a tuesday afternoon ride
For once, I had no errands to run on my afternoon off. I knew there was a 6:00 club ride on the fire roads, but that wasn't what I wanted. Instead, I dressed myself in wool and pulled Julius off the rack and headed out.
I had a time limit, but that was fine. I didn't want a lot of miles, or fast ones. I just needed to ride for a couple of hours at a laid-back tempo. Along the rail trail, I played with the camera and took some pictures along the way. I went left on Florida, then cut through Wisewood to get onto 221 for maybe half a mile before taking 225 to Scotch Cross.
I was near the intersection of Scotch Cross and Rock House when I saw the collapsed house on the left, and it dawned on me I'd seen three abandoned, fallen-in houses on that road alone. I wondered about the people who had built the clapboard house with the tin roof, and how long it had been since anyone lived there. A minute later I was turning onto Rock House Road. A minute after that, I turned onto Feed Mill Road and saw where someone had cleared a lot for a new house. I wondered why anyone would want to live that close to Highway 221, and crossed said highway onto Antioch Church Road.
I guess every county in the Southeast has an Antioch Church. If not that, they have a Lebanon Church. We have both here. I rode past the much-modified, added-onto structure and bounced along on the bumpy tar and gravel road.
It got agricultural pretty quickly. There were a couple of fields full of cows, some herds in black, others in various white and brown shades. Cool. A little later I passed a fenced in field with three or four goats and two Great Pyrenees herding dogs that outweigh
ed their charges.
We seem to have had an influx of the big dogs, all in the southern part of the county and all working on farms. Ainsley has reminded me that they don't work any harder than they have to, but these two were the exception. One staked out a corner and barked, holding his ground. His companion trotted along behind the fence, glancing over his shoulder as he paced me. When we got to the end corner, he turned and barked, almost ceremonially at me. I told him I'd stay out of his field and rode on, feeling his eyes on my back.
A little further on, the road steepened as it pitched towards the bridge. I stopped for a moment to take pictures of the llamas and concluded a telephoto lens would have been nice. At the other end of that field, two goats with incredible horns glowered at me. I pointed Julius on down the hill and climbed up to Briarwood. Minutes later I was on Alexander and passing West View Middle School. I realized it was only 3:30, a bad time to be near public schools these days. I hooked a right onto Florida Avenue and passed Springfield Elementary, a newly-built school with the enormous parking area and the long driveways designed for parents driving huge SUVs to pick up their dimpled darlings who are too precious to ride the bus. The driveways were full. I shook my head and rode down the hill to another bridge over yet another creek whose name I forget and headed for the trail back in.
The ride distance wound up being 20.1 miles. I was home a little after 4:00, and had time to run a couple of last-minute errands before going to the in-laws for supper. I ate well and quietly pondered the second anniversary of my heart attack.