Today would be the start of a journey from Nashville to Chicago. I am enjoying the company of Kenny Lawrence who flew in from Pleasanton and is all excited about riding on some new ground. Kenny and I commute to our jobs together and face the same 32 mile trek day after day so this is a real treat.
Kenny's excitement is contagious and I'm thrilled he is here.Today's ride grew to an estimated 78 miles and not the 55 miles in the original route.
We can thank me for this.
I worked and reworked the route trying to make it more bike friendly and each improvement seemed to add a mile or two.
We decided on an 8 am departure with breakfast at 7:00. At 6:59 I was on the elevator and when it stopped at the 2nd floor, there were Kenny and Dennis. Perfect timing.
We ate a hearty breakfast and were rolling out right at 8 am. Traffic was surprisingly light so we ditched the first part of the route which had us going through Vanderbilt College's campus and stayed on the main road.
Crossing the pedestrian bridge was a real treat and all in all we were off to a good start.
It was a little brisk and a bit wet but not bad. The scenery and roads went from good to better. Lots of rolling hills. Lots of green. Several loose dogs but none seemed interested in chasing our wheels.
The changing scenery was a real treat and unexpected. The only growing concern was the possibility of rain. As the miles ticked by the road got more and more wet and the temperatures dropped to a wet chilly 55 degrees. I theorized that we were chasing and gaining on a thunderstorm so we made our lunch stop a little earlier than planned to give the weather a chance to move a bit further north while we ate.
This paid off handsomely. The hard part was just getting back on the bikes. We were facing strong headwinds and we were both shivering. Add full bellies and the temptation to stay in a heated van was pretty strong. But we sucked it up and started off again. All it took was another rolling hill to get us warm again. The good news too is that the roads were dry again and the rain was easily miles ahead of us.
We passed cities with interesting names....
and before long we saw the welcome to Kentucky sign.
Interesting that there was a border dispute here!
Our route then took us on some farm roads. The roads were almost "Natchez Trace" smooth. Another nice surprise!
Rain? Or rice field?
Next we had more hills and Kenny was starting to feel his legs a bit. Fortunately the last miles were mostly downhill and before long we heard the cowbells and saw a smiling Dennis!