Monday, June 29, 2009

Saturday Road Ride

Hawley in Gastonia. Right on Titman
and the day before Paris they are going up Mt. Ventoux!
Now Famous State.
This Saturday I had to be in the center of Kings Mountain State Park in Blacksburg South Carolina to meet Ms. Arcen by 1030hrs. The night before I looked at the google map and planned a 43.5mile route that took me from the back door to below Gastonia then across the state line onto Battleground Rd and then into the park.
I left the house at 0745hrs and jumped out on the Stay Alive headed west which felt like a strange thing to do on a Saturday. At Executive Center Drive only a few minutes in I witnessed a really bad thing that I wished was not happening, wishing does not always work. A puppy and what appeared to be his owners were fumbling around in the middle of both directions in the early morning heat. The little brown pup prolly around 3 months old had no idea where he was as he paced back and forth smelling the concrete island. It seemed like the panicked owners were in a large truck trying to get out to help the little dog stuck in the middle but the traffic, even at this hour on a Saturday was already hellish. I looked over my shoulder and 3 abreast auto viper was coming west hard. I could not do anything even though none of it was my fault except for being there. I screamed to myself knowing that the outcome was going to be bad and then I pedaled forward. In seconds I heard brakes and that ripping skid sound that a car can make when it is trying to stop from a 55mph float. I could not look back. Dammit, Dammit, Dammit.
For 2 miles I felt like I had no business continuing because my heart was hurt by what my eyes and ears had witnessed. I thought to myself that a ride could turn around from bad to better or even perhaps from bad to worse. I kept on and went right through the Downtoon Jar and when I got to Moorehead I saw a lone rider wearing green go across and down. I caught him soon headed towards Wilkinson and his group of 6 welcomed me in their little rolling pack. Strange, I had not planned on riding with anyone and now these guys were headed all the way across the river and I was with them. I chatted at the back with a tall fellow on a fast looking Felt and then worked my way up to the front with the guy on the Carbon Trek he had bought from Ilan. He told me that he has given Ilan more money than he had his wife in the last 5 years. Over the river this little Tri training ride was going left and I was still going west so we parted with a sprint to the end of the bridge which somehow I took. All fun and Games.
Alone again continuing west out the 74 until Market Street Cramerton. Then off south and west into the country where the roads were calm and rolling. Every other house and church in Cramerton seemed to be having a yard or better yet described 'desperation' sale. Continuing through the back roads to across HWY321 and then more rural riding. Crowders Mountain was in plain view to the south and I could see Kings straight ahead whenever I was on top of a hill. NO cars coming from behind for about 5 miles, just me and the quiet steamy heat of a summer morning in North about to be South Carolina.
I stopped to take a picture at the state line and then entered the 3rd(Mecklenberg, Gaston &York) and final county of the day. Across Battleground Rd and into the park for the last 2.3miles of my ride. The trees were everywhere, I was completely surrounded and happy that I did not let the start of my ride be the end. I arrived at the camp at 1013hrs and my kid found me before I found her.

1 comment:

Arleigh said...

Sorry that you had to hear those things, puppies and small babies are gifts to humanity to keep us real.