Mick emailed the afternoon / evening before: "want to do Bahama Beach tomorrow, with an early start?"
Thinking BB would be easy and a nice ride, I replied, "7 am start."
Next morning, as soon as I threw my leg over, I knew I was in trouble.
The hard leg work from late Tuesday made itself KNOWN.
Very tired legs.
9-mile commute to the start.
Lately, I've been doing that in 31-minutes in-motion.
During those 38-minutes, I decided that despite what we'd agreed the previous evening,
"Let's just do the standard route, with no free-route 'wing-it' variants,"
That we were doing some longer but flatter options.
Mick agreed to trade miles, with some traffic on the first variant, for climbing.
He was soon glad he agreed to that, because he quickly discovered that his legs were tired.
"Flat Start" variant added 2.6 miles (if'n I recall correctly),
Includes a higher elevation than anywhere on the "Standard Route,"
But that high elevation is attained via a false flat, and
"Flat Start" takes 4 of the 5 climbs on Victory Ch / Kemp Rd out of the mix.
I labored up Stagville Rd.
Mick wanted to stop at the Bahama Fire Station (the one in Bahama).
Something about a throne.
I refilled the one water bottle that I'd already emptied.
(It wasn't hot, but it sure was HUMID, early in the day.)
Down to Lake Michie.
UP the Michie Wall.
I commented that the wall was easier than Stagville Rd.
Mick thought the break at the fire station may have made a difference.
Next variant to remove some climbing:
Pass by Ellis Chapel Rd and continue to Hall Rd.
Mick complained I was skipping his favorite road.
However, he did appreciate the much easier terrain on Hall Rd, etc..
Robert's Chapel Rd is a fun road to cycle when one is fit and not tired.
It is a fun enough road if one is fit and very tired.
I think I stayed in the 39/15 the entire time on Robert's Chapel Rd.,
It seemed pretty easy.
Of course, I was going pretty slowly.
No need to mention Little Mountain Rd..
On Old-75, we encountered the first interesting thing of the day.
Half of a very wide mobile home on flatbed, blocking most of the road.
Wide-load follow pick-up blocking the way to the flatbed.
But the interesting thing was the other half of the mobile home.
It appeared to be half on and half off another flatbed, and
Stuck, straddling the ditch, and blocking more of the road.
Cars in front of us were turning around.
We chicaned through.
There were three vehicles waiting on the other side of the blockage.
I stopped to tell each of the three drivers that they might as well turn-around, and
Find a detour, because that one half of the mobile home didn't look to be going ANYWHERE,
At least not for quite a while.
The first driver took the information in stride.
The second exclaimed, "I don't know a detour!"
I should have told him to follow me into Stem, but I didn't think of it until too late.
The third driver and passenger were incredulously excited by the news.
A long stop in Stem. About 29 minutes.
The grill-cook had had to leave (we never knew why), and
The check-out clerk was doing double duty.
He apologized for the delay when we paid
(After telling him we would eat and then pay for our snacks.)
We didn't mind the long stop.
Zoom down from Stem to the I-85 overpass,
Then time for the third flatter variant on the day:
Mick commented half-way across Hester that he liked the road.
However, Mick apparently failed to notice the dead skunk.
He also claimed he didn't smell it.
I think he may need to have his olfactory nerves checked.
Because the skunk, although tucked against the grass at the edge of the shoulder,
Not IN the road (as per the title of this post),
Definitely skunked up the fragrance after I passed it.
Picking up the fragrance after passing the skunk also informed me that
The 12.6 miles from Grissom to the finish of the ride would be into a light breeze.
It wasn't a headwind.
Instead it was a cooling breeze.
And cooling was definitely appreciated as the temps had climbed well above 80F by the finish.
Mick's confuser reported 70.7 miles.
That would be 113-kms (for 103 credit).
Neither of us minded the extra distance.
[I think Mick's confuser might have measured a bit long.
At least his works.]
--> Bahama Beach 'free-route' perm-pop -->; 92.3 m.; est. 6h26 in-motion; 14.3 mph.
_pre-ride commute: 9.0 m.; 0h38 in-motion; 14.0 mph.
___BB: 70.7 m.; 4h55 in-motion; 14.4 mph; official elapsed time: 5h30.
____ post-ride commute: 12.6 m.; 0h53 in-motion; 14.1 mph.
Q-1 tot: _11 rides; __940.3 m; _64h42; 14.5 mph; _1275 RUSA kms.
Q-2 tot: _18 rides; _2293.9 m; 158h18; 14.5 mph; _3142 RUSA kms.
Jul tot: __6 rides; __643.3 m; _42h25; 15.2 mph; __694 RUSA kms.
Aug tot: __5 rides; __481.6 m; _32h20; 14.9 mph; __551 RUSA kms.
YTD tot: _40 rides; _4359.1 m; 297h47; 14.6 mph; _5662 RUSA kms.
j.i.c. I want to add something, later.