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

Monday, May 30, 2011

AMBA - 2011- Continued

Thursday night, the rain started after we headed into town for dinner at our sponsors of the day, Mike and Ed's BBQ. True to our regular calling, we missed no gastronomical opportunities on this trip.

While we dined, the storms blew through, and while limbs back at the park fell close to our humble abode, none fell ON it. Came close to Max's truck though

Friday and Saturday, we drove to a remote start location for each day's routes. On Friday, we drove to the Opelika Sportsplex and headed off to West Point Lake and dam. It was an enjoyable, mostly level and not too windy ride. The Dam itself has a roadway and we pedaled it. For a change of pace today, and because he had mentioned some saddle discomfort with his Koobie saddle, I offered to let Max try my spare Selle Anatomica. Yes, Since the SUV was along, I packed EVERYTHING in my garage "just in case." The extra tires and bike tools were not used, but you know how that works. Anyway, I welcomed Max to the land of leather. Looks pretty good, I think.

He said something about ordering himself one after we got back home... Here are some assorted pictures.

The first one is the rest stop at the entrance way to the West Point Dam. The next is the road on the dam. Then me on the road.

Lunch was at the "Irish Bred" pub in Lanett. We met two of the other touring cyclists there, Mike and Marjorie. She is the president of Alabike, a state cycling advocacy group. What caught my eye first of course, is that they were on his and hers Rivendell Romulus bikes. So we parked them all together and took a few pictures, none of which are that good.

From there we just pedaled on back to the car and made our way to "home."

Our last day was Saturday and we drove to the Lake Oliver Marina in Columbus and biked through town, along the RiverWalk and through Ft Benning. The flattest route of the 4 days, it still was a challenge, as our legs cooled off after point of interest stop. The stops today were the most interesting. The Confederate Naval Museum, The US Army Infantry Museum, and of course cruising through very bike-friendly Columbus. Although there were plenty of eateries there, we opted to stop on base at a Subway, because it was there and we were hungry. Some pictures:

It was emotional for me to revisit Ft Benning and the Infantry exhibits. I wore the OD get up in one of the pictures, and did OCS here in '73. I exchanged a few comments about how some things never change with soldiers and the military with a female OCS candidate who was also there touring, and was totally caught off guard when she said, "Thank you for your service." No one ever did that before. It's not something I ever wanted thanks for, but it was very moving. I wished her a successful OCS and ensuing career.

Today was "Armadillo" day for road signs. We tried not to confuse the yellow painted ones for these others which we quite plentiful;

On the way back, we had a bit of adventure. I noticed Max's wheel wobbling and he stopped to check it. Turns out a broken spoke was at fault and Max did a field expedient zip tie fix!

On the way through town, we found a bike shop, and they had a new spoke in there in 30 mins and under $20!

All in all, it was a good trip. Tour director Peter Wolf did a superb job on a modest budget, with ample help from his family and friends. Mama Ralphel's catering was something to look forward to every morning. The rides were all good and shorter options available for those who wanted them. The time of year was great for sleeping weather in a tent and generally for riding. Thanks to Max for asking if we should do this. Yes, Max, it was a good idea.

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