster than on our preferred country roads. We survived it though and quickly turned onto Highway D facing our fourth significant climb! From there, we got a break on the flats and rollers between Rogersville and the river, then had to deal with the James River valley to get home.
I had hoped to be home by 10:00 am, but we missed it by a few minutes…I guess we should have gotten started on time!
We couldn’t have asked for a better day! Good weather. Good roads. Good friends. Good ride!
You can click the map at the top for the full GPS track.
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