Saturday, Jeff Bauer and I test-rode my soon-to-be-official Cathey's Creek 200K permanent. It turns out that it's actually almost a 210K ... but it's a nice 210K.
As you may recall, Jeff and I tried this permanent with Vida Greer back in July. At that time, we made a few discoveries -- one of which was that a road that I needed lacked a bridge. Since I hate to force randonneurs to portage under all but the warmest circumstances, a few changes were called for. The revised route is what Jeff and I tried out Saturday.
A nasty cold front had blown into middle Tennessee on Friday. Saturday morning, the wind had eased up, but it was in the mid-20's (Fahrenheit) when Jeff and I left Starbuck's in Franklin. As we worked our way down to Henpeck and over towards Peytonsville, whenever we entered a shady spot it seemed even more cold. Climbing up Arno Road, and then again going over Pulltight, brought a little bit of welcome warmth.
Of course, then we had to descend back into those shadows. Brrrr.
About mile 35, however, we hit Marcy Jo's.
Sure, the coffee and pastries were good, and the people there are always super nice. But it was the big, warm stove that thawed out my feet.
When Jeff and I left Marcy Jo's, it was at least five degrees warmer outside. I felt great the rest of the way.
We stopped at Glendale Market, I even took off the heavy gloves. Barney Fife said it was almost 50.
From here, Jeff and I just rolled along with a slight headwind. We stopped for lunch at the Mt. Pleasant Grill, and then fought the wind a little more heading to Hampshire and the infamous Cathey's Creek Road. The sun was getting lower as we approached Williamsport on Greenfield Bend Road.
The last change I'm making to the route is to stay on Snow Creek Road from here, all the way back to Carter's Creek Pike. Since Leiper's Creek Road is still closed due to some of the May flood damage, this will make the route a lot simpler. The down side will be that riders will have to climb to Theta from possibly the toughest direction, but the up side is that they get to descend on Les Robinson Road.
Postscript: I'm sorry that this blog is so short, and that I haven't posted much lately. Some other stuff has been going on. Details will be coming soon.