Just about the two most hateful words in the English language when it comes to bicycling. (Well, maybe "big dogs" ranks right up there also.) They aren't much fun when motorcycling either, but at least I'm not as irritated with the prospect of turning around and doing extra mileage when I'm on my motorcycle. Dirt and/or gravel roads just pose a particular danger to bicyclists and motorcyclists. With my apologies to George Orwell, "Four wheels good, two wheels baaaaaaaaaaad."
That's the danger of creating a new route on a computer website. I really like the site, and I've created dozens of new cycling routes on it, but twice now I've ventured off the beaten path and wound up on a dirt road. Dirt roads and my skinny tires that are inflated to 100psi just don't mix.
I had a bail-out route just in case this nice little country road turned out to be dirt, but it wasn't. Not. At. First. I had ridden about a mile and a half on it before the wretched "Pavement Ends" sign appeared. I was too ticked off even to stop and take a picture of the sign, KNOWING that would be tonight's blog topic.
I didn't opt to turn around and head for the bail-out route, probably due only to stubbornness. For once my stubbornness was actually a good thing -- seems the bail-out route was a dirt road too. Where did these dirt roads come from? They were right between two major highways. I appreciated the lack of traffic, but the loose surface was treacherous. I was gingerly making my way downhill (the one time I do NOT like to go fast on my bicycle), trying not to ride the brakes and skid, but also trying not to get up too much speed, when a truck stopped beside me.
"Excuse me," the lady said between puffs of her cigarette. Thanks for poisoning my lungs too. "I'm sorry to bother you, but do you know where Drowning Creek Road is?" She motioned that I should keep riding while trying to explain it to her. She didn't know I was already multi-tasking on a level that I should never attempt, especially on my bicycle.
Drowning Creek Road. Now isn't that a lovely name for a road?
"I've never been on this road before," I replied. "But I'm looking for Drowning Creek Road too. This road should come out on it, but the last intersection I passed didn't have a sign."
They were nice enough people. I hope they found their way. They would have taken a giant leap forward in raising my overall view of human beings if they had come back to tell me where the road was when they found it. Instead of leaving me in intertwined clouds of cigarette smoke and dust. Perhaps they could have told me that I should turn LEFT on Drowning Creek Road instead of RIGHT. Because when I did find the road and turned right, the next two hateful words I saw (they also rank right up there on the hateful list) were "Dead End."
This would probably not be a good time to point out that I also have a GPS on my bicycle. Not one that tells me to turn right or left, but one that shows me where I've been.
So now I know not to use that particular route again, or at least not the part that connected to Drowning Creek Road. It was a beautiful day for a ride, and I will post the link to my map at the end of this post just in case anybody out there gives a rip.
I feel obligated to point out that the temperature here this afternoon was 70. I feel a little guilty, considering I was just whining a few posts ago about how cold it was. You gotta love winter in the South. 70 degrees -- yay.
If only it would stay this way, but I know the cold will come back with a vengeance. At least I got my 30 miles in today.
Drowning Creek Loop