Saturday, May 16, 2015

Day 55 Belmont to Collinwood plus a bit more

May 15, 2015

Today was supposed to be a short ride. Only 60 miles and 5 of them just get me back to the Natchez trace where I got off the day before. We decided to drive to the Trace as the route back to it was sketchy. So now 60 is just 55 miles.

Knowing that the next day would be 88 miles, Dennis suggested that I ride past Collinwood to make today longer and tomorrow's ride shorter. 

I was feeling strong and thought this was a good idea. 

Riding without Todd felt strange. I got used to his company and running commentaries. As fellow commuters on less than perfect roadways, we both have the habit of calling out road hazards to the cyclist following us.

I think the perfection of the Natchez Trace had been  getting to Todd as over the last few days he started  calling out road discolorations. As I spotted a few darker or lighter spots in the pavement I kept expecting to hear his warnings. But all I had was the sound of my breathing and my tires rolling on smooth pavement. 

So I rode on. It wasn't bad, just different....

Rain came several miles into the ride, but I was already warmed up and didn't mind getting wet. The back camera gives you a picture of why drafting behind someone in the rain is no fun!

Plugging through the rain

Approaching the Tennessee river

Crossing the Tennessee river

I noticed the terrain and vegetation changing and somewhere along the ride I entered Alabama. Didn't know it until I saw the sign indicating I was leaving Alabama and heading to Tennessee! I better brush up on my geography.

Leaving Alabama and entering Tennessee

Lunch was at mile 50. This time a Subway salad which was excellent. After eating, I was ready to move on and score some more miles. The rain was subsiding so I changed into some dry shoes and took off. Dennis was starting to get the hang of doing some GoPro filming from cameras attached to the van's hood and started experimenting with different placements. The ones from on top look like images taken from a drone. A drone though elicits less of  a shock factor  when it sneaks up beside you!

Shot from the hood...

 Is it a drone? No it's the White Goose shooting from up high!

Soon I was past the Collinwood exit and just riding free. No fixed end point destination. This was a new feeling for me and I relished it. 

Around 2:30 pm, feeling the heat and sweating profusely I decided to stop and call it a day.

About ready to turn back (note the changing terrain)

 I had reached mile marker 382,  about 30 miles north of Collinwood which meant tomorrow would be an easy 62 miler to the end of the Trace and the outskirts of Nashville. This would be nice as we are planning to drive to Knoxville after tomorrow's ride  to pay my mother an early surprise visit.

The drive back to Collinwood seemed to take forever and I appreciated Dennis'es willingness to drive the extra miles. We reached the B&B cottage (Monetta's Country Cottage #1)   and it was an oasis. 3 bedrooms, full kitchen, front and back porches all to ourselves and only $75 including tax. I'd like to go back. The only drawback was  no internet, no T-Mobile reception on my phone, and I had exhausted my data roaming allocation. Thus, the delay in getting this blog out.

1 comment:

  1. Delayed or not ... great post! Love the pics ... "drone" shots are super 😄