On a Ride with a Big Hill

I headed out this morning sometime between 7:00 & 7:30. I was in such a bad mood I almost talked myself out of the ride. Plus I have a nearly full bottle of sunscreen somewhere but I can’t seem to find it.

As I headed out, I was surprised at how windy it was. I wasn’t expecting that. But I was heading for the hills, so I knew the wind would be blocked off for in a bit.

I was also disappointed at how my hip felt. It’s still not quite right.

As I headed out Franklin Road, I realized I was feeling very stretched out. Stopped and found that the saddle bolt had worked it’s way loose and the saddle was sitting all the way back. Uh oh, no multi-tool in the saddlebag. I saw some guys standing in a front yard so I stopped and asked if on of them had an allen wrench. One had a set, so we got it all tightened back and I thanked him and set off.

That didn’t help my crappy mood though. It was getting hot (I did have enough sense to freeze a water bottle). So after a bit I decided to sit and eat my clifbar. Then I headed toward my nemesis hill.

This hill is on Oak Grove Road. The approach to it doesn’t help. A little descent, a little climb, a little level, then blam, you really start climbing. It’s not terribly long, but is terribly steep. I have been known to walk parts of it. OK I usually get off and walk parts of it. But I knew finishing it off would improve my mood measurably.

I dropped into the little ring up front right away. Then I started chipping away, clicking down lower in the back. Grannied out. Seriously mashing. Breathe coming like a freight train. Still not there. The grade is up at 23%. This is wicked. FINALLY. I’m there.

I stop and get my breathing back under control. I celebrate by rescuing a box tortoise who is foolishly sunning in the road.

Mr. Tortoise

The rest of Oak Grove is pleasant rollers. Then I turn left onto Holloway Road. A little climbing here, but mostly rolly.

I decide to turn off onto Old Shannon Road. I have ridden brief parts of it at the other end but never this stretch. It’s a pretty ride with lots of pasture on both sides.  It was nice to see lots of big rolled bales of hay.  There seemed to be more for the first mowing than all of last summer during the drought.

Big Hay Bales

After one good-sized climb, I started down the anticipated descent to look up and see an arrow sign marking a big curve. I had to brake pretty hard as my sightline was blocked and I couldn’t tell how hard of a turn it was. I slowed down more than I needed to, but I didn’t have a choice. A nice descent spoiled.

Then I toodled around taking a right onto Pin Hook Road, then back to the llama farm road, Doubled back, then headed for home.

The big climb sweetened my disposition, though my hip ached. It did turn into a nice ride.


~ by susancyclist on May 31, 2008.

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