Mostly recaps of two wheeled rambles through the countryside, but sometimes thoughts on other things.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Fat Girl's Cafe - Billingsly, AL

Joe is out of town today (his sort of step-son, a young man they took in for a while years ago when tragedy struck his family, is making his major league baseball debut in St. Louis. Joe and his wife went to see him play.) and he wants in on our planned century ride to Auburn, so we looked for another route to use today. Frank said he wanted about 3,500' of climb and 75 miles. I got the elevation (we did 3,600 today) but fell short on the mileage (only 65.4) but we agreed at the end it was a fine outing. Max joined us, his first Saturday excursion on the new Trek Pilot. He was resplendent in color matched to the bike outfit, and even matched water bottles. Max has quickly learned from Andre Agassi who used to pitch cameras saying, "Image is everything." As it turns out, Max rides pretty good too! Bill brought his Salsa LaRazza today, with his robust wheel set instead of the El Car-bons. He must have skimmed prior blog entries and picked up that we sometimes leave the smooth pavement. We did today, on CR 24, but it wasn't bad. Bill's looking slimmer and riding well. He and wife Julia are doing P90X, God bless 'em. Sounds too intense for me.

The appointed departure time was O-Dark Thirty, and I left the house with a blinky flasher attached to my jersey and was first to the meeting place. The bike was ready!


  The rider? Not so much.

Anyway, we got going with the Sun and made decent time in the pretty much all uphill starting 15 miles. Our first rest was at Posey Crossroads, a frequent water point on weekly club rides as well. As usual, Frank loaded up on water and ice. I got the bathroom key and UNloaded a couple gallons of coffee myself. We got there while the Sun was still pretty low, but the humidity was pretty high and we were sweating up a storm.

From here we had a relatively flat (actually some very long steady 1% and 2% grades) ride to Old Kingston and up to White City. Past White City we turned onto CR 24 which led to CR 37. Both were coarse for most of the way, but lightly traveled. The only dogs that came out just wanted to run with us, not at us, and there were not too many of those. Some pretty good climbs between White City and Billingsly and the final climb to the restaurant was a killer. You EARN your meal there, I tell you. You can see it at the top of the hill, and if you could smell the aroma I bet that would put new energy in tired legs, but you can't so we pushed on with what we had.  We were glad to pull in the parking lot and ditch our gear. I toweled off outside so as not to drip all over the furniture. Here's the gang doing the same. L-R it's Frank,Max, and Bill.

Kim, our server, and Miss Avon, the owner, were rich in southern hospitality and delightful to visit with. The menu certainly supported a large girth lifestyle, but we did not care. Frank asked for pancakes, not listed under breakfast, and they were happy to make him some. Ditto for bill. Max had an omelet the size of Texas and biscuit and gravy that would cover Oklahoma as well. He could not eat it all. I went with a Texas Toast sandwich containing bacon, eggs, cheese and mayo. Yummers. Frank bought one of the T-shirts they sell.

From there we rode the rollers of US 82 back towards Prattville. The road is fine, but a little more heavily trafficked than we like, and not much of a shoulder to stay on. We were glad to get off it at Booth and get back on rural roads. Unfortunately, the C-Store I planned on for our mile 50 rest/re-fill water bottles stop is closed up and the property is for sale. We ran on "dry" (as in out of water) for about 5 more miles to downtown Prattville and found a store there instead. By then the Sun was strong, the mercury high and we were all thinking how good a shower and change of clothes might feel! During a roadside pull off just before downtown, I heard a clink and noticed that my saddle stretching bolt (Selle Anatomica) had worked out and dropped to the ground! I'll have to look into that later. Good that it happened today, since this bike is going on vacation with me to VA (Tour De Valley Century, 9/5) and I don't want to be sitting on my seat post instead of the saddle then! I had all wool on today and I really liked the New Old Stock Kucharik shorts. They have a genuine leather chamois and it was super comfortable. It was the 1st wearing of a Brooks jersey (closeout at Ben's Cycles online) and I liked it pretty well, other than the embroidery chafed my chest a little. It may need a thin base layer. So, stats were 65.4 miles at 15.2 avg and we all felt pretty good.

Next week may be lunch at Toomer's in Auburn. There will be pictures , no matter where we dine!  I want to give a nod as well today to Jodee McCabe who is riding in the Pelotonia Ride in OH to support her husband Dan (Dan is a stage IV renal cancer patient) Jodee's (Joanne, more formally) ride page is here if you want to look at at, and it has her blog address as well for interested readers.

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