Saturday, April 18, 2009

Rose 45

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The Dogwood Festival's in town. I got back just before 5 and rolled out the door directly. No dirt today, but I had just enough time for a road ride.

I dig the Reality Bikes loop but I get enough of that. The 50 mile option is just an add-on to the same loop. But, I'd seen


painted on the road a few times. Maybe the 45 would be cool.

Indeed it was. Straight to the 50 mile extension and eventually off into new territory. The route was very well marked. I was enjoying myself, but 2 things kept nagging me. First, I was just heading west, and west and west again. Second, the more I thought about it, the less the timing worked out. I figured that I left at 5, even at just 15 miles an hour, I could get back in just over 3 hours, no problem. But really, I left a little after 5 and it's a couple of miles from my house to the start of the loop. And really, where does the loop start from? The bike shop? Spot Road? The first marker? Hmm. It could get dark on me. But, I'd been pushing pretty hard, so maybe I'd be OK.

I saw a beaver on the side of the road, nowhere even close to water. I thought it was a groundhog at first. Weird.

West, west, west. Cars had their headlights on. Streetlights were coming on. I had a pretty good idea where I was. If the route took a hard left and went straight back to Cumming, I could still get home in time, but I couldn't think of a road that did that, other than one of the major highways.

Eventually, I tee'd into East Cherokee Drive and there was no marker. Did I miss one? Was the route just not fully marked? Had it been paved over? Was the route not a loop? Who knows. I figured I'd head south until I hit Hwy 20 then figure it out from there. I went southish for a while, then eastish on Union Hill Road. Maybe it was the same Union Hill Road that went through Alpharetta by my office. I've got a buddy who lives off of Union Hill Road, maybe I could get to his place before dark.

Just as the light was getting questionable, a Citgo appeared on the horizon. Choirs of angels erupted in song. The guy managing the place was really cool. I called my wife and a rescue ensued. Somehow I'd actually crossed Hwy 20 without realizing it. How'd that happen, I drive that road all the time? Who knows.

It's good to learn from one's mistakes. I've got a whole semester's worth of learning to do from this one.

* Don't go exploring new routes at 5PM.
* Check your arithmetic.
* Bring a map or cue sheet.
* Bring a phone!
* Learn your wife's cell phone number.

Kathryn figured I was lost, but also maybe that I was injured. If I was knocked out, I had no ID. Off road, they'd eventually find my car and ID me. On the road, no way.

* Bring ID.

There's probably more too. I'll be scratching my head over this one for a while.

The sad thing is that I know these things. Off road I'm well prepared. Somehow it just didn't translate over to my road-brain. Maybe it will next time.


  1. I did the 45 from my house last weekend (56 total) and it's a real fun route. It was fully marked when I did it.


  2. Ahh, now I see what I did. I just rode on past the start/finish at the school, not realizing it was a lasso rather than a loop. Woohoo!