I meant to be here yesterday, but I had to leave super early for work. Who gives a shit.
I'm here now, talking about the riding I did over my three day weekend. Since I moved closer to the Catawba River, a lot of my rides lately have been in Gaston County. I dig it. Sunday, I rode with the Z Crew and the Dirty Party Cycle over at Rock Branch. It was fun to get out in a group in the dirt. They took rad pictures. I'm too lazy to get them from Facebook and put them here.
On Monday, I had a day off while a lot of people had to go to work. I figured that it would be a prime opportunity to get out for a long road ride. Plus, riding on the road would give me time to do other stuff later in the day. I slept in a little, hung out with the dogs, then hastily plotted a route that took me into the heart of Gaston County. I grabbed some water bottles, a few Honey Stinger goodies, and hopped on my road bike. Three miles later, I made it to the river...
I quickly passed through Mount Holly and headed north on a normally busy road.
My first destination was the town of Stanley, not too far away (12 miles I think.)
Although I was in the town limits, I wasn't quite "in town" yet. I pushed on, and made it to my "real" first stop.
I took that picture, and turned around to get back out of town. The roads were much less busy.
I headed deeper into the heart of G County and I started to get hungry. Not knowing how far I still had to ride, I passed on what could have been some pretty good food.
I probably would've regretted street tacos on a hot road ride. There were no bathrooms anywhere along my route, unless I wanted to share a roadside squat with these goats.
I had a short conversation with these two and headed on my way. The route got a little climby at this point, but I toughed it out. Then, I had the most glorious downhill.
And it led to an awesome view...
I wasn't really sure where I was at this point, but I soon found a sign that gave me all the info I needed.
A little more climbing awaited. I didn't care. The roads were empty and I enjoyed the solitude.
After a while, my surroundings started to look familiar. I was near a mountain bike trail that I hadn't ridden in a while. Even though that place is always open, I brought the wrong kind of bike.
I rolled across the street and spotted a trail map I'd never seen before...
This was the kind of trail I could ride on a road bike. I figured, "What the hell."
Short and sweet. I'll be back with a mountain bike though. Anyway, I rolled south and hit another town on my list...
Not much to see here when it's not Christmas, so I rolled through to spot the one thing worth viewing this time of year.
Lots of climbing remained. I was hot, tired, and had no idea how far I'd gone or how much of my ride remained (my Garmin died.) Before I knew it, I rolled into the next town over...
And I crossed the river to head home...
I rolled into my driveway three hours later, relieved but very happy. It was time to get on with my day but there was one problem...
I was locked out of the garage.
There was a power outage in the area, and my keys were locked inside the garage. The power company's estimate was hours away.
I waited outside in the hot sun for three hours until I could get back in the house.
I was beat tired and hungry and the rest of my day was pretty much toast.
At least I got out for a ride though...