A Day Outside

Winter faces a persistent Fall in our neck of the woods.  So, when a few weeks ago Jan asked what I would like to do for my 60th birthday on the 22nd, I thought of a 60 mile ride.  We decided to make it happen, depending on the conditions.  I contacted some friends who were all for it.  Our son and family came to Springfield from Colorado the day before and he wanted to join up.

With a birthday dinner planned for that evening I shortened the ride to 60 kilometers (I thought about you, Gerry!) so as to have plenty of time to recover and enjoy the evening.

Mike, Tracy, Sam, Me, Steve, and Chad.  Yellow and black turned out to be the colors of choice!

Mike, Tracy, Sam, Me, Steve, and Chad. Yellow and black turned out to be the colors of choice!

Jim Phillips and Jamie Wynne arrived after the photo.  They had already been out for 20+ miles, but Jamie was unable to join us due to Christmas commitments.

I freely admit to apprehension before and during the early stages of the ride.  These fellows are all horses!  I had my work cut out for me as I knew we were in for some good climbs.  What was I thinking??

It was good to ride with Sam once more.  Our last time had been in August.

Once more, on the road.

Once more, on the road.

We headed out east and worked our way north toward County Road YY.

02 Good day

Tracy Wilkins is a climber.  I thought of him as I planned the morning.  He should be able to tell me the final elevation numbers of the route.

Tracy and the others never stopped smiling the whole time.

Tracy and the others never stopped smiling the whole time.

Far out east, YY turned into FR134 and then FR225.  The pavement ended at the Webster County line.  I have not done any ‘dirt road’ cycling on the road bike, but I read where one should ride with a light touch on the handlebars when on gravel.  Just let the bike find its way.  I was glad Lon Road was dry.

For all the gravel, this quarter mile stretch was not too bad.

For all the gravel, this quarter mile stretch was not too bad.

We left the dirt once we reached County Road AD.  Here, Mike discovered a loose saddle and Jim loaned him the correct wrench to fix it.

Steve, Sam, and Chad while paused by this old closed country store.

We were greeted by a small dog that probably thought, “Two wheels equals food,” but it refused Jim’s offer of a snack.

Steve making a new friend.

Steve making a new friend.

We stayed on Lon Road instead of the more traveled county roads.  Mike saw a hawk every now and then and I spotted this small grove of persimmon trees.  Most of them were dried out, but a few still had enough moisture to be worth it.  A friend from the country told me once that if you have a bunch of persimmon trees, then you know you also have raccoons.

Now that I know where they are ....

Now that I know where they are ….

By the time we reached Rogersville I had gone through a gel, most of a bar, and a bottle of water.  Seeing this Methodist Church on the north side of town made me think like I was coming around from the far side of the moon and headed home.

From now on, I would be more familiar with the roads.

From now on, I would be more familiar with the roads.

My friends paused before crossing the highway and asked which way I wanted to head home.  The lure of stopping at Hardee’s for a bit was too great to resist.  And besides, Mike and Steve were going to leave us soon and head on down to Ozark to be with their dad and the rest of the family.  We crossed south of the highway and rested a bit.

Snacks, drinks, lies and no respect!

Snacks, drinks, lies and no respect!

Soon after leaving, Jim discovered a broken front derailluer cable.  Having only one front ring in service had no discernible effect.  The man is a machine.

Stopping for traffic offered a chance for me to catch up!

Stopping for traffic offered a chance for me to catch up!

Mike and Steve headed south.  We wished them a Merry Christmas and I thanked them for coming along.  The rest of us headed back to my home without any problems.  In fact, the whole day was without serious incident.  No dogs chasing, no falls, no trouble with traffic.  The sun was out and we had a tailwind coming in.

These guys make me look good!

These guys make me look good! Chad, me, Tracy, Sam and Jim.

My appreciation and thanks to all of them for the ride.  Let’s do it again!

Stay happy,

twofeet

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About rlhoover

A perspective on life and cycling in the Ozarks. I started serious cycling in 2008, after seeing my wife be on the bike for a few years. We have biked many places and hope to continue. I am no where near being a real good cyclist, but I have fun trying to improve. Who am I kidding? Me? Improve??
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10 Responses to A Day Outside

  1. Pingback: 50 on 60 « SpringfieldCyclist.com

  2. tootlepedal says:

    A great ride. Happy birthday a bit belatedly.

  3. Steve A says:

    Sixty! I hope I can be half as gracious two years hence…

    • rlhoover says:

      Steve, I only hope that in the coming years I may be blessed enough to repeat the feat [plus added mileage!]. I am sure any graciousness will be there for you when needed! Merry Christmas!!

  4. Happy Birthday. What a great ride! Great gravel. Love gravel.

    • rlhoover says:

      Miles! I can’t take gravel much longer on the road bike. Tires too skinny! Need the street bike. But street bike too heavy for me to live for long distances. The continental hardshells on the road bike did well (not paid to say that!). I love rails-to-trails, but not ready for true off-road. Merry Christmas!!

  5. R1 says:

    1) Doing this each year, does the target miles-or-km INCREASE by one or DECREASE by one each year?
    2) Always stop for Hardees.

    R1

    • rlhoover says:

      The target mileage will increase by one each year. However, for this next year I will not set a goal for total distance. Yes, one should stop every twenty miles or so at Hardee’s or someplace similar. All well here.

  6. Pingback: Two Feet off the Asphalt

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