Not because we were going to do Byron's hillfest,
But only because it was a convenient meeting spot.
(I was a few minutes late. And several minutes later than planned.)
We set off, a bit later than expected,
In the OPPOSITE direction of the Triple-L start.
Then Robert "detoured" us through a neighborhood.
And, I think, another neighborhood or two.
I'd never seen any of the roads, houses, etc..
When we got to Strickland Rd and a multiple-use-path,
I told Robert, "I know where we are;
"I've never cycled on this path, but I've walked or jogged on it."
Robert responded, "do you know the way through the neighborhood on the other end?"
"To get us to Mt. Vernon Church Rd," he added.
"Sure do," I told Robert.
Soon we were on New Light Rd, headed for Old Weaver Trail.
Robert commented that his legs seemed a bit tired or heavy.
I replied that I thought we were going a bit too fast for a putz-about,
Only four days before his Taste-of-Carolina-1200 start.
We slowed down.
Quite a few other cyclists were out and about.
Old Weaver Trail is the main (only ?) cycling thoroughfare on the north side of Falls Lake.
We turned onto Boyce Rd, looking to find the free tomatoes Robert had found the week before.
Near the end of Boyce Rd, we found the tomatoes and squash.
I'm guessing that all the tomatoes from a garden had rippened at the same time,
And there were too many all at once for the owners to handle.
There were a dozen or so picked-over, small tomatoes on the table,
Along with half-a-score of small, yellow squash.
Robert and I each ate two or three small tomatoes.
R indicated that the table had been covered with the surplus tomatoes a week before.
Back on our trusty steeds,
Heading down toward Old Weaver (again) and Cheek Rd across Falls Lake.
We must have been chatting, because I recall nothing.
On Cheek, we started encountering the outbound charity cyclists.
First came the serious-faced, seriously fast riders, spread out in groups of two or three.
Then came the serious-faced riders in the serious-looking large double pace-line.
Then the riders that looked as if they had been jettisoned off the back of the large group.
Interspersed with those with not-so-serious-faces, that looked to be doing their own thing,
And likely enjoying it.
Finally, came the long tail of the charity ride.
Some mashing hard on ill-fitting, (dis)comfort bikes,
Obviously doing the hardest thing they've ever done (or at least hardest in a LONG time).
Interspersed with reasonably calm faces doing a mostly pleasant ride.
And best of all, the occasional happy-face, clearly enjoying being on their bike,
Out in the cool August overcast,
And likely well-beyond their usual "stomping" grounds.
I most like seeing the last described.
People having fun!
And not being SERIOUS about it.
Robert wanted to stop and see if he could connect with the owners of a menagerie
On Patterson Rd (near NC-98).
The owners did appear, and the woman (whose operation the menagerie is)
Gave us the big tour.
Chickens, wild geese pausing on their migration, wild ducks pausing on their migrations.
More chickens, a couple dogs, some cats about somewhere,
Stories about the foxes and coyotes and the hawk that raises three broods a year,
On the pickings from the free-range chickens.
Did I mention that there were a lot of free-range chickens.
Robert asked quite a few questions.
When we left, he mentioned that he had another million questions he wanted to ask.
We rode up Doc Nichols Rd -- it seemed effortless.
The benefit of being in good shape, and just putzing-about, I reckon.
We cut over on Shady Grove Rd to Leesville Rd,
And then Robert led me winding through another neighborhood or two,
Until we reached his house.
There, we said our good-byes, and I wished him good luck and good riding next week.
And I finished my putz-about by using the MUP across Lake Lynn,
Then cycling past the Triple-L start / finish and then ...
---> modified counter-clockwise Falls Lake Loop ---> ; 60.2 m.; 4h16 in-motion; 14.1 mph.
Q-1 tot: _22 rides; 1,610.3 m.; 108 h, 42 m; 14.8 mph.
Q-2 tot: _29 rides; 2,711.5 m.; 182 h, 48 m; 14.8 mph.
Ju1 tot: __9 rides; __751.5 m.; _49 h, 10 m; 15.3 mph.
Aug tot: __8 rides; __654.9 m.; _43 h, 47 m; 15.0 mph.YTD tot: _68 rides; 5,728.2 m.; 384 h, 26 m; 14.9 mph.
After the ride, I figured out how to un-jam the "set" button on my cycle confuser. Next ride, I should be back to actually "knowing" the distance and time-in-motion -- as opposed to having to estimate certain parts.