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weekend ride report #1: should-have-been-but-not-so-epic(22 posts)

weekend ride report #1: should-have-been-but-not-so-epicJS Haiku Shop
Apr 14, 2003 5:47 AM
planned a ride from home to Shiloh National Military Park, about 200 miles in all, the way i routed it. for the route i took from Wonderdog's cross-state ride made in November of last year, day #1. started the ride at dawn (6:35 AM) saturday, from my driveway, with a friend (he rode the first 40 miles out and his return route was about 25 miles).

here's what i packed for food & drink, including a camelbak blowfish. my goal was to stop for as little "support" as possible (as usual), and spend most of the day pedaling. i wanted to make 200 miles between dawn and dusk, or in roughly 13 hours.
loosey hatchey river, after ~50 miles winding eastJS Haiku Shop
Apr 14, 2003 5:49 AM
bike route...JS Haiku Shop
Apr 14, 2003 5:55 AM
a straight shot of highway 64--from memphis suburbs to a city 50 miles east--is marked "bike route". state planners have no mention of it in the state bike route info package, but i'm happy to ride it. five lanes (including turning lane the whole way), 65 mph speed limit, and full-lane shoulders on both sides. much roadkill and garbage (glass, etc.), but fine for a daytime ride.

you can see that tennessee is just like south & central illinois, only with trees and some terrain changes, and scenery, and <25 mph winds. :)
mental health checkJS Haiku Shop
Apr 14, 2003 5:57 AM
western mental health institute, in bolvar, tn--about 65 miles into the route. in the background (obstructed by the trees) is a large, gothic building that's part of the institute compound.
home? ;-) nmDougSloan
Apr 14, 2003 6:56 AM
'home away from home' nmJS Haiku Shop
Apr 14, 2003 7:20 AM
unexpected detour...JS Haiku Shop
Apr 14, 2003 6:00 AM
...as in, turn around and ride home...

three miles outside Bolivar (TN), bike route ends, lanes shrink down from 5 to 2, with little or no shoulder on the outbound leg. it took three miles of riding this stuff and being tossed around by 18-wheel trucks doing 70 mph (not to mention frequent road construction) to choose the safer option.
the road homeJS Haiku Shop
Apr 14, 2003 6:02 AM
turned around at 70 miles to slink back on the "short route". a comforting headwind (LOL) would be my companion for the next several hours.

this looks like a good bit of shoulder, but it was a fluke. beyond the bridge ahead, it's all white-line-to-gravel-to-water...
I'm used to riding the white line, no fun with transports! nmSpunout
Apr 14, 2003 6:13 AM
bike route begin againJS Haiku Shop
Apr 14, 2003 6:05 AM
boy was i happy to get my own "lane" back on the other side of town. fortunately the majority of the route back is long, rolling lumps bordered by many miles of fields separated by wooded tracts. as i ground the lumps' upsides, gentle breezes were blocked, but constant effort on the "coasting" sides was required to maintain a decent pace.
sanctuary!JS Haiku Shop
Apr 14, 2003 6:07 AM
five hours of drinking. :)
patriotic ride!JS Haiku Shop
Apr 14, 2003 6:10 AM
can't put into words how many flags and displays of patriotism and support of our troops were evident on this ride. you'd expect it to get more freqent the more rural the route became, but it was fairly consistent the whole way. this guy's yard could not be caught in one pic, and this shot really doesn't do him service--on every fencepost was mounted a full-sized flag, ranging from the US flag to the marine flag, vietnam war company-specific flag(s), and a USMC flag. in his yard were dozens of smaller US flags on small wooden poles. a cement rendering of the statue of liberty was in his front yard, draped in a large US flag. yellow ribbons everywhere.
wind respiteJS Haiku Shop
Apr 14, 2003 6:12 AM
took a little detour for some hills and scenery. the last 15 miles were "more lumpy" and mostly either tree-lined or canopied. it's nice to see the green coming back...
sweeeet! they repaved my favorite part of most local ridesJS Haiku Shop
Apr 14, 2003 6:14 AM
I like to include this small piece of road in most of my weekly rides (especially the cued club rides), as it contains a couple short but steep hills. the "character builder" is just around the corner at the end of the road in this shot. it was just repaved--a nice surprise!
to the victor go the spoils!JS Haiku Shop
Apr 14, 2003 6:17 AM
at home in the Haiku Shop, the walls are lined with dozens of US flags i've stopped on rides to collect from roadsides as they've fallen off vehicles. flags in all states of abuse and soiled seven ways from sunday, but somebody's gotta do them right. i was surprised to find only two on this ride.

btw, that's not a murray bike box--it's a new lawn mower. LOL.
And Murray makes quality lawnmowers? Ha Ha nmbigrider
Apr 14, 2003 9:31 AM
my goodness, you're tall, dark & handsome!JS Haiku Shop
Apr 14, 2003 6:18 AM
should have stopped in the last 15 miles for more water, but wanted to push to get back. after a liter of water, this was a welcomed sight. :)
...by the numbers...JS Haiku Shop
Apr 14, 2003 6:26 AM
* 125.45 miles, the first 40 with company
* depart 6:35 AM, return 3:15 PM
* total time 8h 40m
* "rando" avg 14.9 mph
* time pedaling 8h 0m
* avg speed on bike 15.6 mph

THIS was my quickest time--on the bike avg *and* total time--for a double metric since doing my first 125-miler in 2001. this one was also done with zero drafting, so i was fairly happy tho my 200-mile goal was not achieved.

...and...

* 64 ounces of gatorade (12 scoops, or 600 calories)
* 100 ounces of water (164 total ounces of fluid)
* 22 strawberry fig newtons (1100 calories)
* 1 snack-sized baggie of corn chips (200 calories)
* 1 double-caf tangerine powergel (100 calories)

i'm now putting out "feelers" for a detour around those nasty roads, hoping for some quiet country lanes with perhaps a south/east detour to Shiloh. a good trip for later in the year.

hope you enjoyed the pics!

-J
Nice pics, esp this last one. Congrats on great ride. nmKeeponTrekkin
Apr 14, 2003 6:47 AM
Great post!mtncranker
Apr 14, 2003 10:09 AM
Enjoyed the ride!

BTW, what's the bike you're riding? And is that a Brooks saddle?
thanks. surly cross-check, brooks b17 narrow. nmJS Haiku Shop
Apr 14, 2003 10:28 AM
Shiloh is a great battlefield park.MB1
Apr 14, 2003 5:07 PM
Too bad you missed it, Miss M and I went through it when we rode the Natchez trace a couple of years ago. The road riding getting to the park was pretty bad-the battlefield was great.