Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A ride of epic proportions I would say!

So I've been visiting around over the past week, first to my family over in Pensacola (thanks wle for the ride suggestions; I ended up riding with my parents on a rails to trails route, the Blackwater Heritage State Trail!) and now I've landed in the lovely little coastal town of Fairhope, Alabama. It happens to be a place that Elisa and I both share; her sister lives here and my husband's family lives here too! This morning I decided to go on a good long ride, and looked up a route with mapmyride.com. Here's the one I chose:

The ride started off so beautifully; it was sprinkling on and off and humid as hell, but I grew up on the gulf coast (Ocean Springs, Mississippi to be exact) so I'm no stranger to the liquid sheen that appeared over my whole person after a few minutes. I got a fairly early start and hopped onto Scenic Highway 98. They don't call it scenic for nothing folks; beautiful million dollar homes situated perfectly on the bay, with intervals of water peeking through. As I got further along I could see more of the water, which was wonderfully choppy, and on the left side of the road it started to get nice and swampy. The highway ended at Weeks Bay, and I had a great view of the water, piers, and open air all around me. I rode around and took a few pictures (which I won't be able to upload until I get home) and then did a bit of back tracking to get to the turn off the bay. All the cars were very friendly, people were waving and giving me plenty of room when passing; it was heavenly really.

From there i was riding in a woodsy type area with nothing much going on - a few cows, an old guy on a bike that looked a tad too small for him, and crickets chirping their hearts out. I missed my turn somewhere but ended up where I needed to be, which was unfortunately a much busier highway. Thankfully there was enough of a shoulder so I wasn't in the road, but at one point I had to swerve around some large gravel from a driveway and got my first honk. I feel like this was understandable since I was right in front of the car when I swerved into the road, so I successfully fought back the urge to yell or give the driver the finger.

After passing over fish river I turned off of the highway onto a small street, and was greeted by two bulldogs! I squeaked and yelled an expletive while riding as hard as I could away from those beasts that were giving chase hard core. Thankfully I got away without harm! This road was shaded with wonderfully mossy live oaks, and I felt at home and at peace with the world.

Then it was time to get on county road 32 (you think a county road would be tame) and my ride went downhill real quick. 55 mph speed limit, no shoulder, big trucks hauling heavy equipment, and teeny bridges! I was hunkered down and trying my best not to have a breakdown. Then this sweet little fluff of a dog ran chasing after me, crossed the road a few feet from a car, started coming back (while I yelled "no little doggie stay where you are!") and got completely smashed by a huge truck flying by. I cried out, but was being closely followed by a cop and a few other cars so I rode on miserably holding back the tears. I was really depressed, people. Then a monsoon started; my shoes were immediately filled with water and I was almost blown off my bike, all while cars were passing by close and fast. I got off my bike and called my husband; "come get me!". I felt defeated, but thankfully wasn't too far from the end of the route. The road I was riding on was closed a few hundred feet up from where I stopped, so I would have freaked out at that point anyway - I am not at all familiar with the area and am sure to have gotten lost immediately.
It started off sooo beautifully...


  1. Goodness, that sounds awful. Be careful out there. I only say that since you are riding alone. It can be hard for cars to see a lone rider, especially on heavily trafficked routes. I would have been crying too! As for the dogs - when I ride in the south with my dad, we are constantly being chased by them. They are chasing your wheels, so if you yell at them (and slow down), they tend to back off. At least, that's what works for me.

  2. oh no! poor thing...you and the pup. I ended up on that road once, accidentally, as well. Bad news.

    Get your ass home so we can go on epic rides here!

  3. oh so sad, and all started with such promise! finding good routes is half of the challenge of bike riding.

    good for you for trying, and RIP little dog. first MJ, and now this...

  4. Oh, Anna! I'm so sorry! Rain, cars, poor little doggie. You should never have to see that! At least there was some beautiful scenery, and you got to ride. Most of all, I'm glad you were safe.

  5. You had me trembling at "55 mph". Then the little dog story did me in entirely : (

  6. Remember the good part of the ride - I'm just sorry it ended so badly. At least you didn't end up like the poor puppy. Big trucks doing hit&runs totally suck.

  7. That just sucks on so many levels.. poor dog.
    Take a break this sounds emotionally exhausting.
    (Just hope you weren't wearing a dress in that weather)
    Be safe.

  8. It sounds like a dangerous road. Sad for the dog, but glad it wasn't you.

  9. Eek! My sympathies are with you. I am glad you are all safe. Cute little doggies besides, I don't know if I would have yelled at the dog, but I would have had all four eyes everywhere looking at all of the untrustworthy vehicles around me.

    That's usually kept me out of any troubles so far. Cars need to pay more attention, but alas, they still believe they own the road. They share it with us and they need to learn that. i hope soon.


  10. diagram the way it moved to finish the end with an accurate& speeds to reach the target.
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