Friday, April 08, 2011
290.9 miles down, 709.1 to go!!
My original plan for today's ride was to meet a girlfriend for a ride. Well, she cancelled out on me, so I was on my own. This actually worked out well because I had a million things on my agenda.
I did the loop from my house. The wind was mild, but there was a 50% chance of rain. I made it about 24 miles before I got wet. It wasn't bad, though. Just some passing showers.
I pushed myself a little harder than usual to save time. I ended up with an average of 16.3! That, for me, is pretty fast. I'm built for distance, not speed!
No riding tomorrow. Well, maybe riding a different vehicle. A group of us are hopping in a van and traveling over 500 miles to Natchez, MS. On Sunday, we'll be starting to bike the entire Natchez Trace. The highlight for tomorrow is that I get to meet a couple Sparkfriends. Classicalshelly and Smartlady66 are driving 2 hours just to meet me and have dinner. How exciting is that!! I'll definitely take pictures of ALL of the fun!
"Parden me boys. Is that the Chattanooga Choo Choo?"
This is a dog I have named "The Gate Keeper." If you come upon him, you only get to pass when HE decides you can pass. It took a lot of talking and I slowly walked my bike away. Good thing I'm not afraid of dogs!
Well, if I survive a day packed in a van with 11 other people, I will keep you updated on our trip.
Have a good one!
Thursday, April 07, 2011
259.8 miles down, 740.2 to go!!
Today, when I got out of bed, my right knee was letting me know that it needed a break. It didn't hurt, but it was very weak. It's a good thing that I had a nice, easy ride planned for the day.
Every Thursday morning, the Chattanooga Bike Club has an Urban Ride. It's a slow paced, social ride that is usually followed by lunch at a local restaurant. It's one of my favorite rides because the people that are regulars are the best! It's mostly retired folks who just love to bike. What better company can you get?
So, I drove 30 miles to do a 23.5 mile ride and then drove 30 miles home. It was worth it!
We started at the base of Lookout Mountain in the Incline Railway parking lot. Now, for those of you not familiar with Chattanooga, there are mountains running through the city. (Thus the nickname "The Scenic City.") Lookout is known all over by the signs you see that say, "See Rock City." I've seen these signs all the way up into Kentucky. Rock City is a tourist trap located on top of Lookout Mountain.
Okay...I got off track. We took off and circled through the 'projects' to start the ride. It's safe in the morning because all of the gang bangers are sound asleep. lol From there we slowly made our way to Flintstone (yes, there is a place called Flintstone!) and back to St. Elmo, which is the area at the base of the mountain.
The weather was perfect. The winds were finally kind to us at only 8-10 mph. The sun was shining, warming us up to the mid 60's by the end of the ride.
All in all, it was another beautiful day on my bike! Here are some highlights:
The Incline Railway is a fun way to get to the top of the mountain. In the winter, when it's icy, it's the only way for the residents to get up there. This train has been running for almost 100 years.
Taking a break with a mountain view.
I saw this machine in a gas station. I don't even want to think about what it looks like when it dispenses chili. I think I'll pass on a chili cheese dog after seeing this!
Some of the nicest bikers you could meet!
More wonderful bikers! The man in the foreground is almost 82 years old!! Now, that's inspiring!
Hope you all have a great day!!
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
236.3 miles down, 763.7 to go!!
What a glorious day to ride! It was a cool morning, with blue skies and good company.
I met a friend in Apison, TN this morning. We were just going to make our ride up as we went along. When I got there, I asked, "Feel like climbing?" There's this giant hill that I've only driven in my car that a friend told me 'makes grown men cry.' Now, that's a challenge!! We decided to tackle it today.
We put on about 15 miles before we got to the hill. Now, hills always seem huge from a distance and then the closer you get to them, they look smaller. Well, that was not the case with this one. We felt like we were coming to a wall! Here are some pictures:
This is a shot from a distance.
Lauren is smiling because she knows she's almost to the top!
Getting ready to go down. Woo Hoo!
Check out the maximum speed on my odometer after coming down that hill!! 50.3 freakin' mph!!! That is definitely a personal record!
After the hill, we continued on to my house and had a quick lunch while sitting in the sun. The wind had picked up again, but the temperature was getting nicer by the minute. We tried a new route back to our cars that was really nice.
All in all, it was a fun ride. Lots of girl talk and laughing. And....we kicked a killer hill's a$$!!
No, she didn't crash. Just doing a little 'parking lot yoga' at the end of the ride.
Hope you have the sun on your face and the wind at your back!
Tuesday, April 05, 2011
195.3 miles down, 804.7 to go!
Today was a shorter ride. I decided to do an evening club ride called the Tuesday Night Fun Ride. It usually lives up to it's name, too.
We met at the Lighthouse Church, which we affectionately call the Bubble Church. Here's a picture that will explain that.
(Looks more like a circus tent than a church!)
The wind was something to contend with again. I sure wish someone would turn the fan off! I can handle hills, but I hate wind!! It always seems to be windy on the rides that our friend, Dick, leads. So, we have given him the nickname "Windy Dick."
It helps to be in a group in the wind because you can hunker down behind everyone and draft. (I have no pride)
Here's how I fight the wind.
On the way back, the wind died down a little and we spread out. It was just beautiful as the sun went down over the trees. The countryside was gorgeous!! Here are some pictures:
What a view!
I was racing these horses, but I don't think they were trying too hard.
Only 22.1 miles today, but I have a longer ride planned for tomorrow.
Keep on rolling, Everyone!
Monday, April 04, 2011
173.2 miles down, 826.8 to go!
Last night, I looked at the weather forecast and saw that there was a storm coming in late today and the winds would increase as the day went on. So, I got myself out there early as to not suffer so much! It was in the 60's and cloudy, but the sun peeked out a few times. I would guess the winds at 10-15 mph at that time.
I did the loop out of my house, but I did it backwards to go against the wind in the beginning, to be pushed back home. It's funny how you can do the same ride backwards and see so many different things. It was another beautiful ride!
Here are some highlights:
This is one of my favorite old barns. I wish the price of gas was still as low as the sign!
This is what I call the Cee-ment Pond. It's a public swimming pond with a cement bottom.
I stopped to take a picture of what I thought were wild turkeys out in the field. When they came closer, I realized they were guinea hens!
Heavy storms headed our way that will last through the night. Looks like I might have an evening ride tomorrow. My throat has been a little sore this afternoon, so I'm going to baby myself to keep from it getting worse. I still have a long journey ahead of me!!
Have a good one!
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