Sunday, July 17, 2011
July 16 -- Ravenstone Three Man Breakaway
Tito, JohnD, and IvaHawk shoved off from Ravenstone Plaza at 6:30 AM. This was after a quick call to Smitty who was still asleep and obviously not going to make it. I’m sorry I woke him up. I’m sure he had been working late.
The route didn’t have a name that I know of. Some roads were Cash, Will Suit, Brogden, E. Thollie Green (nice), Belltown, Enon, and return. 73 miles. The pace was leisurely, not easy, but not hell bent for leather except for a couple of times on Belltown Rd when we all got on board the Tito time trial machine. I hung for awhile and dropped. JohnD hung on longer and finally dropped. Tito did a fine job on the hills. JohnD showed his time in the mountains was not for nothing himself.
One concerning thing happened on Patterson near the start of the ride. A giant dump truck decided to come into our lane. He was well over into it and coming towards us full speed by the time we recognized it. Oddly, and also concerning, was our lack of reaction. It was as if we couldn’t believe it when we should have been diving for the right hand ditch. He corrected and went back into his lane. Later we wondered what is worse: did the driver know what he was doing or did he not know. That was eight tons of steel versus 200 pounds of flesh and aluminum. Scares me to remember it.
On to happier things: The highlight of the trip was on Hallie Burnette Road which is a small five mile loop near Oxford that connects to Old Hwy 75 on both ends. We encountered a horse drawn carriage. Two Belgian horses were pulling a homemade carriage. The carriage was a platform mounted on car axels about five feet above the ground. The seats were old car seats. It could carry eight people easily. A man and his wife were driving. We stopped. They stopped, and we talked for about 30 minutes with them. Tito, not surprisingly, was leading the conversation with them. The farmer’s extended family, brothers, nieces, nephews, and cousins all live on different farms on Hallie Burnette. They were as friendly as could be. Tito got the man’s phone number. Tito wants to bring his family out for a wagon ride. The man said sure, bring them on out.
We left there and went on by Devin Lake, up to Enon, back to Belltown, and retraced our route. We rode through the commercial side of Butner (coming and going) over by Hwy 56. We haven’t been that way that I can remember.
It’s difficult for me to give this route my whole hearted recommendation. I like it for the most part. Parts have a bit too much traffic. But, all those roads just south of Oxford are scenic and lightly traveled.
We got back to Ravenstone safe and sound (always a good thing) to find Gary TLC speaking with some Gyros. They rode at a good clip apparently. They rode only 10 miles less than us, leaving an hour and half later, and beating us back by a good bit. Of course, we did spend a long time talking on Hallie Burnette Road.