Despite my flat tire the other day, I’ve been out on my bike and enjoying the cycling experience to the hilt. I’ve often said that I love the recreational trails along the Erie Canal because they’re quite and peaceful. So naturally I hit the trail this morning ready to listen to nothing but the animals and the wind rushing over my shaved head.
Except today the annual Cycling the Erie Canal Ride is underway and I felt like I had just merged into heavy traffic in downtown Knoxville.
Actually, traffic wasn’t that bad and the folks passing through our area were super nice. Even though I’m pretty much a loner when it comes to cycling, it’s good to ride with others once in a while, even if it’s just for a refresher in cycling manners.
I rode with the group for four miles or so before I left the trail and headed up one of the many hills in our area. I’ve avoided this hill because there’s a gorge across the middle of it. You get halfway up the hill, then you descend into the gorge and then you have to climb up all over again to get to the very top. It was a struggle but I can proudly say that I did not have a heart attack.
I’ve mentioned before (and demonstrated) that we live near several ultra high voltage powerlines. We’re near where many of the major lines in the Northeast come together, so we have several of these dotting the top of our hills.
There’s another one about twice the size of this one at my back, but I couldn’t get a good shot because I would have been pointing the camera directly into the sun. The lines from the substation pictured head to Niagara Falls and the powerplants in Oswego, N.Y. The lines directly over my head are tying this substation with the one behind me. There’s a lot of humming going on. Notice I did not bring a fluorescent bulb with me.
After indulging my geekness a little bit, I proceeded on to the top of our road. I’ve complained that since we’ve moved to the new house I’ve had to ride uphill to get home from a bike ride, well today I decided I was going to ride down to the house for a change. Why wimp out?
Here’s a shot from the intersection of our road and the road that goes along the top of the hill.
Unfortunately, the haze in the picture obscures the windmills in the distance that are about 25 miles away, but you can still see pretty far today.
And here’s the hill that I rode down to get home. It took me 35 minutes to get up this high whereas the ride down, which is about three miles, took no more than five minutes. I topped out at 41 MPH. I start to chicken out if I go faster than that on my bicycle.