But I am just a pilgrim on this road, boys
Until I see you fare thee well
-Steve Earle, Pilgrim

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Cycling on the Blue Ridge Parkway & the Zuma Coffee Jam

We took a short vacation to Asheville, NC, this past week. On the way out, the bridges across the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers were closed at Cairo, IL, and we had to detour through Metropolis, IL, where Judy took my picture with the Superman statue. I took the Rambouillet and was able to get in one ten-mile ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I rode for about 1.5 hours because it was mostly uphill and I stopped to take pictures.

Judy dropped me off at the Ox Creek Road intersection and planned to meet me at Craggy Gardens Visitor Center. Another cyclist, Gary, parked and unloaded his recumbent at the same time. He and his wife both own Rambouillets and he owns a Saluki. He was also riding up to Craggy Gardens, so we rode together except when I stopped to take pictures at the tunnels and overlooks. The climb over the ten miles was at least 2,000 feet because the elevation at the Bull Creek overlook is 3,483 feet, and the Craggy Gardens overlook is 5,500 feet. I do not know the elevation at Ox Creek Road, which comes up out of Weaverville near Bull Gap.

A highlight of the trip was the Thursday evening jam at Zuma Coffee in Marshall, NC. This is a regular event, but there was a large number of musicians this past week because they were celebrating Bobby Hicks' 78th birthday. Bobby joined Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys when he was just 21, and he played with the Ricky Skaggs band for over 20 years. Bobby now lives in Marshall. I have included a 3-minute video from the jam (The text that fades in and out of the video is from the video-conversion software test version). Bobby is on the left at the beginning of the video. He plays at about 0:52. I hope you enjoy it.

Metropolis, IL

One of two tunnels I rode through

Bull Creek Valley overlook

Lane Pinnacle is the far peak washed out by the sun

Gary climbing with Craggy Dome in the background

Gary at the Craggy Gardens Visitor Center

Me at the Craggy Gardens Visitor Center

Zuma Coffee jam musicians

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Four Rivendells

This morning, I rode to Ozark with Doug and Rae Nickell, Tom Barnett and John Dilsaver for pancakes at the Belgian Waffle House. We had four Rivendells on the ride: my Rambouilett, John's custom, Doug's Atlantis and Rae's Saluki as shown in the photo below taken by Tom.

Four Rivendells

Related to my Rambouilett, Robert Earl Keen sings of Chief Detective Rambouilett in "Mr Wolf and Momma Bear".

Monday, July 4, 2011

Historic Midtown's 21st Annual Old Fashion 4th of July Parade

The parade included penny farthings ridden by Jason and Isaac from The Hub Coffee and Bike Shop and James Allen. Looked like fun but treacherous. James has ridden a penny farthing across the United States and has a bike museum on Commercial Street. I am not sure if it is open yet.
Jason, Isaac (in the rear) & James Allen

Jason & James

James & Issac


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Hot! Hot! Hot!

On Friday, Dan Pfaff and I rode our July populaire permanent, the Marshfield Mash 112K. It was an evening (17:00) start again, and it was hot: still 97 degrees, only one degree below the record high set in 1931. The wind was out of the south to SSE at about 10 miles per hour, which did not help us much until we headed north out of Rogersville. The tall trees along White Oak Road and KK Highway also provided some shade. At the intersection of KK Highway and PP Highway, there was a barricade saying KK Highway was closed a mile further. We rode on, and MoDOT had been working on the bridge over Panther Creek, but the bridge was open. We made it to Marshfield at about 20:50. We were almost back to Panther Creek before it really got dark, although we had our lights on since we turned on to KK Highway. As we were riding down a hill on White Oak Road, I experience a weird effect of seeming to be falling into a bottomless pit. The road surface was very uniform with no center broken line, and there was tall vegetation growing right up to the edge of the road. It was apparent that the vegetation was moving, but the road did not seem to be moving at all. Very disorienting and weird. We made it back to Springfield a few minutes before 23:00. It was still 82 degrees.
White barn on KK Highway

Dan heading east on KK Highway

Red barn on A Highway south of Marshfield