Waking up a Dennis' home for 2:30 for a bike ride? What are we
thinking??? Seeing Steve's face before he gets his first sip of coffee
makes it all worth while though. Two cups of Dennis' fine brew and we
are ready to leave for Franklinton. A stop at Mickies for breakfast on
the way and we are at the Winn Dixie before 4:30. Just enough time to
set the bikes up for the 5 AM start time. Butch pulling into the lot
rounds our group off to four for the brevet.
We take off at about 5:10 (don't know why we never start on time - my
fault I guess) with "be seen" lights on and almost no traffic on the
road. We turn off of 25 and onto 16 and the rollers begin. I love
heading out on a brevet and seeing the sun rise from my bike! The
morning fog has burned off by the time we hang a right on Dummy Line
Rd. I always get a chuckle seeing the Plant Entrance sign just before
the Nursery – only in LA.
We pull into Wilmer at 6:20, 18 miles into the ride and an average of
16.2. We topped off the bottles and headed back out.
Hwy 1061 leads to hwy 1054 with more rollers. I used to think it
contained a couple of killer climbs but either the road has flattened
out a bit or my engine is better tuned. Another right turn back on 16
and we were headed to Amite. A quick stop at the Exxon On the Run for
more fluids and it was back on the road. Butch was feeling a bit
froggie and took off on the front. Dennis didn’t want to have anything
to do with that so he put the hammer down as well and that left Steve
and I to just mosey along. Dennis was going to count the for sale
posters and eat his last biscuit Butch was just going…. We got to
Montpellier at 8 AM 40.8 miles into it and a respectable 16.9 avg. It
had not even started to warm up yet.
Turning onto hwy 43 and heading North it was nice having a mild wind
from our right instead of the usual head wind. This road has a lot of
beautiful rollers. We stopped to talk to Wayne (a CCC rider from
Ponchatoula) and this allowed Butch to catch up. Dennis was staying
off the front, Steve and I were in the rocking chair and Butch was
lollygagging (probably saving turtles or helping girl scouts and
bunnies) in the back. We stopped just before the dog leg at hwy 10 to
regroup and Steve attempted to urinate on another police station so we
left before he was arrested. We stopped for drinks at Nicks at 9:30
with 59 miles down and a 16.7 mph rolling average. We continued north
passing into Mississippi and made a right turn in Gillsburg on 584.
The rough roads continued as we turned on SR 929 until we hit the
state line and pristine asphalt. Unfortunatly this did not last very
long – at least hwy 1053 is is better than the MS roads. We waited to
regroup when we hit hwy 51 and I started having cramping problems.
These would plague me the remainder of the ride. We hit Kentwood at
11:45 and stopped at the Maxx 82.1 miles down and our average had
fallen off to 16.1. It was heating up and that was slowing us down.
Our lunch stop was a dozen miles up the road so we topped off our
drinks and headed out hwy 38.
A right turn on River Rd brought more rollers. I can’t really call any
of these things a climb because I was once told that “it isn’t a climb
unless you have to get out of the saddle” – so much for the climbs. A
left turn onto 1057 brought us past the 12 Star Ranch and then another
left onto 1061 and we were on the modified part of the course. I
hadn’t been on this road for a few years and it was a treat. We passed
one end of M Williams Rd before hitting hwy 38 and the store in Spring
Creek for our lunch stop. I didn’t have the heart to tel Butch that we
were only 3 blocks from where we turned off onto River Rd an hour ago.
He looked bushed. 45 minutes later we were fed, rested and ready to
ride. The ODO showed 97 miles and a 15.7 average. We headed East on 38
and my cramps started right back up. When we turned on Doc Butler Rd I
needed to stop and stretch out my legs – they were killing me. We got
to the store in Mt. Herman at 3:10 with 108 miles and a 15.4 avg. More
drinks and back on the road. I was surprised that Steve passed on the
free puppy someone was giving away. Guess he didn’t want to carry the
extra load – weight weenie! It was fun to hit the downhill on 438 ( a
6% for .2 miles) in the daylight and light traffic. It made for my top
speed of the day. We passed the last info control and took a left on
1055. A mile down the road Dennis started hearing a pinging sound and
found he had popped a spoke on his rear wheel – drive side. I figured
the ride was over for him. He did not want to try a fiber spoke to
repair it so we zip tied it to another spoke and headed off to catch
Steve and Butch. We caught them turning onto Mt. Pisgah Rd. Dennis was
doing fine the wheel was running true and he was babying it. I was
worried about what would happen when he hit the short steep climb but
the wheel held. I guess that is the good part about being such a light
We turned onto hwy 440 and I knew that Dennis would make it – he could
even walk from here. The traffic got busier and it was nice to pull
back into the Winn Dixie parking lot at 4:55. We had completed the 128
miles in just under 12 hours and a rolling average of 15.1. Another
one in the books…..