Sunday, August 5, 2007
The Big Muddy The Way I Seen It
Rode to Stanhope today via R. Avenue. When I went to bed last night I was sure that it had rained itself out, but it looked like some more had come in the night. I have to say, making first tracks in gravel that has been "re-set" by rain is kinda cool. Never mind that it was so waterlogged that I could hear the water being squished out as my 27 x 1 3/8 tires knifed into it! Lots of deer tracks in the road. I broke one of my golden rules and went out with the wind, hoping that it might subside after the sun got further up into the sky. I despise coming home into the wind, but "the wind is our mountains" right? So I arrived in Stanhope and sat outside the Sparky's and enjoyed my coffee, trying not to imagine what the 5 old farmers and two cute high school girls inside were saying about the guy in bike shorts and blue shoes. I imagine they would have had more to talk about if they saw what I had seen on the way to town. You see, as I passed a particular hog farm about 4 miles west of town there happened to be a fat old farmer coming out of his garage. Not especially noteworthy except for the fact that he was totally and completely naked! Luckily he was turning away from me and all I had to see was his ass! Makes me think twice about this while "ride gravel for the sights" thing. I spent the rest of the ride alternately cussing the wind and trying to make excuses for why a grown man would be walking around a hog farm naked. Maybe he fell into some hog shit and had to change? His wife is kinky and likes to watch the chores get done? Bestiality? Deliverance super-fan? Who knows, but I will alter my route to skirt around those few miles in the future. Also noticed that even though the Boone County roads were soft and mushy, as soon as I hit Hamilton county it was like steel wheels on rails! No problem cranking the big ring and fifth gear (6 speed, old bike, go figure) Had to deal with the same on the way home. I noticed this same thing on RAGBRAI as one county would have deep, round rocks and the next would have their roadbed bladed down like sheet ice. The roads never really firmed up too much today and it was still muddy at about 11:00 when I rolled off the gravel north of town. My seat tube was muddy except where the seat stay bridge blocked it from spraying up. Almost a perfect delineation. Weird after 30 plus miles. BTW, the title I used for this post is borrowed from a book written by a Boone dandy. His name, not nickname, name, is River Rat Phipps. He had a dream to float the Mississippi in a canoe, self supported, from source to delta. He dreamt it up, got it together, and went for it! I forget how far he made it, but he wrote a book about it and had it published. This is what I need to remember; goals are there for you to pursue, to chase and grasp at. River Rat went after his, I'll go after mine. Later! Travel Gravel! Eyes on the road!