Makeshift roadside memorial
The turtle shell on the memorial. What's that all about?
We beat the heat today despite the fact that we left at 7:30. It was still only 58° according to Howard’s (outofsight) thermometer in the van. Things are getting ready to change big time.
I really couldn’t decide on a route but I did fool around with a few possibilities and hoped to draw on them in order to get our miles. Although it didn’t seem as if yesterday’s ride was a climb-fest the GPS map showed that we had gained well over 5000’ in elevation. It wasn’t all that steep so I guess that’s why it never felt as if we were climbing so much but looking back we did do right smart of it I’d say.
Two things that I wanted to accomplish was to go up Mayodan Mountain on the front side and ride through the unpaved section on Park Rd. Leaving out, we wound up going down Carlton Rd for a little warm up climbing. The cool air made us brake on the way down though and that kinda killed the fun factor. Still we made it through to the four-lanes of US 220 and got lucky enough to ride traffic-free until we got to the spot where we ride down the grassy knoll to Ram Loop Rd.
In no time at all we were riding on Lindsay Bridge Rd from Sardis Church Rd heading towards Madison then on to Mayodan Mountain. By now the air had warmed up rather nicely and the shady spots actually felt good.
We hit the mountain and it was here for the first time today that I felt a little pain in my left knee. This wouldn’t be the last time I would feel it today as well. I’m so used to this mountain though it just seems a normal part of a ride by now. Yeah, I suffer on it but all hills like this are no different. If you go climbing hills you’re gonna hurt; end of story.
Today we would ride the entire length of Park Rd. We usually just do certain parts of it but not so today. As we passed the R/C Park for the model airplanes I noticed that the club members have installed a paved runway for their airplanes. Man, they are a serious bunch.
We ride through the short, unpaved section of Park Rd and it’s here that I have to stop and look at the scenery before us. I never get tired of seeing this no matter what time of year. The fall colors make it spectacular but the summer green is just as beautiful. Even the starkness of winter has its own charm here as well.
I had to stop at the roadside memorial and take a picture. The empty beer bottles are carefully placed around this makeshift monument. I even found an empty shot glass. The most perplexing item was the turtle shell if someone could explain that one please feel free.
Once we were in the creek bottoms the air felt so cool and refreshing. I always get a sense that I’m in the middle of nowhere when we ride through here but there’s a good reason for that; you are in the middle of nowhere.
From here we head up NC 770 towards Sandy Ridge. While we pass through Ayersville the air was electric with excitement. A dog was barking at us and some lady was mowing her lawn. Things were hopping in Ayersville today.
When we turned back towards home on NC 704 we took a right onto Dodgetown Rd. I had a hankering to fly down Dillard Rd knowing full well that the climb out would put a lot of stress on my ever painful knee.
I had to stop and take a picture of the vent cover at the end of an old farm house near the peak of the roof. The vent cover has a cutout of a tobacco plant on it. This was obviously done many, many years ago and as Howard pointed out it was a shame that they hadn’t painted it to stand out better.
Dillard Rd was a blast as I hit 44.9 and Howard got close to 46. The climb out was slow and steady as I tried to favor as easy a gear as I could as not to stress the knee too much.
I knew enough at this point that we would have to zigzag a bit in order to make our miles. We headed back up to K Fork Rd only to turn back onto Bethesda Church Rd. When we got back to NC 772 I thought we would have enough to make our metric.
Pine Hall is decked out in red, white and blue as their annual display of the American flags are proudly hung throughout the community. I always enjoy coming through here this time of year.
About the time we got to Lindsay Bridge Rd Howard received a phone call from his beloved. She informed him that the state DOT was in the process of paving both Boone Rd and Sylvania Rd with the old chip and seal pavement. This was definitely useful information as we like to avoid that nasty stuff for the first few weeks and especially when it’s this fresh.
So we go home via Lauren Rd instead which was fine because we were still gonna be a little short on our miles. When we got to NC 65 I had us turn right and we rode up to NC 68 and turned around and headed for home. This was all it took.
We still had to stop after we crossed US 220 in order to wipe our tires off because of all the tar and tiny gravel the state is using on a lot of the side roads around here. That stuff makes for a rough ride when it’s stuck to your tires and Howard swears he flatted recently because of it. Those tiny little pieces of gravel can work their way into the smallest of cracks in a tire and then a few miles later you’re changing a flat in the blistering sun.
Despite the knee issues we made our miles and now I have to go back to the “fun house” for the next five days. The heat is supposed to kick into high gear starting tomorrow so let’s hope the worst will be over before next Tuesday.
Until next time, keep those pedals turning.
Former movie set in downtown Madison. Watch for the upcoming movie “You Are Here” starring Zach Galifianackis, Owen Wilson and Amy Poehler. This is supposed to be the fictional town of Aronburg, PA.
The Blue Rige Mountains from Moore's Mill Rd
Some days you eat the bear, some days the bear eats you. I could probably rephrase that but it would have to include birds instead of bears and it wouldn’t have anything to with eating. We all know what birds do or should I say do-do. I’ll explain a little later.
I met Howard (outofsight) in front of Collybrooke at 6 o’clock this morning. Howard had an early afternoon appointment and didn’t want to be late but since we leave early this time of year it really isn’t that much of a stretch.
Since I had just gotten off of a seven day work week my legs were primed to say the least. We had a slight northerly breeze and the air felt clean as well as a little chilly. Howard said the van was reading 59° which is the lowest we’ve seen around here in a while. The heat has been rather stifling of late so my first day back couldn’t have been timed any better.
I knew that the wind was gonna pick up later today so without a plan I suggested we go north. North could mean a lot of things but I knew that Stoneville would have to be included in there somewhere and then the thought hit me; why not dip into Virginia.
Instead of the usual route to Stoneville it occurred to me that we could go up through Madison and Mayodan and go past the Mayo River State Park. Most of the time we go via the Stone Mountain Rd direction but today was special or so it seemed, so why not try something out of the ordinary.
We made it past the dogs at the Mineral Springs Rd turn-off and we were in Madison in no time flat. Howard wanted to go by the former movie set from last week to see what was left. Some of the outside features were left up and I think the owners plan on keeping it that way for a while. If the movie becomes a big hit then it may boost tourism.
Whenever we ride through Stoneville on our way to Virginia, we always come back into North Carolina via Anglin Mill Rd. This barely gets us into Virginia when we cross back over the state line. Then it struck me; we hadn’t been on that Moore’s Mill Rd since way back in 2009. Back then we had come the other way and it was in November so this would be a whole new ball game.
This would give us a chance to ride more of Horsepasture-Price Rd than we usually get to do. This road has some really cool twists and turns in it as well as a few short dips and climbs.
Luckily we found Moore’s Mill Rd and turned towards home in a roundabout way. When we got to Deshazo Rd we stopped and I told Howard that Deshazo Rd cuts back to Anglin Mill Rd. The only problem with it was that I thought that it wasn’t paved all the way through. Howard suggested we at least try it so we did.
As we rolled through some of the quietest scenery we’ve ever seen I told Howard that I bet once we hit the state line the pavement would end at that point. There actually are people that live down in here and sure enough, as soon as we hit the state line the pavement was gone.
The road dropped off at a rather steep angle which made the possibility of “rough riding” a tad too dangerous for even us. So we turned around and after seeing a couple of more deer (we’d seen one coming down) we made our way back out to Moore’s Mill Rd. I told Howard that the deer probably outnumbered the people that live down here.
Moore’s Mill Rd is a jewel for sure. Several spots are well shaded by the vast tree cover on this road. Being a narrow road and all once we heard a big truck coming up behind us we got off the road and waited for them to pass. The tractor-trailer (actually it was two of them) that went by us blew his horn in apparent approval of our action. No sense being reckless on this type of road I’m just saying.
We also got a chance to cross over the north fork of the Mayo River on this road but the river wasn’t as visible as it was back in ’09 because of all the leaves being on the trees at this time of year. Still it was a thrill going over it just the same.
We turned onto George Taylor Rd and headed for the state line. Here we got to cross over the south fork of the Mayo River and then we crossed Crooked Creek before climbing back out to North Carolina once again.
Now we would head for home after Bennett Rd and also passing by the Autumn Creek Vineyards. From there we came up the backside of Mayodan Mountain and rode back through Ellisboro. By the time we got to Ellisboro we had our metric sewn up and now we were just padding our mileage.
Many of the tobacco fields look like they have been “laid by” so there won’t be much activity there for a couple of more weeks when the crop comes in “top”. I realize that many of you may be thinking “what?” so maybe one day I can add a glossary to these here pages so that you can follow what’s going on around these here parts.
We came back in with 70 miles in the bag and I feel great. Tomorrow we roll once again and I have no idea where we’re going. Maybe it’ll come to me as we ride tomorrow so stay tuned.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot. We were riding through the streets of Mayodan when something whizzes by my eyes, earthbound as it were. I looked down only to discover that a bird had “bombed” me from above. All of it landing onto my shorts. I’m talking on both legs as well as the front.
Howard said it looked like it had just ate and I have to admit that it seemed as such. Luckily I had an extra paper towel in my jersey pocket and cleaned up my shorts as best I could. That was surely a one in a million shot, a real one in a million shot.
Until next time, keep those pedals turning.
Mailbox post made from a Giant© Bicycle perhaps?
Movie set downtown in Madison. Filming starts tomorrow.
Finishing touches so that the movie magic can begin
What a way to wrap up a three day weekend. Almost 196 total miles and the summer is just getting started.
I met Howard (outofsight) at the Collybrooke subdivision and we both pulled into the entrance and discussed strategy. There wasn’t any time during my schedule yesterday to come up with a plan so we’d just have to make it up on the fly. Sometimes these rides end up surprising us.
We headed out much like yesterday morning with the exception that we went to the end of Gideon Grove Church Rd and then took Sardis Church Rd to Lindsay Bridge Rd. It was here that I really wasn’t too sure on which way to go. We could turn right and head towards Madison or go left towards Pine Hall like we did yesterday and then fate intervened.
A car came up behind us and the driver had a trunk mounted bike rack with a Giant© Bicycle loaded onboard. He turned left towards Pine Hall so we took off in pursuit. One day late last year we saw someone park at the Pine Hall Elementary School with their bike and leave there for a ride. We thought that perhaps the same thing was about to take place and with plenty of downhill in our favor we should be able to catch them fairly easily.
We were in Pine Hall in no time flat. As we rolled past the school there was no sign of the car we’d seen earlier. No telling where they went so for now we would just continue on to NC 772 and see where that might lead us.
I’m kinda glad to let that car decide where to lead us as now we had so many options from here. This area that straddles the Rockingham and Stokes County lines happens to be one of my favorite destinations anyway. You really can’t go wrong up here.
I had to stop and take a picture of the mailbox post made from an old giant chain. We both wondered if it had come off one of them Giant© Bicycles. Who knows?
At first I was considering Autumn Creek Vineyards but the ride changed a few things as we rolled along. I even asked Howard if he wanted to do a little “rough riding” and he said he was up to it so off we went.
We turned onto Goinstown Rd off of NC 770. From here we would turn right onto Victory Hill Church Rd which has about a half a mile section that hasn’t been paved. We rode it once last year in the opposite direction and since it’s mostly flat and straight I figured we’d be alright.
At first everything was good. Then it looked as if the road had been recently scraped as the rock got much more abundant. It was rather tricky but our bike handling skills are what I would consider excellent anyway and we made it through to the pavement without any problems. I don’t think I’ll be going through there again anytime soon though.
As we made our way through Ayersville I was still formulating where to go next. At first I thought about Janet Rd and then the Mayo River State Park. Then I thought about Beaver Creek Rd to Park Rd and then maybe the state park.
Beaver Creek Rd won out in the end and we rolled on through to the end of Park Rd at Ayersville Rd. I checked the miles on the cyclocomputer. It seemed things would be close if went up the back side of Mayodan Mountain as opposed to going by the state park.
Howard and I both wanted to swing by the movie set in downtown Madison so up the mountain we went and with a few zigzag moves we should be able to get our miles. Flying back down the mountain is such a blast. A vehicle gets in behind us and by the time we hit the city limits were breaking the law and they can’t catch us. How cool is that?
Once we get to the movie set we notice that they’ve come a long ways since Saturday when we were here last. Filming is supposed to start tomorrow and the name of the film is going to be “You Are Here” starring Owen Wilson and Zach Galifianackis along with Melissa Rauch and Amy Poehler. This is a huge deal for Madison I assure you.
After we took a break and a few pictures of the set we headed for home. It didn’t take long to see that we would make our miles just fine. The only thing I wanted to do different was to go Lauren Rd instead of Lemons Rd. It only adds a mile but my legs were starting to want to seize up on me and I knew that hill would do me in for sure.
We were back before noon and I was famished to say the least. The post-ride walk would have to wait not only for a shower but a little lunch as well. Tomorrow I face the beginning of a seven day work schedule. That means I’ll be off the bike for a while but next week my legs should be in killer shape I’m just saying.
We did a lot of climbing the past two days so it was nice to come in with a little less this time. It feels as if I’ll be able to get a good night’s sleep after all these miles. Recovery can do wonders for a body.
Until next time, keep those pedals turning.
Howard and Wendell...Dodgetown duo...
Howard and the intrepid author of this here blog....in Dodgetown, where else?
At first this was supposed to be a two-man ride. Most of them are but this was going to be different today as Howard (outofsight) and family were going to travel to Pennsylvania Amish country for a few days. Domestic issues forced a postponement but before I knew that I had contacted an old friend that was just getting back into cycling after a lengthy layoff.
Wendell’s goal is to ride the entire week of Cycle North Carolina from Brevard to Carolina Beach. Since he’s hasn’t been cycling active for a while I knew just the place to help whip him back into shape. Having Howard along would prove a bonus as he is the resident expert on CNC having ridden the previous five years (this will be my first experience as well). Being able to pick his brain for advice always helps and just the sheer fact of his mileage alone can help inspire many riders out there as he currently holds a top ten spot on bikejournal.com in mileage and it’s not his first time in this rarified air.
So today we were three and as we waited on Wendell’s arrival (the first time someone comes out this way they don’t realize how far out we live) I told Howard that I had a couple of options but it would depend on the gearing that Wendell’s Lynskey Cooper had. If it was a tight racing setup we’ll opt for the easier if it’s more forgiving then he’s in for a damn good thrashing.
Wendell pulled up a few minutes after 8 o’clock and apologized for his tardiness. We weren’t the least concerned since we know how far out on the fringes we live anyway. A quick inspection of his bike reveled that a damn good thrashing was in order. Howard told him he was in trouble now and we wouldn’t disappoint.
Howard told me that the van was reading 61° which meant that we wouldn’t freeze like we did yesterday. Even the first big downhill flyer on Lemons Rd would be at full blast this morning thank goodness.
One of the cool things that Wendell would have going for him today was that most of the roads we would be riding on would be a first for him. Howard and I know how exciting that can be so we know how Wendell must have felt.
We would go down Lindsay Bridge Rd from Eden Church Rd and go up through Pine Hall. At Pine Hall we would turn onto Pole Bridge Rd so that we could easily make our way towards Walnut Cove and Tuttle Rd.
After getting chased by the dog near the end of Pipe Plant Rd Howard told Wendell that we were quite familiar with dogs in a five county area. He’s not making this up I tell you; Rockingham, Guilford, Stokes, Forsyth and even part of Henry County up in Virginia. That’s five by my count.
It wouldn’t take long for Wendell to see the appeal we have for Tuttle Rd. The Sauratown Mountains in the ever closing distance seem to watch over our every twist and turn as we plod along this quiet country road like an old sentinel watching over his vast territory.
We would turn onto Old Tilley Rd so that he could experience the deer head trophy mounted on the front porch of a mobile home. First we have to fly down the super-fast hill before riding by this redneck treasure.
Just around the corner we show Wendell the infamous Jim Booth’s Cat Fish Pond. I’m not making this up; this is a real cat fish angler’s paradise if ever there was one. There are still a few spots open for your camper trailer with electric, water and sewer hook-ups. Ah, what a life.
Our next big adventure would come on Wall Loop Rd. This is the road that has the most incredible view of the Upper Piedmont that we’ve found so far. To say that one can see for miles from up here is not a misstatement at all.
Now it was time for the toughest test so far; Young Rd. Although we first rode this one just twelve days ago it usually takes a couple of rides for everything to sink in so to speak. I remembered a cool downhill run followed by a rather nasty climb but I didn’t remember all of the nasty climbs on this road.
After flying downhill disaster struck or so we all thought. Wendell’s chain had dropped off the small chain ring and as he slowed to almost a dead stop he fell over before he could unclip himself. He was fine but the right brake lever/shifter didn’t look too good at all.
After closer inspection we realized that all was not lost. I snapped it back into place although a small piece that held the inside pivots on the lever had broken off. All was not lost as it still worked as it should it just wouldn’t be able to take any lateral forces.
We continued on and as we rolled up and down the climbing would eventually take its toll on our neophyte. Wendell had to resort to walking a bit but after the kind of climbing we were doing there certainly isn’t any shame in that at all. I just hadn’t remembered how difficult this new road was after riding it only one time.
When we got to Harris Rd it was time for a break. This is one of those choice locales as the Sauratown Mountains are right there in front of you in all their glory. We are literally at the foot of these mountains and the view of Hang Rock is no less spectacular.
We would ride out from the mountains and head for Dodgetown. It was here that I had to take a picture of Howard and Wendell underneath the sign that signifies that you are passing through Dodgetown. Wendell then took a picture of Howard and me so that I might post it here as well.
From this point until we crossed the Dan River for the fourth time today it would be pretty much downhill all the way. That meant a stop at Checkers Grill and Grocery for a quick pick-me-up and some much needed water for the return trip. The heat was cranking now as well.
By the time we reached Ellisboro I realized that Howard had some Father’s Day duties that he had to get home to. I told him to go on ahead as I had nothing pressing at all today.
Wendell and his wife were to meet some people at four o’clock so we stopped long enough for him to call and tell the little woman to go ahead and he’d catch up with them a little bit later. Now it was time for one last climb of the day; Lemons Rd.
I told Wendell there was an easier, albeit one mile longer, way to go. He wanted “the hill” so that’s what he got. I have to admit that he did great on this little leg breaker after already having climbed more than 4000’ already today.
We made it back safely and tired. The climbing today had taken quite a toll on me as well but it’s all part of some good training. Wendell seems to be extremely smitten with the area as far as riding goes and I must admit that my riding has improved the most since moving out here nearly six years ago. The terrain we have here and having Howard as a mentor both have increased my riding abilities greatly. It won’t be too much longer that Wendell will reap the benefits of riding out in this direction that’s for certain.
Tomorrow we ride once again and then I have to go back to the salt mines as it were. I’m not really sure what we’ll do yet but I bet we won’t climb near as much as the past two days. Still, miles will be made and hopefully I will be halfway to my goal for the year mileage wise anyway.
Until next time, keep those pedals turning.
Some of the gang
Hollywood comes to Madison. This is a set that is being prepared for a new movie to be shot in downtown Madison. How cool is that.
Man was it ever cold out there or what. Sure we left out at 6
o’clock this morning but one would think that the temperature would have been a
lot higher than it was.
I met Howard (outofsight) at the end of my drive
and we rode out to greet the day. Howard told me that the van read 54°
when he got out. That was supposed to be about right according to the weather
reports but we were freezing out here.
My arms were like icicles and my fingertips were almost numb.
Once we got to our first big downhill we were hard on the brakes I tell you. I
looked down and we were going something like 7 mph.
Howard said that this is when he always looked forward to going
uphill so that he could warm up. The problem was we were a long ways between
uphill sections at first.
The sun was out bright and full with hardly a cloud to worry
about. Since it was so early though the long shadows would help shade us quite
a bit until it could climb higher in the sky. The occasional break from the
shade helped warm us from time to time.
The Reidsville bunch that was riding out from the old Monroeton
School was leaving around 8 o’clock. Since we knew the route that they were
taking I mapped out a ride that would bring us back to River Rd about the time
it would take for them to be rolling by or so I hoped.
Our average speed was way down due to us going downhill so
slowly. This meant that I had to change the route on the fly in order to
compensate. I knew where we were going but it’s hard to remember with so many
road signs missing in the county.
I knew we were on Wray Rd and that it should help to chop off a
bit of the early part of the ride. Just as we approached Stoneville from the
north I felt something on my right knee and I saw a honey bee sting me. At the
time all I could think was where was I going to get me a piece of onion to tape
to the sting. I used this home remedy last year when I got stung by a wasp and I
can tell you it works like a miracle.
Just slice off a small piece of onion and bandage it to the
sting. The pain will leave almost instantly. I left it on most of the day since
it had happened right before I went to work. Later that evening I took it off
and had no swelling and it never itched afterwards.
Today I used my mother’s old remedy so I pulled over and applied
some ammonia from my trusty squirt bottle that I keep handy for the dogs. I had
to try something as it was on fire and the onion would have to wait.
We made our way through Stoneville and arrived at the end of
Stone Mountain Rd at River Rd. After a break we rode back towards Settles
Bridge Rd and never saw anyone. Then we turned up Belton Rd and back onto
Grogan Rd then Stone Mountain again but still we didn’t see anyone.
Thinking they may have been delayed a bit we headed on towards
Madison. Once we got to Dan Valley Rd we stopped and waited once again. After a
short ride up to NC 135 and back we lit out for downtown Madison.
As we came up Murphy St we saw the gang outside of a new bakery
downtown. We rolled up and the gang had been there a while so that meant they
were ahead of us all along. Once again, timing is everything.
We left with them and rode back one block to where the old
Madison Grocery building is being transformed into a movie set for some
upcoming picture. I snapped a couple of photos and then caught back up with the
Unfortunately we were going in a different direction in order to
make our miles so we had to part from the gang and head for home. Too bad we
couldn’t catch them back on River Rd.
By the time we got to Ellisboro Baptist Church I
noticed that their sign indicated that it was 71°
outside at the time. Now we were feeling good as the air was quite spectacular.
Once I got back home and got my shower and took a brisk walk I
was ready for a nap. Tomorrow we ride as a three-some as one other is going with
us. Originally Howard and family were going up to Pennsylvania but a leaky roof
put a damper on their plans for now.
I had contacted Wendell to see if he wanted to ride and he jumped
at the chance. Tomorrow we head out for Stokes County and we get to share the
beauty that resides up there.
Until next time, keep those pedals turning.
Huh? Well that’s what it seemed like anyway. The mere fact that
we got to ride today is pretty spectacular in and of itself.
Yesterday they were calling for showers and storms today anywhere
from 60% to 80% depending on who you listened to. Last night when I spoke to
Howard (outofsight) I told him that we should try for 8:00 AM this morning in
case it was still raining early in the morning. This would allow us to sleep in
a bit instead of getting up early only to see it raining and then going back to
So I get up a little later than usual and I don’t hear any
rainfall outside. When I step outdoors to fetch my newspaper I notice that it’
wet outside and it was misting a bit. I figured that must be what we were in
for all day.
After the sun came up I noticed that my driveway
was drying off nicely. It was still about an hour before we were to ride but I
started to get things together by pulling out the bike and grabbing the clothes
I was gonna wear. Then the bottom
fell out; it wasn’t just raining it was pouring down.
Then Howard calls and says that the 8 o’clock start time was probably a
no-go (you think?).
I told him that I wasn’t going to give up on the day although
this was an obvious set back. Once it stopped I knew if my driveway would start
drying that the road should be almost completely dry by then. I told Howard that
I would keep an eye on things and call him whenever it looked like we might get
a window of opportunity.
Around 10 o’clock I called Howard back and we agreed on meeting
at 10:30 for a ride. As soon I get out to the end of my drive not only is he
waiting on me but I notice that the roadway is completely dry. The only thing we
had going against us was the humidity. Dear Lord it was soupy out there.
Not having any sort of route planned (because we didn’t know how
long the weather would hold out) it seemed that the best thing to do would be to
ride close to home by weaving in and out of various roads. I was hoping we could
at least get in around 53 miles as that would up my average a bit for the year.
We hadn’t been gone all that long when we made our way up US 220
from Baggage Rd to Sardis Loop Rd. Just after we turned onto Sardis Church Rd
near Huntsville Elementary School we saw off to our right two deer running in
the same direction that we were riding. At first I thought they might run across
in front of us since the nearest forest was there. Instead they kept going as we
followed and they crossed over Landreth Rd and kept running through gardens and
fields until they finally ducked behind a stand of trees.
This was a truly amazing sight that lasted much longer than the
usual run-in we have with deer. Now was when I wished that I had a
helmet-mounted camera so that I could have filmed it.
Each road we’d take I would try formulating our next move in my
head. Sometimes I would know exactly where to go then at other times when I
thought I knew where to go once we got there I would realize another option and
act on that instead. This process would play out time and time again as we
When we got to Oak Level Church Rd we ran into a fresh patch of
wet road. We knew it must have just rained here although we were still high and
dry. It was only a short stretch of road then we were in the dry once again.
After we passed through Stokesdale we would weave around a bunch
more. Sure we went back over some of the same roads we’d been on only this time
we would be going in the opposite direction from the first time. Now I could see
just how this ride might play out after all.
Stanley Rd was the next place where the rain had been and gone.
It was another small stretch of road as before but once again we never saw any
About the time we were heading back up Sardis Church Rd for
Ellisboro Rd was when I realized that a metric century was well within our
grasp. If I could just navigate us through a few more weaves we would be back
home high and dry with another metric century in the bag.
My mind was working overtime now as the possibilities were not as
numerous the closer we would get to home. At first Carlton Rd seemed the way to
go then I realized that we could cut through the parking lot of the Eagle
Express Truck Stop and hit Gold Hill Rd. Little did I realize at that time that
we’d backtrack through here and eventually take Carlton Rd.
We were going to come up a little short so we went passed my
drive and crossed US 220 and turned back around and headed for home. As I
pulled up to the front door of the white trash trailer my cyclocomputer read
62.17 miles. That is a perfect metric century thank you very much.
This was probably the strangest route that I’ve ever taken as we
never got more than say ten miles from home. So we really didn’t have to go too
far to go too far did we? Perhaps we’re two of the most blessed cyclist on the
planet. It’d be hard to argue.
We never really stopped for a break today as the heat and
humidity wouldn’t allow for it. Just stopping for traffic would cause us to
sweat worse than a whore in church on the front pew sitting beside her best
paying customer I’m just saying. The heat would take its toll on me before the
end as I had to slow down a bit in order to keep from overheating.
The moral of the ride today is this: don’t ever give up and think
that a ride just won’t happen. Have a little faith (or a lot of faith) and
anything is possible. While others in the area were canceling rides this morning
we were making the ride happen. God is good indeed.
Until next time, keep those pedals turning.
The rain started sometime in the wee hours of the morning. I got up but realized rather quickly that we weren’t gonna make the 7:30 push-off time. As a matter of fact it seemed like we might be in one of those on-again-off-again type of rainy day.
Fortune would smile on us though and I called Howard (outofsight) and we agreed on a 1:15 PM start time to get in a somewhat shorter ride than usual. After yesterdays extended ride today we should get enough to average more than a metric century if you added up both days.
We hadn’t gone far when ran into evidence of some recent rainfall. I knew we had some close by but I didn’t realize it was just a stone’s throw from my place. We were hoping that this was all we would see of anymore rain at least until we got back home safe and sound.
Howard told me that his van indicated that it was 59° when he got out. I figured as much so I was glad to be wearing my knee warmers. It didn’t take long to wish that I had put on some arm warmers as well but I knew I’d survive.
Sure enough the first hill we climbed on Griffin Rd helped me forget all about arm warmers. With clouds covering the sky it was also apparent that we might not get a chance to see the sun today as well.
Just a few miles down the road, Honeysuckle Rd helped the sweat factor quite a bit. Once we got to McCollum Rd we just headed straight down the hill which we usually don’t do except in the winter months. We always like to go up the hill a bit and then turn around and fly back down that sucker.
We would stop at Settles Bridge Rd just long enough for me to shed my knee warmers. The sun indeed made an appearance so now we could get our daily dose of vitamin D.
The clouds to the north looked rather menacing but that wouldn’t matter as we were only going as far north as Comer Rd. From there we would turn back towards River Rd and home.
As we came back down Stone Mountain Rd we noticed that the NC DOT is preparing to pave the remainder of Grogan Rd. This will enable us to have a “bypass” for much of River Rd when that gets completed. River Rd isn’t that busy but Grogan Rd will be even less so.
It was here that I had to stop and take a picture of the barn and stables of Overlook Farms. The barn matches the opulent house next to it so this seemed like a good time to chronicle this.
We would scoot back through Madison and head for home. All the while the sun would slip in and out of cloud cover. Each time it would go behind a cloud we would notice a marked difference in the temperature. One moment we’re nice and comfortable and then the next we’re chilled again.
Here lately I have had to ride with cotton in my ears during the cooler times in order to ward off any inner ear problems that started to arise last year. Today was the first time that I completed an entire ride with cotton in my ears. Usually I shed it after the first couple of hours or so but not today.
The great thing is we got back safely, never had to deal with any rain and we still made our miles. The plan I put in place yesterday worked out perfectly. Sure it would have been nicer to have left earlier and got in a bunch more riding but this worked out just fine.
Always try to have a plan when it comes to weather. I know that it can be somewhat difficult to do but at least in this case everything worked out just fine. Think ahead folks, think ahead.
Until next time, keep those pedals turning.
Sunrise from Sparkle Lane
Wow. What a rain we had last night.
View from Young Rd and Harris Rd
Another view from Young Rd and Harris Rd
And still another view from Young Rd and Harris Rd.
The namesake of Hanging Rock State Park
Okay here’s the setup; the weather is supposed to be fantastic today and tomorrow is somewhat iffy to say the least. So why not ride like hell today and hope we can get at least enough to average out two metrics from the mileage.
I waited for Howard (outofsight) to meet me at the end of my drive. Not really having much of a plan at least I knew where we could go to make our miles with several options on each of the half-done plans.
Howard was on his Trek which meant that we both were riding with our triple crank-sets so why not head for the high hills and a couple of new roads. The fact that we can still find these just blows my mind.
We had barely started when we were passing Albert Rd which runs off of Lemons Rd when we see a dead fish in the road. I knew it rained last night but I didn’t think it was of Biblical proportions. The camera came out as I had to show off the most unusual road kill we’d ever seen before. This also brought about the usual jokes and such like “Why did the fish try to cross the road” as you might well guess.
Traffic was a bit more brisk this morning than last week for some odd reason. Maybe a lot of people were off last week for Memorial Day or something. Still, we had to deal with this until the time rolled around in our favor.
As we turned west we could see a fog along the treetops. The sun was out full strength but the air was quite cool. Once we reached Tuttle Rd we could see the fog rising off the nearby Sauratown Mountains. The sight of this made some parts of the mountains appear as if they were on fire. Thank goodness that wasn’t the case.
Howard had no idea where I was leading us to and once we got to Wall Loop Rd I turned us onto this stretch of road and told him it was time to have some fun. Wall Loop Rd has the best view of the Upper Piedmont I’ve found so far.
Once we left Wall Loop Rd I took us back up NC 8 for Young Rd. At first I thought we might have ridden this road once before but it didn’t take long for both of us to realize that this was totally new. It also happened to be totally awesome as well.
Young Rd is right at the base of the Sauratown Mountains. We come around a few curves and then the road just drops away beneath you. As I was speeding downhill I couldn’t help but grin not only at the speed I was going but the view of the mountains right there in front of us had me giddy as a school kid. This was one hell of a new road I’m just saying.
We turned right onto Harris Rd where I had to snap a few more pictures of just what we had come across. The ribbon of road in front of us begged us to ride on and that’s just what we did.
Just as we were about to reach the end of Harris Rd a nasty dog came at us from our left. Trying to avoid a repeat of what happened to me two years ago today, this time I stopped to confront the dog. As vicious as he seemed while we were riding, this stupid mutt acted as if he were scared of us once we stopped and confronted him. Sure, he kept barking and such but he would run off and hide in the woods.
We then turned right onto Mountain Rd which was a first for me but Howard had ridden it a few times in the past. This road is aptly named as we flew down a relatively easy hill but you could tell that it would have been a real struggle going the other direction just by its length.
When we got to Danbury we turned onto Shepard Mill Rd and rolled past Moratock Park for my first time in this direction. It wouldn’t be long before we reached Priddy’s General Store where we would turn down Pitzer Rd. It was during this time that I realized that we had already crossed the Dan River three times so far. We would only have to cross it once more but we still had to climb out of the Dan River valley at the end of Pitzer Rd though. So five times today we had the pleasure of dragging ourselves uphill from the mighty Dan.
Our next stop would be in Dodgetown for our mid-ride break. Things were busy there today as we passed a surveying crew and an NC DOT worker was also parked at the heart of Dodgetown proper. After a quick snack I led us out on the final portion of the ride that I was now formulating in my head.
Since we had already ridden past a portion of the Hanging Rock State Park then why not ride by the Mayo River State Park as well. This would help provide us with the miles we needed to make this the epic ride it was shaping up to be.
By the time we passed the Mayo River State Park we had already eclipsed the metric century mark. Now we would just be making gravy.
We flew through Mayodan and Madison and left via NC 704 but turned onto Mineral Springs Rd then took a left on Old Covered Bridge Rd in order to stay away from as much traffic as we could. This worked out great because by the time we got back out on 704 the traffic had subsided a bit.
As we approached the old store on NC 65 where Howard was parked he rode on with me so that he could get an even 80 miles today. His numbers on bikejournal.com have in in the top ten around the world. Can you say impressive?
The cool thing about the new roads we found were the fact that we can still revisit them and not have to go way over a metric century to do so. Not that that would matter in the least but it’s nice to know what our limits are.
Once again I have to close after another unforgettable ride. I hope the weather plays out in our favor tomorrow so that we can get in our miles. It probably won’t be as good a today but we’ll take it all the same.
Until next time, keep those pedals turning.