Internal Detours
Monday, March 27, 2006
  norris road and ponds everywhere

I went out for a few miles Sunday. I had no desire to go bumping over the trails with the club, and my schedule was a bit off, anyway, so I wrapped myself in my customary below-60-degrees wool and pumped up Belle's tires and headed out.

I went the usual way - through downtown, along the trail, through Wisewood and out to Scotch Cross Road. It's a route I've taken a zillion times with the club, usually on our way out to do one of the assorted loops that involves riding to Ninety Six and back.

It was pretty quiet out there. I passed the fairgrounds and saw a big tent set up for the Great American Circus, but the place wasn't exactly crawling with people. There were cars there to trip the light at Highway 25, so I wasn't waiting forever to cross. Then everything got quiet and I settled in for the ride.

I decided I wanted to stop for a natural, as the Euro guys put it, so I looked for the right location. Norris Road appeared on my left, and I pulled in. After taking care of matters, I turned and looked around and thought, "I've never seen that pond there before."

It was a swampy looking thing, and I wondered how I had missed it. I've ridden the length of Norris Road a couple of times through the years, most recently in the rain with Ainsley. I had stopped in almost the same place to fix a flat tire at the end of the 2002 Bee Buzzin' Tour. Still, here it was, looking almost exotic in the light that came through the trees.

I set off again, heading down the cumulative long hill. I spotted a farm pond beyond the tree line on my left, then another one. Again, I'd never notice them before. Hmm.

At the bottom of the hill, I started to go straight to Ninety Six, then changed my mind and hooked a left onto Lebanon Church Road. Immediately, I realized I'd made the right choice. The headwind was surprising, and it was better to fight my way through it now than later. I shifted down to the 38T ring and settled in. Surprise, surprise, surprise, as Gomer Pyle used to put it - there was yet another pond I'd never seen before.

I climbed on up the road. The nasty white dog was nowhere to be seen, possibly because the wind carried my scent the other way. I came back in via the Canadian Mist Highway, taking Florida back to the trail. No surprise at all there when I saw, shining in the distance through the trees, yet another pond I'd never seen before.

I had 21.8 miles when I got home, and I was in time to watch the Criterium International with Ana. It was nice to see Basso win. And on the mountain stage, it rained on them.
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