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

Saturday, September 25, 2010

See You in September...

Remember that hit by The Happenings? The part that applies to this blog entry is "When the Summer's through." Sadly, my favorite time of the year has once again conceded its place to Fall, with shorter hours of daylight, and a more crowded calendar.
September went out in good order however. Last Saturday, I joined my old gang at the Club Lite ride, and we did 32 miles together. Along this stretch, I got the first flat I've had in 2 years. Everyone stopped to ask if I needed help. Some were happy to have a reason to take a break! As it happened, I was probably the best prepared person there to do a field repair of any kind, let alone quick change a tube. There seemed to be no puncture of the tire, and nothing sticking into the tube, so I put the new one in and got home just fine. When we got to the cars, we used it as a rest stop and several of us did another 23 miles. The sneaky thermometer inched up from the delightful 70s of the first part of the day to 99F mid way into that second loop, and a couple of riders were not happy about it! It was still great to see familiar faces and enjoy the camaraderie and Ann's soprano foghorn err, I mean singing.... :) I got home, patched the tube and it's still holding air a week later.

Today we did a "destination ride." Joe was supposed to introduce us to his new Rivendell Hillborne, but he had to cover for a sick co worker and passed on the ride. 5 of us went from Pintlala to Luverne for lunch, except that 1 of us, Ray pedaled to Pintlala from Prattville, adding 23 miles each way to his total. Way to go Ray! I carpooled with Max. Here we are while the weather is still sunny, although the humidity and heat were both higher than forecast. Front to back: Ray, Tim, Max, Angela.

We stopped at the 1/2 way point to our destination (at 18 miles) and tried to get salt out of our eyes.

It was a Shell station, and the young Indian girl behind the register was studying wold history. Her father said, "We hope she will be a big winner on Jeopardy!" That's a new retirement plan idea. I should look into that with our son. My original thought that he might go on the pro golf tour and I could caddy for him doesn't look too promising, since he has never played golf.
Angela pronounced the restroom "uninhabitable" and we found another venue to stop at on the return leg of the trip.

The traffic on the way there along US 97 and US 331 was not bad. US 331 has a narrow shoulder sufficient for bikes and which kept us out of the traffic lane, which we liked. While US 97 had a lot of elevation, US 331 was more gradual in inclines.
There were some things to see along the way. Here, The Clampett family gets a quick trip to the store in:

We got to Luverne (1st time for me) and discovered that they don't shoot strangers.

The building in the background is Smart AL LLC, a tier 1 or 2 supplier to Hyundai. I didn't know this was the location, but we shipped a project here from work back in June. It's a Korean company, just like the automaker is.

Soon, we made it to lunch destination:

I'd heard nothing but rave reviews of this place, and it did not disappoint. For $5, I got a home made 1/2 fried chicken (not greasy, dipped in flour, not batter) and choice of 3 veggies. I only took two, some really good green beans and delicious roasted seasoned potatoes. Lots more carbs than my usual, but fine for fuel, and I cooked off 3,600 of them today anyway. About double what I ate in total of all meals. No where to lock up our bikes, but they were all there when we were finished. Angela observed that the generally senior crowd, many using canes and walkers, was not likely to want our bikes. Everyone was, as the sign says, friendly.

You'll note the blue color in the picture above. Rain. Lots of it. We were still in Sun for a little while though. We pulled in at a store in Luverne to top off our water bottles, and a ribs skinny old pit bull wandered into the area. Tail wagging, he did not look like a threat. Ray wondered, "Will he leave us alone if I feed him?" and ran inside to buy a dog snack. I kid you not. Here is Ray offering "Bowwowser" some peanut butter crackers.

Another good Samaritan came out with a sack of dry dog food and poured some out. Guess which option the dog (now overcome with amazement at his new friend's unexpected largess no doubt) chose? If you picked Peanut butter, you are a winner. When last seen, the dog was trotting behind Ray back towards Prattville... No, actually, he stayed in the store parking lot.

We encountered some brisk headwinds generated by local storm cells, and of course, it was 14 mile upgrade on US 331 to Highland Home from Luverne. It was a steady 1% - 3% and very doable in a rhythm. Wet patches of road started to appear under our wheels and Max wisely chose the mid leg stop point. Just as we tucked in under the shed:

It eased a little, then poured some more, then eased a little, Finally, I said, "Let's go. I think we'll ride out of it in less than 3 miles." Which is what happened. Before we left I asked our restroom critic for a review of this place, but she said she was done checking out the facilities in dumpy looking places. It was a mob scene anyway. $2.39 a gallon for gas, against $2.59 everywhere else.

The rest of the way back was almost uneventful. A truck came up behind Max and Angela om US 97 and hit his horn needlessly which gave them a startle. I think the rest of the ride was actually very good. Angela's previous long ride was about 50 miles I think she told us. So in addition to being the 1st distaff member of the Prattville Randonneurs, she blasted through her own record for a new personal best. Way to go!  And she was plenty spunky at the end too:

Spunky, but her legs were tired :) 

Well, that's a wrap for the pictures. A few others will go on FaceBook. The stats: Rode the Saluki on Grand Bois Oursons. Li'l Loafer and Kevens bags, filled to the brim. Bike was great. Comfortable, sure footed on wet stuff. Fenders came in handy :) No trouble staying up with the others despite about a 18 lb weight penalty. We all took turns moving up and down the line. 74 miles +/-, 15.4 avg. 3,070' climbed. 78 avg cadence.


Roxy Wishum said...

Great job documenting your adventure, Bruce. I can't believe you encountered rain! You did a good job getting yourself in the photo at the first store stop using the mirrored window. Kudos to Ray for a huge day riding 125!

Fully Lugged said...

Hey Roxy! Keen eyes there. I totally missed the reflection in the window.

Philip Williamson said...

Nice ride report. I love the detail.
Pretty dog! I love pits.
Doesn't Smart Al LLC spell "smart alec?" No?

Fully Lugged said...

Thanks for stopping by Phillip! Glad you enjoyed the post.

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