Thursday, July 06, 2006

Polecat Pike

Date: July 6
Mileage: 26
Ride type: Road
Bike: Blueridge
Temp: 75 sunny, breezy, WOW!
July mileage: 68
Year to date: 806

I may not have the words to really describe what a nice, pleasant ride i had today in my wife's hometown of Maysville. those (few) who read this blog may remember that i hyped a trip up there a couple weeks ago to do a big ride out 'in the country'. it didn't go so great, mostly b/c it's damn hard for someone not in great shape.

well, this a.m. the ride terrain may have been somewhat similar, but the experience was so much improved, much helped by the gorgeous weather. don't know 'bout the rest of the country, but KY had weather of 75, low humidity, breeze and perfect blue and sunny skies today. we had to go back to Maysville for a family emergency, so i took the bike hoping to get a little mileage in to add to M and T.

today's title refers to a great country road i took today as part of the 26-miler. as ever, i came up with words on the ride to describe it all, but sitting here now 10 hrs later most of it fails me. steep hills, green fields, stupid cows, clean air, at times huge amounts of sky while on the ridgetops, narrow roads, NO traffic, invigorating climbs, the Outside. loved it. a few other sensations included:

the sweet smell of a tobacco crop. yes, the leaf kills lots of folk, but if you haven't smelled it out in the field, you're missing an experience. it's distinctly sweet and strong.

a protective cow guarding her calf from me. she looked at me like i was an alien- most cows do- but she looked extra fierce and territorial, when i realized she had a small calf at her hooves.

many new Amish barns and homes in the area. still haven't passed a buggy in a while, but waiting to.

Range Rovers and Litespeeds passing each other on lonely country roads. this may have been the most unnatural view of the day. in a land of American trucks and green tractors, these two decidedly 'yuppie', urban vehicles seemed quite outofplace.

a small metal span bridge out of nowhere. so many bridges aren't really much, but his one was a full span and was nestled into a hidden creek-strewn corner quite away from many homes. a hidden treasure. (no pics, my wife had the camera)

a true berg. i've been blabbering abt the steep hills of Mason County, but today i actually experienced a true 'berg', in the Flandrian tradition. it, in fact, fed out of the aforementioned bridge, going straight up the side of the hill and bending left through a switchback, before continuing up the hill at a less-steep pace. i swear, this look JUST like something from Flanders. yes, i walked, just like those bozos at the back of the peloton when they get stuck on the Kemmelberg or the Muur du Grammont. the road was somewhat cut into the hillside too, just like- I think- the Kemmelberg. i didn't make it up the whole way, but boy what an image.

and finally, that hill brought me to some miles of beautiful ride-top riding, bringing closer to the sky and to the clean breezes. to my right rose the true (low)Appalachian mountains. some might consider my wife's home county (Mason) to be 'the mountains', but really Lewis Co. next door is where they rise. sometime or another I'm going further east and truly testing myself. a great image, though, being up there.

we're home now, but i wish i could go again tomorrow, as long as the temp is 75 and the sky is so blue. a 5-star day!

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