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.







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!


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


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.


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.


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.



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


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.


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


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


View Large On Black


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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