(Continued from Part 1. Just ascended Sugarloaf Mt.)
As I round the corner at the summit, I come across a sight familiar to anyone who has taken on Sugarloaf. A neighborly resident has a water cooler, always filled with fresh Icy water. On the weekends he stays pretty busy. I actually got to meet him during the Horrible Hundred. He's a former POW, so I guess he really knows what thirst is.
From his home he has a beautiful view of Lake Apopka in the distance.
Looking on, in the distance I see the back side of Sugarloaf. The past two times I've ridden this hill I've gone over 40 on the decent. I will take it easy as I have some old training wheels on that I don't trust. I hit 39.1 with out trying. NO problems.
Another scenic vista with some abandoned orange trees in view. My lousy camera phone does not do justice to the beauty of the view.
I stop at the corner of scrub Jay and citrus to snap a shot of yet another lake in the distance. It's grassy lake. No wonder they call this lake country.
I'm about 26 mi into the ride. One more decent acent lies just out of view.
Soon I'm on US 27, a signal that I'm very close. I soon turn right on to lake Minniola Shores road. I'll be going about 1.2 way around the lake to get back to my car. I stop to take a few more pictures. If you look very closely you can see the Citrus Tower in the center of the picure on the far shore. My car is very close to that.
As I turn back to continue, I realize I have not taken a pic of my trusty steed that has brought me this far. I snap the perfunctory bike pic. I'm not happy about the shadow from the pole over my shoulder, but I'm running a bit late. No time for a retake. As I head back to my bike, two guys ride by. Where have they been all day? I would be nice to have someone pull a bit, but they are too far ahead by the time I mount.
As I cross over a bridge, I see some others enjoying their passion on this beautiful day. I must have his shot.
By now I'm quite a bit behind schedule, but a text from my niece buys me some time. I head back toward that tower in the distance. I decided at the last minute to take a little detour though "Historic downtown Clermont" in search of a bottle of post ride chocolate milk. It is quickly apparent that these quaint little shops have every thing but chocloate milk. I decided to go even more out of my way and stop at a gas station on near by Route 50.
It's rush hour and route 50 is packed. I realize I'm 2 blocks west of the gas station. There is no way I'm riding in this traffic. I wait on the light, cross the road, and get on the sidewalk. I ride the 2 blocks, cross again at the light, and score a nice quart of chocolate recovery.
The ride back to my buddy's place goes quickly and I'm soon chowing down on a banana and that cold chocolate milk. A fitting end to a great solo. I hope next time I'll have some company and a little more time.