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

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Red's Schoolhouse For Lunch!

Grady, Al is little more than a back country 4 corners slice of life as it once was in much of central Alabama, but it does feature fine country style home cooking at a converted one room schoolhouse which dates from a long time ago. Frank asked only that today's ride be about a metric century in length (62 miles) and left the rest up to me. I borrowed from a number of club routes and mashed them up to get a 63.3 mile jaunt with mostly rolling hills. Less climbing than last weekend, and spread over 50% more distance. The easier work out was a good idea for me, as I have been off all forms of exercise this week with an annoying malady that we'll call a "cold" although I suspect it was more some kind of bacterial thing than a virus. The weather was fine. Cloudy and cool to start (53F) but warming to about 72F and sunny by the time we were done. 4 of of us met at Pintlala Baptist Church and would have rolled out of the parking lot at 8:30. At 8:30, Ray called to say he was 5 minutes out and behind some people traveling well under the speed limit. We looked at each other and no words were necessary, just smiles. I'm glad he came, and always glad for blog material. Ray is going back to climb Cheaha again tomorrow with Ron, who actually pedaled the 100 miles there today and is camping overnight (hopefully at the BASE and not the summit). With all 5 us ready, we rode 23 miles to the Ramer store for a stop, and then another 16 to the restaurant for lunch. From there, it was 24 more miles back to the start. It was also the 1st day of gun deer season and I don't recall hearing any rifles going off. We saw a lot of folks dressed out of the Mossy Oak Catalog though.( The few that we spoke with gave positive replies to questions on their success. I've never hunted (and no fish will bite a lure that I am holding the rod to) but I know it's a big deal to many people.

As usual, I wore multiple woolen layers today. An Ibex l/s baselayer under a Joneswares s/s jersey and Joneswares shorts as well. Wool socks too. It all worked well. I was never too hot or too cold. A wool cap that Jackie Walz made to try and match the blue of my Rambouillet kept my noggin in good order. As it warmed up, we removed what we didn't need. Here, Bill has taken off his jacket and stands in stark black & white contrast to that colorful tree behind him.

Most of the roads today were coarse pavement or worse. Here is a shot I took while pedaling as steadily as I could on a logging road we traveled on. It was very cool, and 36 mm semi-knobby tires at 50 psi made it very secure feeling, but you get the idea:

About 10 miles after this shot, we pulled up to Red's. Never one to miss a meal, Max was there in his Mossy Oak outfit and pick up truck. Frank, Joe, Bill, Ray and I decided he could join us, if he was paying. I don't think that plan worked out, but it was still good company and great food.

There's a large blackboard in the picture because Red's really was a schoolhouse. Maybe in the late 1800s to early 1900s, I'm guessing. Presidential portraits ring the main dining area - the kind they have in schools - and a signed picture taken in the restaurant with George H.W.  Bush (#41) sits behind the register. He has been in the area to fish with Ray Scott (who may be familiar to any bass catching readers). We've run into Ray at Pintlala Baptist Church which is where (I believe) he attends, and where we park our cars for bike rides.  Our menu today included BBQ, fried chicken, various cold salads, corn cakes (I had two of these, they were wonderful), various veggies, beans, and home made pies. I went for some pecan pie myself. Ray ordered pie too, and then was too full to eat it. Agonized to learn that it was NOT included with the buffet price, he handed it to Frank who pronounced it "good." Max had chocolate pie, and I don't know what the others chose.

The ride from the restaurant was perhaps my second favorite part, after the "Roughriders Adventure Corps" logging roads ( as it featured some long winding climbs and descents. More descents than climbs and some tailwinds as well. Ray looked pretty comfortable today, trying out un clipped shoes on platform pedals. I'm not sure about those tights though.

I am a loss with any newfangled equipment. I know, I have become my grand mother. But anyway, just as I cannot operate a VCR or DVD player or work the channel guide on our cable box, I have yet to successfully download a GPX file to my Garmin. So, I go by memory. I've been on all these roads before, but in today's case, it was maybe 4 years ago. Hopefully the gang will forgive me for leading us down ONE wrong fork in the road, especially since Frank who CAN figure the Garmin magic out, quickly informed us that we needed to circle back and take the other tine.

So stats:  63.33 miles, 2,758' climbed, 14.8 moving average, and 1 1/2 hrs of off bike time including all breaks and a sit down lunch. Lots of calories eaten but lots expended too.  Joe says his Rivendell Hillborne is a keeper, Bill has a Carbonamas fork on order and maybe we'll get him to trade his Surly Pacer in on something from Walnut Creek yet. It was a good time, and good to share it with friends.

1 comment:

z-man said...

How do you get your photos inserted into your text? When I try to do mine, I can't cut/paste, only paste. Any thoughts?

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