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

Sunday, January 29, 2012

555 Km

Dan Pfaff, Joe Kratovil and I rode the Marshfield Mash 112K today. Joe is from New Jersey and is visiting his mom in Mountain Home, AR. It was a clear day with a 10-15 mph wind out of the southwest to west, so we had a little push on the way out. The temperature was about 35 degrees at 8:30 when we started and about 50 degrees when we got back at 14:06. It was a nice day for a ride and was uneventful except for a few dogs that gave chase. The weather has been good for January, and I finished the month with 555 Km of sanctioned rides.
Joe climbing out of Panther Valley

Dan Climbing out of Panther Valley

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Another Windy Day in Southwest Missouri

Dan and I hit the road at 8:00 this morning to ride the Hound Dog 123K to Aurora and back. It was chilly (34 degrees) with a strong SSE wind (25+ mph). It was a little slow going out, particularly since we stopped in Billings to use the restroom. The sun came out while we were in Aurora, but it did not last long. The clouds rolled back in, and it seemed chilly on the way back, particularly on the crosswind segments. We made it back (14:21) right around our average time for this route.
I can only take these pictures with my mouth open.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Wind Blown to Golden City

On Sunday, Dan and I rode the Route 66 & Cooky's Pie 205K permanent to Golden City. We left at 6:30, hoping to get back before dark. It was a nice, but cool, ride out with clear skies and a strong south southeast wind (20+ mph, gusting to 30+). The most excitement was when we watched three deer race across a field and the road in front of us.The wind shifted slightly to the south heading back, so it was mainly a problem on the south legs when we were only able to pedal 7 to 8 miles per hour. We did not make it back until 18:50 and were worn out.
Halltown, MO, on Historic Route 66

Pie selection at Cooky's

Spencer, MO, on Historic Route 66

Heading back with the setting sun

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mt. Mitchell Short Changed Permanent #1379

RUSA has approved a new permanent I submitted. It is on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina where we have family and spend a lot of time. There is 11,000 feet of climbing over 98 miles (157 Km). It can be ridden from April to October when the Parkway is open. Hope to ride it this summer. Here is the info on my web page.
Along the Blue Ridge Parkway

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Riding the North County

Starting at 8:30 on Saturday, Dan Pfaff and I rode the Bolton's 115K Permanent. The route is Central Springfield to Fair Grove to Bolton's General Store (north of Willard and east of Walnut Grove on Hwy BB) and back. The segment between Fair Grove and Bolton's is on the Trans-America Bicycle route. We don't ride this permanent as much as we should. There are plenty of hills that would help keep us in shape. Highways CC and BB that run east-west across the county pretty much follow the hill contours with few cuts and fills. The most common sign is "IMPASSABLE DURING HIGH WATER". Fortunately, we did not have any high water.  There are also usually a number of dogs along the route, but most seemed to have been hunkered down trying to stay warm on Saturday. The only dog that gave us any trouble was on a downhill, so we were able to zip past him. The weather was nice. It was sunny most of the day with a slight wind out of the north to northeast. The high was in the low fifties.
Dan heading north out of Springfield

Bank of Fair Grove


Little Sac River

Impassable During High Water

Low-water crossing

Historic Wommack Mill in Fair Grove

Monday, January 2, 2012

RUSA 5000Km Award

My goal for 2011 was to ride at least 5,000Km of RUSA-sanctioned rides. I completed 5,162Km. The 5000Km award (below) is the greatest annual cumulative distance award RUSA has established. There are lifetime distance awards: Mondial (40,000Km) and Galaxy (100,000Km). Mondial is a French adjective meaning worldwide or global. The name of the award relates to the fact that the circumference of the Earth is approximately 40,000Km. I have a lifetime total of 15,283Km, so I have a ways to go for the Mondial.