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Posts tagged ‘White Oak Valley’

rabbit, fox … and turtle

Some cyclists are fleet like rabbits, some quick or clever like foxes … as for me, I am more like a turtle.  Usually getting waylaid on the side of the road with my camera, and having to be prodded to get moving.  Eventually I manage to get where I am going.

Yesterday we decided to explore some new territory.  I’ve had a local route book on my shelf for almost a year now – (Chattanooga area) Bicycling Routes by Elle Colquitt.  It’s filled with nice maps, cue sheets, and route descriptions for some interesting-looking rides in the Chattanooga area and into north Georgia.  I am ashamed to admit that I haven’t made as much as much use of it as I should.  I tend to be a creature of habit, and end up riding my favorite roads more often than  exploring new ones.  Like I said, I am a turtle.

While many of the routes would (realistically) necessitate driving to some not-so-nearby starting point, one of the routes begins almost out my front door.   It’s called “Chasing Down the Rabbit and the Fox”, named for Rabbit Valley Road and Black Fox Road.

I am guessing that nearly half of the photos on this blog come from points along Rabbit Valley Road and White Oak Valley; they are the roads we tend to ride a lot.  They are beautiful and bicycle friendly.  I have established friendships with many cows along the way. But a good portion of the Black Fox Road side of the loop was new and un-ridden territory for us … so we decided to give it a go.  And I am glad we did.

I would describe the route as very easy – a great leisurely Sunday ride for us turtle-types.  Mostly gently rolling, good pavement, low traffic.  The hillier parts are ones we are already familiar with, on the White Oak Valley side.  One very short “whoop-y” little climb, but otherwise easy on the legs and lovely to the eye.  We ran across several other small groups of cyclists along the way, which makes me believe it is a pretty popular route.  And while I took some photos, I was focussed on taking in the new scenery and enjoying the ride.  So much so that I didn’t pay enough attention to regularly sipping from my water bottles, and ended up with a post-ride sun/dehydration headache.  Dumbness.

The first of April brings another #30daysofbiking to the table.  I applaud several of my friends who are making a go of it again – Myrna, BlueAllez (aka FritterMan), and DIsabled Cyclist.  While I really enjoyed my past experiences with both #30daysofbiking, and my subsequent #330daysofbiking, I have debated about committing to another. I may, I may not.  We’ll see.  At this point, I am not officially putting my name on the list, but may try and keep a Flickr set – one photo from each day.  If I make it through to the end, I may write a post.  Maybe.

Meanwhile, a tip of my cycling cap to my friends – and I wish you all many happy miles and adventures.  For me, silly business as usual … and a few scenes from yesterday.

(Can you spy the cyclist?)

#330daysofbiking Day 83: in search of shade

So, this morning I had the brilliant idea that a nice long-ish road ride was in order.  Got the Monday morning mountain of laundry out of the way early, and even though the outside thermometer was creeping quickly towards 90’F, I figured what the heck – how bad could it be?

Oh, my stupid, stupid ideas…….

It started out well enough.  But after about an hour out, I realized that stopping to take any more pictures was a heat-stroke wish.  Out of water, bottle of Nuun completely drained, getting beyond typical sweaty-ness to that, well … something along the lines of a hot lobster feeling.  Skin starts feeling prickly, face is flushed, the start of a headache.  Basically, a whole lot of miserable. I’ve never functioned very well in high temperatures, and although I try to pre-hydrate as much as possible and drink plenty along the way, I know when enough is enough.  Time to head in.

Appears we were about 2-3 degrees short of record high temperature for this date – last report I heard was high of 94’F, heat index of 102’F.  Basically, pretty stinky for cycling – at least for me; my internal cooling system appears to be somewhat defective.  Lesson learned.

too hot to stop for very long (White Oak Valley)

finding shade near a farm

#330daysofbiking Day 74: days of thunder(storms)

passing through the White Oak Valley

The pattern is becoming all too routine: smothering heat through the day, big burst of thunderstorms late in the afternoon, riding in the evening after everything has passed.

It’s nice to have a little extra man-power around the house lately.  Matt and Grant did almost all of the mowing (thanks guys!).  Gave me a chance to get some things done around home, and I eventually headed out for my solo ride among the hay bales and pink-shadowed clouds.  Realized – somewhere in the middle of the ride – that I had completely forgotten my plans to attend a community long-range planning meeting in town (sorry Jeff).  So much for my biking/pedestrian advocacy efforts.  #Fail.

Right now, I am just tired … and in need of sleep.  Have nothing else to say.  Happy evening, friends. 😀

bales