Saturday, August 21, 2010

It's all about the ride.....

Matt (not me) and I decided to finally ride together this afternoon. We had planned to previously, but other obligations, my old bike not doing great, etc, keep pushing it back. With the new bike, it almost seemed like we had no good reason not to.

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I left the house around 1:40pm with the plan to meet in Palmyra at 2:00. I go just a few blocks from home and the bike died. I could get it restarted, but revving it killed it. Not sure what was happening, and then I remembered I know have a functioning reserve, so I flipped to it, and bingo, all was well. Stopped for gas at the next station and got to Palmyra at about 2:05. I pulled over, checked my messages, and Matt let me know he would be there around 2:15. At 2:30, I decided to head down the road with three names, quickly realizing that the route was not as clear cut as it looked on a map. I decided to turn around, just in case Matt had come out on Shiloh Canaan Road (B) and when I got back to Palmyra I had received a test message from him. He was somewhere on TN-13, turned around and out of gas. I started hunting down a gas can and making my way to where I thought he was.

I received another message and then we talked, he was on TN-13, closer to Clarksville and the bike was running again, but he was waiting on me just in case he didn't make it to a station. I headed back toward town, and then south on 13. I found him a few miles south of a couple of gas stations and after a failed first attempt at getting gasoline, we were back near TN-149 fueling up. We decided to head toward Cumberland City, Erin, and finally get to TN-232, the so called "Baby Dragon" (C).

We made surprisingly good time to 232, and just as we turned on to it, a couple of guys on trike choppers where turning off of it. We headed North on the Baby Dragon, enjoying the 13 minute ride. We both agreed that the name Baby Dragon was a bit far fetched, it was not nearly as curvy as the Tail of the Dragon at Deal's Gap in East Tennessee, but it WAS a very nice ride for our corner(?) of the state. There was a nice, and unexpected, elevation change, some very nice views of surrounding valleys as we continued upward, and the tree cover cooled us down some. Matt really surprised me in one turn by how far his bike (a custom) was leaning over, I guess his training on the real Dragon paid off.

As we reached TN-79, we headed into Dover to snag some grub. We stopped at Dover Grille, which I remembered being a Tex-Mex joint, but had sort of transformed into more diversified restaurant. The still have some Mexican though, and it's not bad at all. I had a veggie wet burrito, and Matt had a steak. My food was pretty good, and I think Matt liked his too. I purchased a seat pad this morning and had it on the bike, and while it helped a lot today, I was still a little sore. Neither of us seemed to be in any sort of rush to get back on the bikes, and an hour off the bike really seemed to give me a second wind. I think I could have ridden another 100 miles after that break.

We finally did hop back on the bikes, and headed toward Cumberland City on TN-46. I had been on this road, in a car, but not for more than a few miles. I really enjoyed this road a great deal. It was fast compared to 232, smooth, and car free. The temperature had dropped several degrees, tree cover was nice a thick, and it was a relaxing ride. I wasn't expecting it, and it opened my eyes to some potential new rides that could be cool in the area. We headed past the Southern Annex of Cross Creek Wildlife Preserve and then into Cumberland City.

I don't think Matt had been to Cumberland City before, at least not very close to it, he mentioned that he didn't realize how much coal it took to keep a coal-fire plant running. It really is a lot of coal. We gassed up at the bigger gas station across from the industrial complex and then headed South on TN-46. This is a nice light jaunt through some woods and farmland. Once we crossed into Houston county it was apparent we had just missed some rain.

Matt and I went different ways once we arrived at TN-13. Matt said "He a safe ride home" and I replied "Okay." What a jerk! I realized what I said the moment I pulled off. I was distracted by the fact that he had his right turn signal on but was supposed to go straight on 46. I continued on 13 back to Clarksville without much happening. It did hit some rain, but it was mostly just a handful of really fat raindrops and it stopped after a short period.

As I approached the water and fire tires in Cunningham, near where Matt ran out of gas initially, A woman in a minivan pulled out of a driver in front of me. No one was behind me so I got ont he brakes pretty heavily to avoid hitting her. It wasn't real close, but sort crazy. I guess she didn't see me do to the light hills in the area, but it sort of ticked me off. On top of that, she pulled into the very next driveway, so she didn't get up to any sort of speed. This allowed the car that was a good ways behind me to catch up to me and they continued to ride a bit closer than I'm comfortable with. Less than 2 miles down the road an older small pickup truck also pulled out in front of me, and then continued to do maybe 40 in a 45. This caused the car behind me to get ticked off and was even closer to me than before. I was glad once they got to a spot that they were comfortable passing both of us (across a double line, no less) and my 6 was clear again.

I got no pictures of today, I wish I had at least gotten 1 or 2 of both of the bikes, but it was definitely about the ride today. It's not easy to take pictures from the bike, and I've only been carrying my cell phone which is touch screen and doesn't work with my gloves on.

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