Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Hillsboro - Dallas - Hillsboro
Several miles on, heading west, we could see a large and ominous dark cloud. Sure enough, sprinkles started up again. Then, while climbing up a little rise, I noticed a small glowing spot on the tarmac. The sun! At first just a bright spot behind the gray, the clouds slowly dissolved around it to expose blue sky.
A few short turns led to those enjoyable country lanes I love so much. The droplets ceased for good and the sun seemed committed to hanging around. Spring Hill Road became North Valley Road, as it usually does. A lone rider could be seen on the road ahead, just after the Flett turn off. His jersey read "Rhinognolo" and he seemed impressed I could pronounce it.
Dayton was a small disappointment. Although it was an open control, there was only one place to stop. But, as they say, looks can be deceiving and the Dayton store, with its sign: grocery. cigarette. turned out to be the perfect pit stop. The clerk was inquisitive and friendly in the way only control clerks can be. They even had pink reflective sunglasses with red flames on the bows for seven bucks, and my snack of choice: necco wafers and strawberry milk.
Now for the back portion of the out and back. North to Dayton. Past the same pretty silos and landscapes to the sweetly curious clerk at the store. I thought she'd come around the counter and hug us, she seemed so happy. She even asked if we'd be back again the same day. This time I bought sparkly pink earrings, as I still had a whole sleeve of thin mints waiting in my basket.
North, north, north. Past the turn off to Gaston, which is hard to skip because I yearn to go to the One Horse. A rainbow. A full moon rising. A pump house in a field that would make an excellent info control for some future ride.
Missing the turn onto Ribbon Ridge Road and riding on the dusky highway with its long lines of cars cost an extra four miles. Strangely, no one honked or even yelled. One driver slowed down, lowered their window and said softly "nice bike lights". It seems a trend of treating cyclists courteously has begun.
Now for the evening home stretch. At around 6:00pm, I marveled at the difference in light from last month - when we had been standing at the top of Timber in the pitch black fixing a flat and freezing. Although balmy and not as dark, this portion of the day seems to be a sort of military training. You push yourself and your body and your machine to the limit. You learn not just how to survive but to carve out some pleasure from the experience.
Posted by Bicycle Kitty