Wednesday, June 7, 2017

May 28, 2017. Horsey Hundred day 2.

We'd all planned to ride the 52 mile route today. After breakfast we started out and found it very windy. Diana had problems with her (new) bike, and we stopped a couple of times to deal with that.

Again we were on hilly terrain with an abundance of horse farms.

We took the turn for the 52 mile route, and at the rest stop Diana spent some time with the bike mechanic trying to adjust the shifting on her bike. We sure need all our gears when riding in these hills! By the time she was done the wind had come up , so we decided to turn around and pick up the 35 mile route.

I stopped to finally take a photo of the limestone fences that we've seen all along the route these 2 days.  There was a sign yesterday stating that they were built in the style that the 18th century Scots used when they settled this area. There is no mortar used.

Finally we were back at Georgetown! Our total for the day was 52 miles, and we all felt that was enough. We cleaned up, loaded the bikes and gear in the car and truck, and then went to lunch. It was not as great as yesterday's lunch, but was free after all... 

May 27, 2017. Horsey Hundred day 1.

We met for breakfast at 7 and headed out for the ride afterwards. Diana, Dennis and Tom planned to ride the Metric Century (62 miles) and it was my intention to ride the 35 mile route. I'd thought for a while that I would not be able to ride at all, since I am recovering from Shingles; but I got on my bike Tuesday (first time in a month) and it did not hurt to ride so I came on this trip.

We came upon a field of horses early in the ride. Dennis commented that last year's ride did not have many opportunities to see horses, name notwithstanding.

At the first rest stop I felt great, so I allowed myself to be talked into following the longer route. There were many horse farms on our route, and we stopped to photograph a few of them.

The barns we saw were pretty spectacular! Yes, that is a barn in the photo below!

There was a steep hill down to the second rest stop. Because there was a festival going on in the park, we thought the ambulance was there for a drill. Unfortunately we were wrong--a cyclist had hit the speed bump at the bottom of the hill, flew off the bike, and landed on her face.

I found the "share the road" sign with a tractor and bike humorous enough to stop for a photo. Dennis was the only one who stopped with me. A little farther down the road we did indeed share the road with a large tractor.

We passed some tobacco fields, cornfields, and other crops, but this land is predominantly horse farms.

After about 40 miles I was running out of energy, and suggested the rest of my group ride ahead. Diana and Dennis rode on out of sight, but Tom stayed with me to the bitter end. The last rest stop featured root beer floats--what a great idea! 

I was so glad to see the Georgetown water tower! It meant we were close to the end of our very hilly ride.

There was a free lunch after the ride. We did not look for Dennis and Diana, but went straight to lunch. I texted them that we were in the cafeteria, and Dennis showed up moments later. After we all showered and rested a little we got in Tom's truck to go to the block party at the small town of Midway. Diana knew we wanted to sit on the front porch at Darlin' Jean's, and we were early enough to do so. That was fortunate, since it rained shortly after we arrived.

Diana and I went for a short walk in the town, being sure to arrive back in time for the free raffle drawings.

Mine was the second name drawn! The first person chose the free entry for next year's Horsey Hundred. I chose this cool Horsey Hundred 40th anniversary bag. Diana and Dennis both won local gift certificates, which they donated to their favorite volunteers.

May 26, 2017. En route to Horsey Hundred.

My local biking friends have been asking me for years to go to Georgetown, KY to ride the Horsey Hundred. I always turned them down because my family runs a water stop for the Island Road Runners Memorial Day Race. This year I finally signed up for the Horsey Hundred. Then I went to the IRR Race meeting and found out that the route was changed and we were not hosting a water stop. That worked out well!

We left for Kentucky at 8 AM, Diana and I in her car and Tom and Dennis in Tom's truck. We did not exactly follow each other, but kept in touch so we could meet for lunch at Hofbrauhaus, a brewery in Newport, KY, just across the bridge from Cincinnati, OH.

After we'd ordered but before our food arrived, Mike (a fellow Downriver Cycling Club member) and his wife Sue showed up. Mike is going to ride the Horsey Hundred and Sue, not a cyclist, is going to sight-see and shop while he is on the bike.

After lunch we went for a walk along the waterfront. We crossed the Purple People Bridge to Cincinnati and strolled through the park for about an hour.

We walked back across the bridge and to our cars; it was about an hour's drive from Newport to Georgetown. We checked in for our ride, got our lodging (Diana and I are in a Georgetown College dorm and Tom and Dennis in a nearby motel), and checked out the expo. We walked to downtown Georgetown, looked around the town and then had dinner at a small diner.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

March 1, 2017. Palm Harbor, FL

This morning Dianne played tennis and I swam 2000 yards in her pool, the last time I'll be swimming outside for quite a while. We had planned to go to a baseball game today, but had to stop at the post office first. Then we went to lunch. We wore PALM shirts because the Detroit Tigers were playing the Toronto Blue Jays and these were the only shirts we had to identify us as Tigers fans.

Dianne bought my lunch (grouper sandwich at the Sandbar) to pay down her Scrabble debt. We play for a penny a point, the only time I ever gamble! It took a very long time to get our food, so by the time we were done eating the game had already started. We went to the old Blue Jays Stadium first, got directions to the right place, found no place to park and gave up on it.

We went home and walked over to see our friend Jean. She lives about a mile away in the same community as Dianne for six months out of the year; the rest of the time she lives in Ontario. We had a nice long visit. Usually we have her over here for dinner when I am in town, but we just ran out of time.

We walked back home and then I cleaned my bike and we put it away until next time I come. It has a home in Dianne's guest room closet, thus saving me a couple hundred dollars a year. It usually costs as much to send my bike as it does for me to fly here!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

February 28, 2017. Palm Harbor, FL

This morning we put the bikes in the car and drove to Safety Harbor. We parked at the marina and got on the bikes to ride to Tampa. First we were on the Ream Wilson Trail.

We rode through several parks on the trail. (We didn't see any flying discs). The trail ended at the Long Center in Clearwater, where there is an indoor 50 meter pool, in case I ever decide to swim indoors while here.

We had a good laugh when we saw the sign for a 10% grade! Not a chance! It's awfully flat here... there was a small grade for about 20 feet, nowhere near 10%!.

We turned around at the Long Center and retraced our path on the Ream Wilson Trail, then continued to the other end of the trail, and right on to Courtney Causeway Trail.

The Courtney Causeway goes across Tampa Bay and the trail runs right along side the road while on land, but separates from the road with its own bridge over the bay.

We rode to the outskirts of Tampa, where we stopped for lunch at Whiskey Joe's.

After lunch we rode back to Safety Harbor (total mileage: 31). I stopped along the causeway to walk in the water--I wanted to see how warm it was. It was very warm indeed.

When we got home we played Scrabble until dinner. I had a good Scrabble day--SEQUOIA and INJURES in the same game! It was a very good day overall. I am going to miss the joy of riding in the warm sunshine when I return home on Thursday.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

February 26, 2017. Palm Harbor, FL

We planned for a short "recovery" bike ride today. We headed to Pinellas Trail, then rode south on the trail to Dunedin Causeway. We rode the causeway, crossed the drawbridge and paid our $2 to get into Honeymoon Island State Park.

We rode the park loop, and stopped at the beach for a break. Then we stopped again at the visitors center.

We rode back across the causeway, stopping to see this very cool bike rack. Afterward I thought I should have put my bike on the rack for the photo.

We got on the Pinellas Trail and headed south to Clearwater for lunch. Our destination was Nauti Nancy's, but every table on the back patio was either filled or reserved, and there was a duo singing and playing guitar. I asked if we could sit on the front porch, and that worked well. There is only one table on the front porch, and we parked the bikes right on the porch. We could still hear the music, but it was not overwhelming. Perfect.

We rode against the wind as we headed toward home on the Pinellas Trail. Not a new experience... We were plenty tired when we got home. Our planned 20 mile ride ended up at 35 miles!

We met Barbara and Stan for dinner and had a really great time! We were seated at 6:30, and finally left when they started sweeping the floor around us at almost 9 PM! It's always fun to catch up with friends when I'm here. It was also nice to hear that they want to join our little group on further adventures.