Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Most Valuable Gift of All

After racing Saturday in scorching heat in Memphis, and then driving back to Nashville afterwards, it was tough getting up just after sunrise on Sunday morning. I had only gotten about six hours of sleep, and frankly none of it was very good -- being exhausted actually screws up sleep for me, so that I don't really rest.

But I had promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.

As usual, once on the road it was all good. Well, it was all good once I went back to the RandoCave and got a couple of bottles of Gatorade and started out again.

Have you ever noticed how you cross-chain differently on a recovery ride? Usually, I stay in the big chain ring for too long, but Sunday I was getting down to the middle ring much earlier. More than once, I realized I was in the middle chain ring and the small cassette cog. The legs were tired, and I was taking it easy.

Originally, I was just going to head over to Spanntown Road, but on Nolensville Road just before the turn I changed my mind and continued south. I had not been on Old Murfreesboro Road in months, and needed some new scenery.

We all know roads like Old Murfreesboro -- perfect little cycling roads that we would all love to put on our regular routes, except you have to suffer a mile or two of crappy and/or dangerous road to get there. In the case of Old Murfreesboro, the roads and just busy and dangerous: Nolensville Road on one end and Hwy 96 on the other.

But in the middle, you have things like this little church that AT&T bought.

I think that's a portable generator in the shed. Just to the right of the door, you can see the AT&T Death Star.

Here's what Old Murfreesboro Road looks like just past this.

Smooth, clear pavement leading to a nice hill. Just enough shade. At the top of the hill, you can look to the right and see Hwy 96, and Hwy 840 beyond it, and then just rolling hills all the way down to the plateau.

Then you go under some lovely canopy, past a field full of cattle, and into an easy swoopy little downhill. Nothing that you have to hit the brakes for ... just enough to coast down.

Then, at the bottom, you turn left on Hwy 96. I didn't take pictures of Hwy 96. Even at 7 am on a Sunday morning, there were cars zipping up and down travelling between Murfreesboro and Franklin. Yikes!

Fortunately, I only had to stay on that road for just over a mile, and then got to turn right on Haley Lane.

This is another of those "could've been great" roads, although the bottom of it is Patterson Road, which is pretty good. Haley is just over 1.5 miles long, and after this little climb you go over a bridge that crosses Hwy 840, and then go onto some nice shady stuff that always smells like good, growing forest.

At this point, I was running low on time ... remember, I had promises to keep. I headed west to Arrington, stopping by the market to fill my water bottles and eat a piece of chess pie, and then waited at the post office for RandoGirl and the RandoDaughter.

Since it was Father's Day, the RandoDaughter was giving me what I would consider probably the best gift that you can give a cycling dad: Stoker time on the tandem.

We only rode eight miles, heading down Cox Road to near Horton Highway before turning around to come back. But the RandoDaughter has not been on the tandem with me in at least six years. She had a good time, although she still gets a little worried when the speed gets over 25.

I don't know that she's going to be doing Paris-Brest-Paris any time soon, but I'll take what I can get. And since time is the most precious commodity that any of us has, when my lovely daughter is willing to give me some time doing one of my favorite things ... well, it don't get much better than that.


  1. If you zoom in on the last photo, you can see the grin on both of their faces!

  2. RandoBoy has a Fred jersey.