Monday, March 15, 2010

Another Day on the Bike

The weather lately has been a bit discouraging. Not bad enough so that others are impressed that you're out on the bike, but not good enough to make it an enjoyable day. Today was no exception. Gray (grey if you're from Great Britian) skies, cold wind and a little bit of drizzle. Yuck.

I laid out a route riding some of the roads out of Sesser that Mike McKee had shown to me. Unfortunately, I couldn't find Emerson City Road off of Route 148. I rode almost to Waltonville looking for it. Finally, disgusted and ready to quit and go home, I turned around. As I was nearing Sesser I spotted an unmarked road to my right. Since none of the marked roads were it, I thought I might as well try this one. Voila! (That's French for "Bingo!" Sort of.) It becomes Tamaroa Road as it nears - you guessed it - Tamaroa.

North of Tamaroa I went further west on Shamrock Road which becomes White Oak and takes you to Route 154 at Pinckneyville. Continuing straight is Pick Road which joins with Denny Road becoming...(drum roll here...) Pick Denny Road. Left on Cudgetown road and it's on to Route 152 near DuQuoin. Well ordinarily. Today, Cudgetown road was closed so I had to detour onto Sacred Heart Road.

Although I didn't have a map,I knew that I was headed east, the wind was on my left, but I wanted to find a good south road to take me to Route 152, since my directions were off of that road. Soon I hit paydirt. Literally. I turned right onto a nice, wide concrete road at the Perry Ridge Landfill. I had previously seen the other end on 152 so I knew this was a good road. However...after only a few hundred yards of concrete, it turned to mud; deep mud. I struggled to stay upright and keep from having to put a foot down. The road was mud all the way to that short strip of concrete just before Route 152 that I had seen before. Yuck. The bike and I were covered.

After turning left onto Route 152 I rolled about a quarter of a mile and on my left, entering 152 was...(drum roll here...)Sacred Heart Road! Ow! If I'd have stayed on it, I would have avoided the mud and still wound up on Route 152! Ow!

Anyway, the roll home from DuQuoin was uneventful. The final tally was 117 miles during 7 hours and 16 minutes for a speed of 16.1 mph.

Back in Marion I rolled down Main St. happy to be home. Until I passed the Junior High School. Last month I shaved off my beard because I thought it made me look old. I had recently been flirted with by a gray-haired woman who obviously had been a hippie in the 1960's and was waiting for the style to return. I realized that it was more than just being a studly guy, she thought I was old, too. So off with the beard. Today I realized it wasn't the beard - it's me. I am old. Drats! As I rolled by the Jr. High School, a small knot of young girls were out front. One of them waved to me and shouted, "What's shakin' Grandpa?" Double Drats! I'm growing the beard back. If I have to be old, I might as well not have to bother shaving as well.

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