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  1. #1
    Elite Fred mollusk's Avatar
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    Slow ride ... Take it easy

    While I went out on a "hammer" ride today I did quite the opposite on Sunday. For me this is a great departure, but getting back to my cycling "roots". During the last year or so I have been out there on my bike riding hard and having a great time doing so, but some small part of me was missing the simple pleasures of just going off on a leisurely spin in the countryside without worrying about lactate thresholds, cadence, average speed, cyclometer watching, or any of that other stuff. I really felt like I needed to just go on an enjoyable ride.

    Being a creature of habit I knew that this might be a hard thing to accomplish. I had to come up with some kind of plan that would force me to slow down (gasp!) and even stop (double-gasp!!!) when out riding. What I decided to do was to bring along a digital camera and stop and take pictures. I also needed to not have a plan ahead of time about what pictures to take or even where I would be riding. Knowing me I would turn such a ride into interval training from picture spot to picture spot. That just wouldn't do! The only plan I had in my head was that I would go south of town into the horse farm country just north of Ocala and pedal around there.

    I started out going east out of Gainesville because that is the quickest way for me to get out of town. Eventually I reached the road that goes to Cross Creek and I turned south. I was shocked to find a lot of traffic on this road, but all was made clear later (see the other thread on smooooth pavement!). Cross Creek is "THE" Cross Creek made famous by Marjorie Rawlings. Her home and orange grove are still there and run by the State of Florida, but before getting to Cross Creek I turned off and headed a different direction.

    I always like riding through Evinston near the west shore of Orange Lake. They have a real general store/post office, but unfortunately they are not open on Sunday. I did stop and take a picture, though. There is also a picture of the road to Cross Creek and a couple of pictures involving Orange Lake. The road through Evinston is very nice to ride very early in the morning in the dead of winter. The sandhill cranes like to congregate in the fields just outside of town and if you hit it just after sunrise you can see and hear thousands of sandhill cranes getting ready to disperse for the day. It is really impressive.

    A few miles down the road I turned onto what the old-timers call Dungarvin Road, but the soul-less bureaucrats that run Marion County have changed the name to NW 193rd Street. There is a typical picture along Dungarvin Road below as well as a picture of a stable at a horse farm. I should live so well!

    After Dungarvin Road I turned left and went through Flemington into the heart of the horse farm country. I took some pictures down there but most of them didn't turn out very well or are too big to upload onto the BF site. The one named County225A.8.6.06.jpg shows a typical piece of road down there in "flat" Florida.

    After much "noodling" around in the horse farm country, a stop (gasp!) at a convenience store for an ice-cold Coke, and back up to Flemington where I stop again (what's up with all this stopping?) to refill my water bottles and sit in the shade of a tree and enjoy the morning.

    Before I get completely stiff and relaxed (how is THAT possible?) I hop on my bike and make the short jaunt up to the quaint town of Micanopy. Micanopy is REALLY old. It is St. Augustine kind of old (take that, you johnny-come-lately English settlement types!), but none of the original structures remain. A couple of Hollywood movies have used Micanopy for location shots. I've included one picture of a building where a friend of mine used to live. There is a thriving antique business community in Micanopy, so the "cuteness" factor has really been ramped up in recent years.

    After enjoying Micanopy I wandered back over to the east side of town and home. On the way I stopped and composed the "art" shot of my helmet, gloves, glasses and sweat band.

    So I get home about 11:30 am after logging 77 miles at 18 mph average in saddle time, but only a bit over 16 mph average in running clock time. See, old habits die hard. I just had to peek at the cyclometer and get those numbers.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    I'm the world's forgotten boy. The one who's searchin', searchin' to destroy.

  2. #2
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    Sounds like a nice ride - and the pics are great. I should also mention that, for a casual ride, 18 mph is not a speed you have to apologize for.

    Caruso

  3. #3
    OnTheRoad or AtTheBeach stonecrd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carusoswi
    Sounds like a nice ride - and the pics are great. I should also mention that, for a casual ride, 18 mph is not a speed you have to apologize for. Caruso
    Agreed 18mph would not be considered a light ride for me, probably 15mph would be. I wish we had some of that scenary down south. I can go to the beach but riding around A1A, Biscayne Bay etc on the weekend is way too scary. I also almost always ride with a buddy and for some reason wheneverr you get more than one on a bike competition happens and each of you try to show the other how hard you can pull and keep the speed up. I don't know how many times we said we were going to do a recovery spin and just end up pushing hard.
    The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard and the shallow end is much too large

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  4. #4
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    beautiful landscape - had no idea the Gainesville region of Florida was that nice

    I've only been to the Orlando area and was not impressed but I've had folks tell me that Gainesville is the prettiest landscape in the state.

    thanks for sharing your ride
    centexwoody
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  5. #5
    Elite Fred mollusk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by centexwoody
    beautiful landscape - had no idea the Gainesville region of Florida was that nice

    I've only been to the Orlando area and was not impressed but I've had folks tell me that Gainesville is the prettiest landscape in the state.

    thanks for sharing your ride
    I've ridden around Tallahassee (a long time ago) and it is also very pretty, especially the tree canopied roads.

    Orlando itself I could do without, but the area around Ferndale/Cleremont/Howey-in-the-Hills is really nice.
    I'm the world's forgotten boy. The one who's searchin', searchin' to destroy.

  6. #6
    Resident Old Fart Olebiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mollusk
    I've ridden around Tallahassee (a long time ago) and it is also very pretty, especially the tree canopied roads.

    Orlando itself I could do without, but the area around Ferndale/Cleremont/Howey-in-the-Hills is really nice.
    Your post got me to thinking about coming down for the Santa Fe Century in October. How is that ride?
    Wag more, bark less

  7. #7
    Elite Fred mollusk's Avatar
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    It's OK, but I prefer the Horse Farm Hundred the following day.

    Or you could do both! Lot's of folks come to town and make a long cycling weekend of it by doing the back-to-back century rides.
    I'm the world's forgotten boy. The one who's searchin', searchin' to destroy.

  8. #8
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Sounds like a great ride, though 18mph would be closer to my hammer range, definitely not leisurely. This kind of ride is more like my norm rather than the exception. The only thing missing is hills.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Nice ride report and wonderful pics. I used to travel to Gainsville on business years ago and would drive the back roads from Jacksonville. Your pics brought the beauty of the area and those back roads right back to me. 18mph for me that's a strong pace for 77 miles.

  10. #10
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    LOL! Having to slack off to only avg. 18 mph? I have to pedal my a$$ off to avg. 15 mph in my neighborhood in Tall. Way to be leisurely.

  11. #11
    Elite Fred mollusk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg
    Sounds like a great ride, though 18mph would be closer to my hammer range, definitely not leisurely. This kind of ride is more like my norm rather than the exception. The only thing missing is hills.
    I wish that there were more hills where I live. I have to go out of my way to find them, pitiful as they are. I can find steep (12% grade), but short (less than 1/3 of a mile) or longer and shallow ( 1 mile at 1 to 2% grade), but no sustained climbs at a decent grade. The hills around here can be just attacked with pure power and sprinted over. That won't work on long, sustained climbs like some of you folks have.

    I have only ridden in Georgia around and east of Atlanta, between the Florida border and Albany, and on Jeykll Island, so I haven't ridden in the hilly parts of your state. I'd like to do that some day, especially the 6 Gap ride and Brasstown Bald, but I might have to tweak my gearing a little bit to do that!
    I'm the world's forgotten boy. The one who's searchin', searchin' to destroy.

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