Tuesday, June 8, 2010

NICE END TO A MONDAY WORK DAY!

Monday’s weather made for the start of an excellent first work day of the week. Tracy at Springfield Cyclist hit the nail on the head with his description of the weather in Springfield, MO on Sunday during his ride. We were fortunate to catch that same wave of fine weather here the next day.

I started out from work just as the end-of-workday traffic was heading home. My normal route takes me out Vance St. by the Waynesville Recreation Department. I wanted some variety on this trip so I headed straight up North Main St. along Business 23. The lower section of this road still shows the signs of winter with potholes galore. One particularly nasty pothole must have had a vortex of swirling wind pulling everything nearby into its bottomless pit. I sure didn’t see it coming in time to avoid it. My front wheel hit bottom, my butt hit a deeper bottom, and then my rear wheel finalized the jolt.

I sense a visit to my chiropractor in the near future after that one but more importantly a visit to my LBS (Rolls Rite Bicycles) as I developed an unusual sound in the left crank after the jolt. It sounds like something is grinding and only makes the noise when I mash on the left crank. This particular route took me by the shop but they are closed on Mondays so I brought my Fuji CCR3 back in today for a review. I’ve also written to our head of our town’s street maintenance department to see how to go about getting the potholes filled in.

After loosening up my back and spinning on, I got caught up in a last minute traffic light change and ended up on a slightly different than planned street. It was o.k. as it took me up Hospital Hill Dr. This hill has a steep climb and was one that really hurt when I first started riding again 2 years ago (or was it 3 now?). Then, I would be down on my smallest ring in my lowest gear thinking I was going to die before I got to the top. Yesterday, I didn’t exactly cruise over it in my middle ring but I did maintain 10 mph on the climb and kept my heart rate below 165. (It used to hit 183 bpm.) It’s good to have that as a measuring stick!

The short change also took me past a planned connector to Lee Road. I managed to get back on Lee at the intersection of Jones Cove Rd where I had to cross the railroad tracks.

RR Crossing Jones Cove Rd - East

 

 

 

(Rail Road Crossing – Jones Cove going East)

 

 

 

 

RR Crossing Jones Cove Rd. - West

 

 

(Rail Road Crossing – Jones Cove going West)

One or two trains per day still use this Southern Railway train track as it runs out to Jackson County just west of my home county, Haywood. One day, some of us hope it become a Rails-to-Trails conversion, although with the new emphasis upon alternate modes of travel, the old rail system may see new life.

Upon reaching Clyde, I opted for the middle route to Canton for a change. This route has two longer climbs with grades around 5 to 6 % and goes by the old Patton Farm and the new Clyde Elementary School. It is an alternative route for me between Thickety Road to it’s north and Business 23 to its south. It is somewhat more heavily travelled than Thickety but nothing near as busy as Business 23. It also is about 5 miles shorter of a commute home than when I take Thickety Road.

I took a short refueling stop on Pisgah Drive after transiting Canton. I’ve gone back to carrying peanut butter flavored PowerBars. I have more recently been sticking a Stinger or chocolate flavored PowerBar in my rear jersey but they tend to melt in these temperatures and are a mess to try and eat. I watched traffic for a moment at the car wash and grabbed the following photo:

Pisgah Drive Canton, NC(Black Bear Cafe under red awning. 7 miles from home…) 

The final miles home were pleasant as I pedaled up NC 110 to Bethel. Traffic was fairly heavy but gave me plenty of room. I did note that the gutters have not yet been swept and reclaimed from the winter debris. The NC DOT staff member responsible for this section of road had informed me via email some 6 weeks ago that the work was scheduled within 3 weeks of that time. I think I need to follow-up as I can’t tell that the work has ever been done. The gutters are still filled with trash made even worse by a recent mowing. The gutter is piled high with dead grass clippings in areas requiring that you merge back out into the lane of travel to avoid riding through an unknown patch of something. Also, the areas that I highlighted to DOT that were to be reclaimed from several years of growth are still only about 12” to 18” wide.

SPOT linked route for ride:

SPOT_Route_OldclydeRd_Home

An Adventurer update:

Fargo Logo

Jim Artis, Cycling Experiences, continues to prep for his departure to Bar Harbor, ME. He has pushed his departure date back one day to June 12th. The Tour of Discovery: Ride for the Republic begins on Flag Day, June 14th. He is indeed going to be pushing the limit to get to Bar Harbor in time. Work on Fargo continues. Please visit his site to see this exciting blend of Human Powered Vehicle and various technologies come together! 

Mountain Turtle LogoKent “Mountain Turtle” Peterson continues his movement to Banff, AB, Canada for the start of the Great Divide Ride. As of this morning, Kent appears to be about 284 miles from Banff. To see the distance he is covering each day is very impressive to me and to realize that he is doing it on a single speed bike is just that much more impressive. There are numerous ways to follow Kent’s progress. Check out the post for June 7th to see how technology allows us to enjoy his trip with him!

 

Until later,

- Zeke

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