independence day and other rides
It's been a very full couple of weeks here, my only excuse for not keeping this blog up to date. I'm sure I'm leaving some rides out of this, but that's life and my not-so-hot memory.
The biggest thing here lately was the mother of all yard sales combined with the drive to get rid of the last of the assorted estate items that needed to go. Ana proposed that we take everything off every shelf and out of every closet and cabinet in the house and either keep, sell, donate or trash it. It was a massive undertaking that culminated in a huge sale, but the prep work kept me pretty busy for a while.
I did get to participate in the joint Greenwood Cycling Club/Laurens Cycling Club ride on July 4th. I drove out from Greenwood with Belle in the back of the truck, making the right turn off 72 onto 560 and then driving down to the largely defunct downtown of Cross Hill. The businesses there are largely boarded up and long gone, but there's still a Confederate war memorial. Vonona was there, waiting with Harriet, a Laurens rider. Fairly soon after I arrived Donna, another Laurens rider, showed up. Moments after that, Ainsley rode up on his LeMond, followed by a gentleman named Dan. We did introductions and Ainsley and Dan picked out a route and we headed back out to 72.
Road construction forced us right onto 72. It was a little nervous - it's a high-speed road - but after a bit it opened up some, and we cut right onto a quieter road after a few miles. We passed a couple of dirt roads - Ai
nsley and I both went, "mmmmm .... dirt ...." - and traveled down a couple of narrow but smooth roads as we looped about before coming back in to Cross Hill with just under 15 miles.
On the way out of town, I stopped to buy some locally grown yellow corn and some potatoes from a guy with a truck by the side of the road, then went home to grill massive organic ground sirloin burgers. Yum ...
I commuted to work the next day, then didn't touch a bike again until today, Sunday. Saturday's sale was a big deal. People were stacked up waiting for us to open up the garage before 7:00, and it was a lot like watching as swarm of sharks for the first hour or so. All the albums went, as well as all of the vintage costume jewelry and a shocking number of other items. After we closed up and had lunch, we finished prepping the few remainders for pickup next week by whichever charity is willing to come and get them.
What stunned me was how, after finishing, I can clap my hands and hear an echo in the garage. I'm still working out how I'll set up my work bench, where I'll hang the mountain bikes, and where the trainer will go. Ana will actually get to park her car in a garage - something we've never been able to do before.
Today Ainsley and I met downtown at 4:00. A fellow named Spencer from Missouri who was visiting family in the Columbia area was hoping to get in a fixed-gear ride with us. The scheduling didn't work out, alas, but Ainsley and I managed to get in a nice little ramble.
We hung out for half an hour before leaving, sitting at one of the new picnic tables downtown in the shade and swapping stories and discussing the day's route.
"We've never been down Hitching Post Road," Ainsley said.
"You're right. Let's go down the trail to the Canadian Mist Highway and take Hitching Post from that end," I said.
So we did, leaving at 4:3o. Riding down the trail, we discussed all sorts of stuff. We were a few hundred yards from the end when I mentioned Ana's Mexican-style lasagna, using corn tortillas instead of pasta and filling itn chockfull of salsa and other goodies.
"Okay," Ainsley said. "Now I'm hungry."
"Well, it's tradition," I said. "We're supposed to talk about food at some point while riding out on the trail. How many times has Donis fussed at me about making her hungry by talking about food?"
Hitching Post Road turned out to be pretty good, being paved for much of its length, followed by a great, if sandy, stretch back out to Scotch Cross. We turned left and headed towards Ninety Six, making the right turn onto Lowden Road and riding to Star Fort National Park. We stopped there for a bit before heading on towards town. We cut left and rode back towards town past the golf course before taking Lebanon Church Road to the Canadian Mist Highway and retracing our steps back to town. I had 29.3 miles by the time I got home.