Thursday, September 5, 2013
Tried to get a little earlier start but still left at 7:10 with fog. The entire ride today was very quiet back roads with the fog staying until about 9. It was about 30 miles to a ferry crossing and the ferry schedule had it leaving at 9:45 or a 11:15 for me to make. I thought I'd push to get to the 9:45 but did not feel I could make the 30 miles with the time I got on the road. At 9:00 I passed a sign that said 9 miles to the ferry. Race on, that is 12 miles per hour for 45 minutes, not a problem. Well after 4 miles the next sign said 7 to go now it would be difficult. Not sure how they measured the miles. The last 7 miles was a smooth road and I was clocking 15 mph and passing the worlds largest phosphate mine. So out of breath and energy I rolled onto the ferry with 1 minute to spare! I went up to the passenger lounge and laid across the seats for the half hour crossing. 4 miles after the ferry was the only local diner on today's route so it was an early lunch. Two miles past lunch was my only country store on the route, so I picked up water and snacks. So my ride was broken into 2 30 mile segments and I road both without getting off the bike. That made for an early 3:30 arrival in Plymouth. Which is great because the push tomorrow to get picked up by my son Aaron is 96 miles! Fortunately tomorrow is a cool day. Some road biking observations: obviously all the roads I ride are paved, but the type pavement makes a difference. A smooth asphalt road is fast. When flat I can easily ride 13-15 mph. Then there is a pavement that is asphalt with a gravel in it and it will take more energy and slow me down. Next is asphalt with larger stone gravel in it and it chatters when you ride and is very hard to keep speed. The worst are when either of the 2 above get rough, with cracks and infinite very small bumps and small ruts. It is almost impossible to get above 10 mph because it takes much more energy to push through and you are constantly unloading on the saddle because the bike is just rattling. I am constantly searching the part of the road to find a smooth line. If this is on a busier road and I have to stay near or on the side of the road, usually a white line and no shoulders, then it is painful! Last which I have not seen much is the oiled road with the stone gravel on top, usually smooth just again very slow. Then the dreaded roads which have the dreaded joints avery few feet, some big enough that you have to unload the saddle, slow and painful and usually on the busier roads, yuk! So the last 7 miles to the ferry was new, smooth and flat great for speed. Well, at least with a fully loaded, heavy, steel framed touring bike speed! I did get to watch tobacco being harvested today and asked to one of the farmers, very interesting.
Posted by Dan Brown at 8:19 PM