Tuesday, April 7, 2015

What to Leave In ... What to Leave Out

All winter, I've been trying to do a short local tour ... and the world has not co-operated.

First, the weather. It's probably ridiculous to hope that we might get a week of decent temperatures in Tennessee in the winter, but it used to happen. As everyone knows, however, this year was crazy cold, with lots of ice and snow and single-digit lows.

So, I thought maybe I could drive down to Florida and do a tour there. But then life got in the way, and I had work commitments and other duties that had to come first, and that plan fell by the wayside.

A few weeks ago, a commitment window opened up. Work slowed down, my jazz ensemble took a break, and bike club stuff hasn't yet moved into overdrive, so that I could do a week-long tour from April 4-12. That would be long enough to tour the Natchez Trace down to about French Camp, MS, or ride the new US Bike Route 23. Maybe ride in to Atlanta via the Chief Ladiga and Silver Comet Trails, and then out to Conyers to see my mom.

But today is April 7, and I am not on tour.

Maybe I've become a wimp. Night-time temperatures this past weekend fell below freezing, and Monday it rained all day. Of course, I have a 32-degree sleeping bag and a cycling rain-suit that would have kept things tolerable. But tolerable ain't perfect, and my past couple of tours have been pretty much perfect.

So, I re-did my plan. First, I came up with a nice five-day tour that had me riding between 60 and 80 miles from one Tennessee state park to another -- Old Stone Fort, Fall Creek Falls, Frozen Head, and Standing Stone -- before heading home.

But it's supposed to rain all day Friday, so with this plan I'll have at least one day of really crummy weather.

So, it'll be a three-day tour. This afternoon, I'll ride down the Trace to a campground at the Hohenwald exit. Tomorrow, I'll mostly back-track my Cathey's Creek permanent to Henry Horton State Park. Then Thursday I'll come home via the Marcy Jo's route.

Less than 150 miles, with two nights of camping. It's better than nothing.


  1. Robert, I am happy for you to at least be doing a mini-tour. Are you staying at Fall Hollow Campground, where we ate dinner during the Ridgetop trip? Tell the folks Taylor & I said hi. We camped there during our first tandem trip, 2006. Bon Voyage!

  2. Robert,

    Nice to know your mom lives in Conyers. I live in Stone Mountain. If you come down this way this summer maybe we can meet up and ride my 200K permanent (http://ridewithgps.com/routes/6556899) or ride from Stone Mountain park to downtown.