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Not our gig  //   Friday - July 30, 2010

Despite it's name and location, I swear we have nothing to do with this!

- riderx

Getting Lucky  //   Thursday - July 29, 2010

There are days when the ride lines up just right. The legs feel good, the weather is hard to beat and the route is sublime. Tuesday was one of those days. With triple digits projected again Wednesday, I decided to break routine and roll out on a day I usually don't ride. With one of the hottest months on record, we've been riding in 100+ degree weather ride after ride, so as I rolled out of the city with the temperature reading 88F, things felt pretty good.

I wasn't' looking to do the same old routes and I knew approximately the distance I wanted to hit, so I did a quick map check, memorized a couple of turns and headed to the south to take the quiet route out of town. I started out on a familiar route, then diverged from the beaten path. The first half of the riding was rolling hills but nothing too hard. I spun a high cadence on the fixed Crosscheck (which hasn't seen much love lately), in and out of stream valleys. Low traffic, country roads where cows and birds kept me more company than cars. Then I saw my turn, a road I hadn't been on before, and out of the blue I got a little surprise. Dirt. I'm a sucker for dirt roads, and thought I knew were all of the remaining ones in the county were, but this one was unaccounted for. Sweet, a good ride got just a little bit better.

The road was short and I swung a right back onto pavement, but the surrounding area was even quieter than the road I had been on. Old farm buildings slowly giving way to time and rolling pastures allowed to overgrow gave a sense of being far from civilization. Then suddenly the road swung hard left turned to dirt and put me beside the beautiful Monocacy River. The legs were already churning steady but this gave me an extra boost as I motored across the rough surface as if I was in a dirt time trial.

When I looked at the map before my ride, I had this suspicion that this road may actually dead end despite Google showing it being a through road. I kept cranking away, enjoying the scene but fully expecting to end at either a large estate or a series of hill billy shacks with a yard full of half dismantled vehicles. Around here either was an equal possibility. Instead, the dirt road kept peeling off in front of me and my sense that this would come to an abrupt stop increased. Instead, the sun shined through the trees and the dirt surface continued until briefly turning to pavement and spitting me out in familiar territory.

From there it was flat out hammering on the way home as the setting sun painted my shadow on the rows of corn that zoomed by as I headed north back to the city. A quick 30 mile after work ride that I'm going to add to the regular route list.

I took no photos on this ride, but if you want to see what our local trails look like, check, one of my photos is in the header. But do it quick, they rotate out quickly and it might be gone soon.

- riderx


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