Jeff Bauer, Alan Gosart, Peter Lee, Jeff Sammons, and I rode the Shiloh Military Park 200K Permanent Saturday. This is a great route, put together by randonneur John Shelso from Memphis. We really enjoyed the great roads and some exceptional weather for the first weekend of November. I'll let the pictures do the talking ...
Here we are at the start, in Lexington. It was still a little chilly, but I'd been starting rides with tights and two jerseys lately and decided to go a little more minimal. I was cold for the first hour or so, but once it warmed up I had less crap to tote. That was good.
Here's a picture looking back as we crossed the Tennessee River. We were sprinting every county line, and I took off a few miles before this because I thought there would be a county line on the river. Of course, there was no sign, and I figured I was wrong. When I got to the other side ... after stopping to take this picture ... there was the sign. No county line for me.
Here a some Emus in a field. They ran alongside us for a while, then stopped when I did to take their picture.
Here we are shucking clothes at the second control, Clifton. It was a really neat town on the Tennessee River, and I should've gotten better pictures. Go there yourself to see more.
On the way out of Clifton, I got a flat tire. This is probably the big downside of this route: You're on the shoulder of some busy roads.
By the time we got to Shiloh it had finally warmed up a bit. Here's Alan, Jeff S., and Jeff B. in front of one of the many monuments there. If you ever go here, you could get cross-eyed reading even half of these monuments. There are also all of these piles of cannonballs with family names on them. If we hadn't been trying to get back before sunset, it might have been fun to find out what that was all about.
The roads on the way back were great: low traffic and good surfaces. Here's a shot of us clipping along, with some of the excellent fall foliage.
A little after this we stopped for lunch at Sonic. These drive-ins are great in that they have no indoors, so we don't have to go inside and stink the place up. Usually they also have tables outside, but the one in Saltillo did not. We sat on the ground and were quite comfortable.
We were sprinting every county line and city limit, and really took the pace up as we got closer to Lexington. Here we are just a few miles out.
All in all, a very nice route. The last 50 miles were the best. I'm not sure how many more days we will have like this for riding before the cold settles in, but this one was nearly perfect.