Knowing that there will be plenty of opportunity for the next several months, if not longer, to volunteer to do storm clean up and rebuilding work, I opted to ride today. The early morning start left time in the afternoon to finish some meeting minutes that needed doing, as well as to prepare tomorrow's lesson. Also, with a cycling vacation coming up in 2 weeks with longish rides every day, I need to keep my legs in shape. There was no mid week riding as Tuesday was a rain out, and Thursday was church. We gathered for the National Day of Prayer and did just that. It was pretty good too. A systematic listing of things and people to pray for. Prayer is one of those things that we find ourselves saying, "I don't know why I don't do that more often." Especially when you read or hear about God's providential care, or some miraculous happening. Like this one from Tuscaloosa.( http://www.facebook.com/notes/randy-robbins/there-and-back-again-a-hobbits-tale-4272011-please-take-this-with-a-sense-of-hum/10150291433407524 )
Anyway, one the oldest routes I have mapped on MapMyRide from 2007 is a 50 miler with some hills that starts/finishes downtown. By riding to/from my house, it becomes a metric. With a goal of 24 this year, I need these lengthened rides.Joe came by and parked at my place, and together we departed at 6:30 to find Max. Weaving through the throng of early garage sale treasure hunters on his block, we found him 1/2 way through a banana breakfast. He was concerned about the 51F air, but I assured him that he'd warm up on the 1st climb. With 85F forecast for later in the day, it had to warm up quickly.
The 3 of us took the near deserted Main St to downtown where we found the central shopping district cordoned off for CityFest day. Detouring around, we found Frank parked at the Pasta Mill. Like Max, he was thinking about the cool air and set out with his jacket on. I knew it would be off by the 1st store stop. I was cool on some of the descents, but breaking a sweat on the climbs, so I just left the house in the usual wool jersey and shorts.
We left town and headed up towards Posey Crossroad. Good roads, easy riding traffic wise and some hills. After the break we turned West towards Old Kingston. By this time, I was leading from the back.
Basically, I was running about 2 mph slower than these guys today, but not fretting it. I just didn't like pulling the line and feeling I was holding them up. I rode much if not most of the day solo, about 1/2 to 1 mile behind the group. We'd stay together a little while upon leaving store stops, etc, which is how I got this picture.
I rode the Rivendell Rambouillet today. With 85 psi in the tires, it felt quicker, but it really wasn't. Looking back over the year to date, the Ram averages about 14 mph, the Saluki 13. The Mark III and the Riv Road both average 15. So a total spread of only 2 mph on average. I think it's the rider :) Today, I averaged 14.3 mph. No surprise there.
There were a few frisky dogs today, but no biters. One ran out at my bike, and thought better of it, skidding to a stop. These two came out to show me how fierce they were, but the gray beard on the lead dog and his belly showing frequent attendance at the chow dish said other wise.
The dog who punctured my Saluki saddle bag made an appearance today too, but his owner was out and immediately retrieved him. No harm, no foul. I think Frank and Joe who were out ahead of me had a different experience.
Autauga County has a lot of farm land. Some of the farmers have lovely large farmhouses. I like this one with the porches quite well.
Our 2d store stop of the day was Bubba's in Marbury. The customers there were very friendly and we chatted about bikes they used to have and so forth. I asked Mrs. Bubba if she was a mom, and wished her a happy Mother's Day, which made her smile. This guy was also there and we asked him what smelled so good. He was smoking butts and ribs and going to Millbrook to sell. He left before we did but we caught up with him at the RR Xing. It was tough to sit there while my mouth was watering from the aroma of BBQ! You can see a bit of smoke coming out.
The rest of the ride was fine. Just a great morning to be out with friends on bikes! The metrics: 63.01 mi, 14.3 mph. Cadence still slow at 77. Climbed 3,274' Some talk of doing the century ride from Prattville to Red's for lunch and back. The route needs tweaking though.