I certainly can’t speak to any other area of the country but our weather here in the mountains of North Carolina has been just short of fantastic. The just short part has little to do with temperatures and sunny skies and a lot to do with the lack of rain we, along with many other areas, have received.
My farmer buddy in Stoney Point, when asked the other if they had received any rain recently, replied no…but that he was still breathing and that was a good sign.
And we all must admit that weather is one of those things that we talk alot about but can’t control. We seem to be at the mercy of storm patterns and high pressure and low pressure systems and fronts of all kinds moving this way and that.
If there are any love/hate relationships in our lives, weather is probably in the running for first or second place.
The perfect weather for me would be mid-seventies during the day and cooler at night with periods of light soaking rain every few days between the hours of 2am and 5am in the morning. And I will have to admit that as I get older, winters have become less and less enjoyable. I still really like fall—there is a fresh smell in the air and when the mountains get all multi-colored it is really a sight to behold.
All this having been said, I will add that last Saturday I took what will have to be recorded as one of the best bike rides I have ever been on. My friend Glen and I took off from our starting point at about 11am and proceeded north along Rail Road Grade Road and kept going when it turned into Three Top Road just across Hwy. 194. The first part of Three Top is an uphill grade until you reach a peak about 1,200 feet from where we began. Then it is downhill from there until the road dead-ends at NC Highway 88 in Creston, NC. When we reached this point we sat for a few minutes outside a Methodist church and ate our Clifbars and then headed the 15 or 16 miles back to where we began. The ride back is a slow continuous grade up where you can maintain a good 10-13 mph pace which gives you the time to appreaciate the scenery—the river that runs right beside the road and the mountains that surround you and the Carolina blue ski that was dotted with clouds and kept the direct sunlight away from us for most of the ride.
It is the stuff poetry is made of especially for a biker. Did I mention that the pavement is smooth and free of cracks and that we only saw about ten cars in our 2 hour and fifteen minute ride? It is all a part of what makes it so special on a Saturday in the mountains. It is even possible that we were riding over ground that Lance Armstrong covered during his training times here several years ago. And that at the end of 32+ mile ride we could have done another 20 because we were feeling just that good. But alas, the time was not there on that almost perfect day to ride another mile—we both had things to do and places to be. But that’s the way it is with bike riding and life in general—if we get to do what we want it is a pleasure—if it doesn’t last as long as we want it to then that is what we get and need to be happy with as well. There is always the next time—the benchmark has been moved up a little and we know we can do a harder/longer ride than the one we did just before the last one. It is a good feeling and one that I want to have again and again and again.
Enjoy your ride today.