May 27, 2007
We spent quite a while messing with my bike before leaving, it had a back tire flat, and I had buy new rubber and put it on with Jojo’s help. But I got the tire a little too wide, and had to take it back, and we finally got it changed out at the Bike Garage, they rock for sure, to get it done at 3:30 on a Sunday afternoon. We got back and in place, including the complex connection for the internal hub. Then it rained like crazy for a while, it was not looking good, all the signs were against a good ride. As it turned out to be one of the best of the year, I have to say that perserverance and working through problems in a relaxed yett persistant manner can lead to amazing results.
So it was a late start, and when we got to Jackson Creek School we heard rain coming in, then felt it, and we sprinted for the school, where we hid under the overhang by the nearest door. There were about 8 guys down in the field playing softball, the rain did not bother them, they kept playing…for a while. After about 5 minutes of downpour, the lightening picked up, and a blast of wind and water came right at us, pushing us against the doorway, it must have be at least 40mph when it came in. Then it was tropical downpour for another 5 minutes, then sunshine.
We took off, rode up the hill and headed to Harrell, we ate up some miles till Stipp Rd, and were a bit cautious coming down the hill as it was wet. We got to the lake, dipped our bikes into the water and gazed out yonder over the water. We saw something out in the water, maybe someone in a small inflatable, but they he stood up and started paddling towards us. We stood there amazed as Bill (see Feb 11 ride), who we had seen on his surfboard last year, but did not get to talk to him till we met him on this year’s ice trip.
Jojo took the board out one more time while Bill got his truck and dog Rosa, the most amazing swimmer I have ever seen, what an amazingly well trained dog. Bill got his board loaded just as another storm came tearing through, we hid under a couple of cedars, but after a while there was no hiding, it was just plain wet. So as so as it let up enough to see we headed out, and up the hill to 446. We felt fine, certainly no problems with heat, so we kept going to Pine Grove, which was incredibley beautiful with the fog hanging over distant ridges. We waited out a final storm in the woods, then headed home, not tired, but exilerated by our wettest ride of the year.
Weather: Sun, clouds, rain, wind and calm. Several serious storms, we needed the rain! Temp: 65-80 degrees.
Flora/Fauna: High-backed box turtles crossing the road, they do this every time it rains in summer. We scared a buzzard along the roadside who flew up along with us for a while, then winged off into the woods, barely making it between two trees, the yelling at us as we went by. I remembered a recent new article about a cyclist being attacked by a buzzard in England and kept pedaling. There were so many smells, we just could not identify all the various scents, but with sweet earthy smell of new rain, the flowers’ aromas hung in pockets all along the road.
Route: Bike route to Rhorer Rd at Sare Rd., east to Harrell, south to Moffett, east again past Handy and down Stipp Rd. to the lake. Up Schwartz Ridge to 446, south to Pine Grove Rd, which we rode to th end. Back up Pine Grove and 446 to town.
Distance: 35 miles