Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Small variations make all the difference

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Last night I had a fantastic ride along my regular Water Works route, with only a couple of slight modifications. I rode home via Ramp Creek Road, which added a good downhill and uphill, as well as some rolling hills on Fairfax Road. I also rode the Moore’s Creek Road hill downhill/uphill in the opposite direction from usual. It’s harder this way, but the hard climb felt good. The slight changes to the route made the ride feel very different. Here’s a map.

It was also just a beautiful night; the days are getting shorter but the light is getting better, and while it had been hot during the day, it had cooled off enough by the time I rode that I felt more comfortable on the bike than I had in some time. I also had my red-lensed sunglasses, which make everything look more appealing. I tried to reproduce the effect, again, in my photos.

The ride was routine for a while, but this is one of my favorite routes. It’s just packed with variety. I felt strong on the bike, and I was having a blast! A totally different story from my rather sluggish ride over the weekend.

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Soon I had a big hill to climb. It’s pretty steep for a while in this direction, but it wasn’t too bad. As you can see I’m trying out a helmet mirror. At first I hated it. It’s growing on me now, but I have to say, I rather like Chandra’s DIY helmet mirror. ย His has a much bigger mirror!

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Next was an out-and-back section on Handy Road, which is quite flat. I saw several deer along the way.

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I also got a nice glimpse of the lake. Unfortunately during one section there were clouds of insects in the air and I had to cover my face with one hand to avoid getting them all over my face.

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And then turned around. Now I was heading into the sun which was getting quite low in the sky, but partially obscured by clouds. Enough that it wasn’t blinding me.

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Soon I was headed down Ramp Creek Road. Here I had an insane descent, a hill I’ve climbed a couple of times, but decided it’s best to descend, going this way.

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Almost immediately after this, I had to climb back up. However, the climb in this direction really isn’t too bad.

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After the long, twisty, dark climb through a wooded area, climbing out into the open and seeing flat straight road, and a lot more light, was quite a transition.

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Soon I turned onto Fairfax Road for some medium-sized hills. The road has been paved recently and is buttery smooth. It was bliss.

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This next shot is possibly one of the better ones I’ve gotten recently. It’s worth viewing it large.

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View Large On Black

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After a few rollers and one longer climb, I was home. It was only about a 19-mile ride, but I loved every minute of it.

6 Responses to “Small variations make all the difference”

  1. Steve A Says:

    Several of your shots are outstanding, even by your own standards. I hope that you will talk more about the mirror and how you find it useful as you grow more used to it.

  2. Redbike Says:

    Here in England they only tend to put crash barriers beside the road if its a high speed road. Generally speaking if there’s a barrier beside the road then it’s probably not the sort of road you want to be cycling on!

  3. Apertome Says:

    Steve … thanks!

    Redbike: the road with the guardrails is a low-traffic road. But there are real consequences if you go off the road … in the valley, you’ll run into a marsh. On the climb, you’ll fall into a ravine. Most of our low-traffic roads don’t have guardrails, but sometimes, like this one, they do.

  4. John Says:

    I see you may have read the same blog post I did about how to hold the camera to shoot yourself. It does take better photos when we hold it high.

    Those hills always get my attention. There is a century ride here next week titled “The Flattest Century In The East”

  5. Chandra Says:

    Hi Michael,
    Very cool post! Is that a CycleAware mirror? BTW, there are sizes in between the rather large one I picked to make my mirror and the smaller versions that come standard on many store-bought varieties. I really like the big mirror and I haven’t found any bad things about it, yet. May be there will be none.

    BTW, I had to think real hard to decide who was more photogenic, you or the deer. Finally, I gave each of you the First Prize in your own categories, you in the 2 legged category and the deer in the 4-legged category ๐Ÿ™‚

    Peace ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Apertome Says:

    Chandra, yes, it’s a CycleAware mirror. I hated it at first, but it’s growing on me.

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