Technically the “First Day of Spring” was more than 3 weeks ago, but apparently someone failed to tell Mother Nature about that, so it has most definitely felt more like an extended Winter than it has Spring… Up until today, that is.
Today the sun came out, I had nearly forgotten what it looked like at this point, and the temperature hit 82 degrees according to the temperature gauge on my Tiger. It was marvelous! The only downside to this was that the last weather forecast I had seen only called for a high of 72 degrees, and 20+ mph winds today, so while suiting up this morning I thought it would be a good idea to wear my new Rev’It! Horizon 2 suit, which is waterproof, making it pretty much windproof as well. Although it does have some vent flaps on the pants, and some zippered vents on the chest and back, it still proved to be quite warm the 2nd half of the day when the temperature topped 80 degrees and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. I wasn’t miserably hot, but I was hotter than I would have preferred to be. I’ll remember to check the weather forecast more closely next time. With that said, I do absolutely love that suit, it is very comfortable, and it kept me perfectly warm during a 45 degree ride last week with the thermal liners in. I haven’t had to test out the waterproofing yet, but I can tell you that I waded through some creeks today and the pant legs never absorbed any water.
We decided to take a day trip today up to an area we hadn’t ridden in before. I saw some pictures that someone had posted on the AdvRider forum and thought it looked like fun. I scouted out a couple of things in the area that I wanted to see and made us a loose route to follow.
On the way up we went through Milan, which has a delicious little hole in the wall BBQ joint named Hog Rock. We’ve eaten there a handful of times on past rides and have never been disappointed. They have killer pulled pork loaded potato skins that we usually split for an appetizer, and today we split a “Hangover Burger” which was a bacon cheeseburger with a fried egg, goetta (I had no idea what that was, I had to google it), and maple bacon jam on it. I was not ready for how huge it was!
After lunch we continued on North past I-74 until we reached the area we were looking for. The first thing I wanted to check out was a creek crossing I saw on Google Maps while scouting the area a bit. The ride to the crossing was a nice surprise as it was a kind of half paved, half gravel road that followed a little creek down into the valley. We stopped for a couple of pictures about halfway down before continuing on to the creek crossing.
On Google Maps the street view of the creek was actually mostly dry, but today there was a decent amount of water flowing through. Dwayne went first so that he could film me crossing from the other side, and then it was my turn…
I never get tired of water crossings, I don’t know why, they are just fun, even if they aren’t very deep. After we were both across, we continued on the route I had laid out for us until we came to a second creek crossing. This one was a bit different than the first, as the first was an actual creek bed with no road across it, and the second one had a concrete slab for you to cross on. As the water crossed the slab, it made a little waterfall on the other side, which made for a really great photo.
After I finished snapping some pictures of Tora in the creek, we went a little further to an old iron bridge that I’d also seen on Google Maps. Right before the bridge we got behind an older lady out for a cruise on the nice day, and she pulled over right before the bridge. I wasn’t sure what she was doing, and I hoped she was turning around because I knew she was going to be in my pictures if she stayed where she was. As it turned out, she was just trying to let us pass her, so once we were across the bridge, I ended up having to let her pass us back so I could get her out of the photo.
The bridge was built in 1927 by the Jones & Bunzendahl contractors, and it was rehabilitated in 2010. If you’re a bridge geek like me and want to see some pictures of before it was rehabilitated, you can find those and more extensive information here: Alley Ford Bridge
That was the last waypoint I’d programmed into my GPS, so from there we decided to just play it by ear. We ended up catching up to the lady in the car again, but this time we were stuck behind her doing about 25mph. As we were following her, we saw a fenced in hillside with a few cows on it, but there was something white standing with them that didn’t quite fit in. As we passed I asked Dwayne, “Was that an albino deer?!” Neither of us were quite sure as we hadn’t stopped to get a good look, but we were fairly certain that it was.
Luckily for us, the road turned out to be a dead-end and we had to turn around and follow the lady back the same way we had come. Once again she pulled over for us to go around her again, and we quickly left her out of sight. I told Dwayne that if it weren’t for the fact that she’d already let us pass her twice, I’d love to stop and try to get a picture of the albino deer. As we approached it, I couldn’t even see her in my mirrors, so I decided I might have enough time to stop quickly and grab my phone from the RAM mount on my handlebars and snap a picture. It wasn’t easy with gloves on, but I did manage to get one. You may need to zoom in to see it well, though.
We eventually made our way back to Milan, and from there we took familiar roads back to the house. All-in-all we rode just over 200 miles, and I can’t tell you how amazing it felt to ride for more than just a short trip. Tomorrow looks like it will be just as nice, but unfortunately we do still have responsibilities, and the yard might actually be dry enough to finally mow, so that will probably have to be done before more rain hits this weekend, and the temperature drops back down to 45 on Monday. Wednesday of next week looks promising though, so fingers crossed I’ll have more to share with you then.
In the meantime, I am hoping to have a big announcement to make possibly tomorrow, or early next week at the latest, so stay tuned for that as well.