Internal Detours
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
  a post-fireworks ride
I had a great Independence Day weekend, complete with a trip to the U.S.S. Yorktown with my 7-year-old Tiger Cub that involved an astounding fireworks display, sleeping way up high in the top bunk about 8 feet off the ground, lots of climbing ladders up and down on warships commissioned in 1943, and lots of walking around back and forth across hanger and flight decks.  Top it off with a delightful stay en famille that included a meal at my favorite low-country Greek restaurant (Zeus in Mt. Pleasant) AND a family walk along the beach at Isle of Palms, and you have a good and glorious weekend.  We worked in a visit to pal Jeff Slotkin at Sweetgrass Cycles and found a helmet for my 5-year-old daughter that fit both her head and her sense of the appropriate colors for a princess to wear before making the long drive home. I was well and thoroughly beat when I fell into the sheets and slept the sleep of those who have missed their own beds.

This morning I had to lever myself up and out, but I managed it.  I ate breakfast with the last of the milk, dressed in cycling stuff and went downstairs.  The tires on the Gitane were were surprisingly low on air so I pumped them back up to 90 psi and set out, passing the still-dead wasp nest that I need to remove tonight or tomorrow.

It was 6:11 when I rolled out of the driveway, encountering like, nothing and nobody before hooking left onto Grace and heading for fabulous Uptown Greenwood.  Here traffic and traffic lights were on my side, and I rolled up on a car just as the light went green.  I followed him through the intersection and made my way, noting that the sky was lighter but full of overcast fog.  No spectacular sunrises this morning.

I wound my way through the streets back to the trail, seeing only two guys sitting in the yard of the project.  I nodded, they didn't, and I rolled on.  One of the guys was wearing a vest with no shirt.  I found myself fervently wishing Ainsley was there and riding with me so that we could have discussed what wearing a vest with no shirt did to that guy's odds of being arrested - if you've ever indulged yourself with that guiltiest of pleasures "COPS," you'll agree that the one without a shirt always goes to jail.

I passed a shopping cart on its side by the side of the road, unusual in that it was covered in red plasti-coat finish.  I had never before seen one of those gone feral, usually it's the chrome ones that go wild and roaming

Apart from the savage shopping cart, there wasn't too much wildlife this morning, just one doe that sprang across the trail at my approach.  Further along, I encountered the older couple I have been seeing a couple of times a week, and we nodded to each other in recognition/acknowledgement, and then I was spinning toward the end of the trail.

Left again, rolling up Florida to cross 25 South, then down the other end of Florida Avenue to 34, where once more traffic and lights were on my side, and I was able to easily - and legally! - roll onto New Market.  I felt really strong rolling downhill - no surprise there! - and stormed up the hill faster than any time this year.  After the false flat, I was still able to maintain a decent pace on the second bit of climbing.  Lo and behold, the light was pretty close to synchronized to my approach, and on I went.

Up the rise to Robber Baron Row, and suddenly I heard THAT sound, the sound that could only be ... and it was, a freakin' 18-wheeler rolling up behind me on New Market.  I got high enough to see over the rise and saw an oncoming car, took in that the road was perceptibly NARROWING, looked back to gauge the rate of overtake behind me, calculated range and ballistics and insurance deductables, took a deep breath and CLAIMED the lane and stomped on the Gitane.  The old green bike didn't let me down, and I whipped over onto E. Creswell with room to spare as vehicles passed each other where I no longer was.  Whew.

I snaked my way back through what is, let's face it, a pretty danged dodgy neighborhood, and came out on Phoenix Street.  I wished for greater energy on the climb up to the post office, but my wish was not granted. A quick turn and I was riding along Main Street.  I slipped around via Bailey Circle and Jennings to skip the light at Grace, and then buzzed home via little Melrose Terrace.  I was home by 7:00 with 10.6 miles for my morning and the promise that tomorrow I may be a bit faster.
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Location: Greenwood, South Carolina, United States
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