Category Archives: Tues/Thurs 7:45am ride

Endless ramblings regarding the every Tuesday & Thursday-morning bike ride, leaving Olive Hill & Canada Road at 7:45am, rain or shine

Scattered clouds without rain works for me!

Mornings scenes like this will always be special, even when it’s on a section of road you do 100 times/year.
After Tuesday’s ride in the rain, I was really looking forward to dry roads and getting to ride my Trek Emonda. Don’t get me wrong; the Boone is an awesome ‘cross and rain bike. But everything about the way I’ve set it up is oriented towards surviving in tough conditions. There’s nothing quite like a superlight road bike with just one purpose- to be efficient. You really can tell the difference.

That’s not to say I was particularly fast today. Karen and Kevin both got away from me, but at least I was able to keep them in sight, all the way to the top of Kings. Actually, we didn’t have to ride with Kevin at all if we didn’t want to; somehow he forgot that it was Thursday and instead of making the right hand turn onto Greer and going up through the park, he headed straight up Kings. I had to yell pretty loud to get his attention and turn him around!

It’s still pretty cool in the mornings, getting down to 38 up top, but you can dress comfortably for that, so we were good. Once again we were out riding on the “closed” section of West Old LaHonda, which still looks pretty much exactly the same as it has for the past three weeks. I’m still very concerned the county isn’t taking this road very seriously, because it’s become far more heavily used by cyclists than motorists over the years.

While I’m definitely looking forward to warmer days with lots of sun, there’s something to be said for broken clouds like we saw today. The picture tells the story.

Just another day on Kings- tree down so we redirected traffic, repurposed some cones to close the road, but bicyclists are the source of all of the road issues?

It was a Tuesday morning just like any other Tuesday morning, except that it was raining which, well, that did in fact make it just like any other Tuesday morning this past winter. Well, another except- it’s not winter anymore! Somebody needs to get the message out- as of yesterday, it’s spring. Flowers, Sunshine, gentle breezes, feeling stronger each day as you head towards the wonderful summer. Yes, that’s how it’s supposed to work, and trust me, I’m ready for it. But not today. Today was, hopefully, winter’s last gasp.

It really wasn’t that much of a gasp though. It rained steadily as we climbed Kings, thankfully not very quickly (because Kevin had gone on a hike Sunday instead of riding, and he was hurting in places he didn’t know you could hurt!). It was about 200 meters from the top when we saw the tree fallen across the road. We had to have been first upon the scene, as we hadn’t passed any cars backing away from it (no room to turn around). Had to have happened within maybe a two minute window, yet even with our slow speed, we weren’t close enough to hear it.

I hoped that we could do our regular civic duty (as self-appointed road hazard crew for Kings Mountain) and move the tree to the side, but it was readily apparent this tree, relatively small at is was, was much too heavy for us. Maybe if there had been two others riding this morning, maybe we could have moved it far enough for cars to pass through. No problem for bikes though, as we could walk over the top of it on the right side. I briefly thought about walking under it, before realizing that might not be the place to be if the tree decided to finish its descent to the road at the wrong time.

Moving cones to indicate the road is closed
By the time we got past and made it to the top we’d warned off several cars (before they could get so far it would be difficult to back up), and once up top, repurposed a few traffic cones to close off the downhill lane. It was surprising how many motorists we came across on Skyline that weren’t familiar with the area, asking for directions on how else to get to Woodside. Thankfully we later confirmed that 84 was open, so we hadn’t been directing them into harms’ way.

If this winter did keep up, which it won’t, we might have to resort to stashing some traffic cones at various points along Kings, as well as some “road closed he to fallen tree” signs.

Best thing about this? The next “local” resident that thinks we shouldn’t be out there, on their roads, when there might be weather-caused issues… well, I can really let them have it. I mean seriously, I have yet to see a motorist stop to move rocks or branches from the roadway; they just drive around them, not even thinking about the next person driving along, who might not spot that big rock until they’re ruined a tire (or worse). OK, it’s not actually in my nature to “let them have it” but there are times I’ll confess to thinking it.