It looked a little gloomy first thing Saturday morning but by start time it was turning out to be a beautiful morning. Kathy, Sonya, Paul, Doug, and myself left the Good Hope store right around 8:00 headed to Bostwick. We were just about a mile from Bostwick when we came to a heavily graveled road. This is where Sonya was try to get Paul to slap one of the longhorn steers in the pasture, he would have no part of it. With a short back track we made it to our first stop at the store in Bostwick, refueled and were on our way to Madison.
Another uncharted road lead us down a nice long, steep, winding, road to a shaded bridge leading across the river to another heavily graveled road. Did I mention long, this was about a 3.5 mile back track. Thankfully no one was interested in tossing the route designer over the river bridge but were looking to get to Madison for some much needed lunch.
We back tracked to Hwy 441 and braved it for about 5
miles up some very large hills but the troops hung in there and muscled it in to town with no threats of beating the route designer. I was a little nervous at this point and wandered if they were secretly going to ambush me at the restaurant.
Speaking of the restaurant (The Chop House) WOW! I know we were hungry after the 42 mile trek there, but the atmosphere was perfect outside on the patio and the food was the absolute best. If you have the chance make a trip to Madison and visit The Chop House it is worth the ride.
After filling our bellies we headed out of town through some of the most beautiful side roads heading to store on the edge of town to refuel our water bottles. I was going to include all of the wildlife encountered in a seperate paragraph at the end but this one has fall in order of events. We were all a little slow after leaving the restaurant and while heading down a half mile strech of shaded road to the store, I received
a phone call (from my Mom so I had to answer). I was leading the group and looking at the all of the crackseal (black stipes on the roadway) and as I approached one about 4-5 feet long I noticed it was moving! I took the phone away from my ear long enough to point and yell SNAKE! As I watched in my quarter sized helmet mirror I saw bikes going every where and multiple screams of terror! We all passed safely. Finally at the store, refueled and on our way.
Paul had decided to only make half the ride (turned out to be 42 miles) and loaded his trusty bike up and rode as our SAG for the rest of the ride, thanks Paul!
We chose to skip our stop in Rutledge and brave it on home. At this point, 51 miles in, three riders (Sonya, Kathy, and Doug) were setting their personal longest rides. Way to go guys and gals!!!
We made it to the 60 mile mark and Sonya decided that Paul probably needed help manning the SAG vehicle and retired her two
wheeler so she could assist him in his efforts. Great job Sonya!
Kathy, Doug, and myself hung in there as we were entering familiar territory an could smell the finish line. Doug was on a mission and cheched out on Kathy and myself during the last 6 or 7 miles. I told Kathy we would have just short of 70 miles in and we decided to go ahead and add a few miles for bragging rights...... ........that ended in the last couple of miles as we were glad to see the small town of Good Hope.
Ended up with 68 miles total, three new records set and a run down of wild life:
Two turtles rescued from the asphalt
6 deer on two different roads
3 turkeys (none on bikes in the group)
1 hitch hiking grashopper
1 Black snake that is probably deaf from all the screaming
1 yellping hound dog passing in a Toyota pick up
Enjoyed the rides guys thanks for not ambushing me at the restaurant for the dirt roads. Hope you all enjoy the rest
of your weekend. Remember to thank a Veteran if you have the chance!