Amazing how a little stress can improve memory. Last year I was all over the maps to get me from Catlin to Perrysville, with a wrong turn once or twice, hoping not to be late… this year, I was a little concerned ’cause I didn’t print out ten maps of all the little places from googlemaps. Must have had lots of tea that morning — I remembered snapshots and street names and cruised on through.
I was hearing from folks familiar with the area that some of the population were reminiscent of, say, “Deliverance,” and that gangs of feral dogs and feral cats prowled the area … welp, I paused at Hawbuck Road ’cause I knew I had time to munch a little, and hello! there was a nose on my hand. A stealthy female German Shepherd was nuzzling me. I looked at the Power Bar in my hand and thought of Shawn Marmion, who had advised me when I was riding my first century that he tossed power bar chunks to dogs… said a prayer on his behalf and gave the bitch a couple of good chunks that kept her mouth busy for a while.
Arrived at twenty til 9 … our party of five decided to do the “covered bridge” route as we did last year, which is to say skipping the 8 extra miles to get to Montezuma, which somebody *said* had a quik stop. I’d stopped in Catlin at Casey’s for 2 bags of trail mix and 48 oz. of Gatorade, and happily it wasn’t hot enough to merit massive fluid intake.
A few minor mechanicals for Frank inspired him to think his karma was out of balance, and that was before the snake got swept up into his spokes. Puir critter was not quite complete as it tried to get to the side of the road. (I’d seen *lots* of mashed ones on the way down, by the way.) We were down the really nasty road as far as we’d gone last year when Charlie and Audrey came by — they kept going and we went back. Later, they said the road improved immediately afterward.
We took the slightly longer way around and it didn’t find “asshole lane” so it would seem somebody was compelled to remove the sign. Saw a couple more covered bridges, took our short cut which meant that the fast group with Kim had just gone past us – so we saw ’em up where Kim’s mother lived, with their improvised roadside rest stop. (On hotter trips, this has been *very* important.)
We wended our way back, my back tire exploded, and I fixed it and then adjusted the brakes which didn’t work and then had to un adjust them when it turned out I just hadn’t gotten teh wheel all the way in. Given that the tire’s sidewalls were frayed and worn through in several places, all temptation to go the extra 40 back were removed.
Not sure about the calibration of the speedo, so I conservatively estimated 100.1 miles. Got up early enough ths a.m. to ride long but fixed the flat on the red bike instead. Suspect it’s due for a new front tyre, too.