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Old 09-02-07, 07:04 PM   #1
Artkansas 
Pedaled too far.
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A fox and a dog.

Pull your mind out of the gutter. I'm not talking about women.

One of the reasons that I bought the Bacchetta was to encourage myself to ride farther. The pain of the saddle was a major hindrance plus the effects of too much pressure in that area from long trips.

So I've been taking the Giro 20 out for longer and longer rides. First week around Pinnacle Mountain, then the next week to Lake Maumelle. This week I rode all the way around Lake Maumelle for a mileage of 53.54. I rode my age!

One thing I like about Little Rock is that from West Little Rock the rural countryside appears very quickly. One thing that is not so nice is that we are in the Bible Belt and there are few stores open on Sunday beyond the Little Rock city limits.

But it was a beautiful ride down State Highway 300. Rolling hills up to Natural Steps. Then at Roland it smoothed out and became flat farmland. The road took a little jog at Roland and I stopped under a big oak tree in front of a yard littered with bicycles. The homeowner came out and got into his car. As he drove by he stopped to give me directions. He told me how to go to Wye mountain. Mountain? The map only listed it as Wye.

Five miles down the road I found a convenience store. It was closed. There were drink machines outside, but it wouldn't take my dollar, and I only had 95 cents in change. Finally I tricked one of the machines into taking the bill and got a water.

After a rest I rode on, passing a family with a lot of nice cars in the yard. A 64 Falcon done wonderfully, a 240 Z and others. They were painting a large V8, and waved at me as I passed. Recumbent bikes don't pass through there too often.

A little while later I saw a dog off to the side. Barking and running at me. I down shifted and cranked on the wattage. That and a car following me kept me safe.

I began to find that the mountain part of Wye mountain was for real. The road wound up and up. It was thick forests and silence. At one point after minutes of solitude, a car started to pass me and suddenly a huge truck and a Mustang came downhill around the blind corner at high speed. Everyone hit the brakes. Shortly after that another corner became so steep and so banked that I had to go to the left side of the lane just to make it through the corner.

Finally I crested Wye Mountain and got to Highway 113. It was now rural, but very nice houses. I was hoping for a pretty straight descent. But no! Some real nice curves where I got to test the high speed cornering. And then a long series of tall, steep rolling hills. And then I got that nice descent. At one point I had taken the lane and was in top gear. I had to jam on the brakes to make it through a 30 corner. Hoo hah!

After that it was more rolling hills. At the end of them I was going through a large sweeping curve surrounded by forests and saw a fox running up a hill and away from the road with what looked like a squirrel in its mouth.

I was finally back to Highway 10 that would take me back to Little Rock. But I was running out of water. As I crossed over a bridge that spanned Lake Maumelle I noted the irony of so much water,(Lake Maumelle is Little Rock's water supply) but I had none to drink.

The rolling hills became a real hurdle. I knew that there was a marina up ahead where I could get water and food. But I didn't know how far it was. I pushed up the hills and coasted down them.

Finally about 5 miles later, I saw the marina and rode down the hill to it. Ah! Heaven.

But not too soon. Even though I watched the clerk enter 60 cents for a Seven Up and a dollar for a water. The register insisted that this added up to $8.61. He tried it several times and I cracked open the Seven Up while waiting.

The Marina was nice. I flaked out in a chair, just inhaling liquids. The local dog came up asking to be petted, and a few moments later the marina store owner came out to comb his fur.

I heard people talking about "him coming down from Wye Mountain" and realized that they were talking about me. I was surprised. I hadn't told anyone about where I was riding. In a few minutes the clerk came out and began asking questions about the Bacchetta. He, the owner and I discussed the Giro and riding it.

After a good rest, I was refreshed and ready for the final leg back home. I was tired, but I was surprised at the gears I was able to maintain. Slowly the scenery became more and more suburban. I had packed two fresh bottles of water and drank most of them on the way home.

After a shower, I got on Mapquest and looked up the mileage. Surprise. I rode my age!

Last edited by Artkansas; 09-03-07 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 09-02-07, 08:56 PM   #2
Kurt Erlenbach
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That sounds like a truly great, memorable ride.
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Old 09-03-07, 12:53 PM   #3
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Pedaled too far.
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Yeah, Arkansas has some great riding. The cool thing is that the ride is right on my doorstep. I'm thinking of doing it again in fall when the leaves are changing colors. I'll be sure to take more water.
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Old 09-03-07, 04:19 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
One thing I like about Little Rock is that from West Little Rock the rural countryside appears very quickly. One thing that is not so nice is that we are in the Bible Belt and there are few stores open on Sunday beyond the Little Rock city limits.
Oh man! I used to LOVE that.

When I moved to Missouri we still had "Blue Laws". You could buy food on Sunday's but not much else. I liked it because, with very limited shopping allowed, there was little Sunday traffic and bicycling was great.

As you might imagine there was an effort to eliminate the Blue Laws. They even had a referendum on the ballot in which the people voted 2:1 to retain the Blue Laws. In less than a year, however, our legislators felt that it was in our best interests to eliminate the laws.
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Old 09-04-07, 03:16 PM   #5
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Pedaled too far.
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In bigger cities like Little Rock it isn't bad. The big chains are open, but many small stores are closed.

But it is a reminder that we all need a little time off. That's not a bad idea. Teaches you to respect others.
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Old 09-04-07, 04:33 PM   #6
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I'm thinking of doing it again in fall when the leaves are changing colors. I'll be sure to take more water.
and a camera
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Old 09-04-07, 06:04 PM   #7
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Sounds like a beautiful ride. Thanks for the story. And glad you're enjoying your 'bent, too!
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