Monday, June 23, 2008

55 mile loop to Vader

On Sunday, I took a ride that I've wanted to take for a long time. To head out to Curtis Hill and then follow SR 506 to Vader. I was a bit nervous since I would be out on pretty remote roads with no cell phone service so if something went wrong I would be on my own.

I finally did it and was it worth it! The most beautiful ride, that I have done in Lewis County.
I started at 10 AM on a Sunday so there were not many cars out. The ride begins by heading down SR 6 which has nice wide shoulders as far as Adna. The last mile or 2 were rougher but not bad. Then the turn off on Curtis Hill Road, this was my first time on this road and the hill was as tough as I heard it was. I had to stop several times on the way up. The crest of the hill was built up with McMansions.
Down the other side was a fast descent though a forested section and drops into the valley. The next 20 miles pass through nice farms and forested sections that bring a very contented state.

I had a nice tailwind and was just effortlessly gliding along in a state of near bliss when it was shattered. At 1246 Wildwood there was a large dog in the road barking and to my dread there were 3 others in the yard. I dismounted and used my bike as a shield and yelled at dog to STAY!.
At this point a second dog came at me and this was the one that really put a scare in me. He was about my size and was just on the other side of my bike all bristling and snarling. Fortunately, I had my Halt! and gave him a squirt. The spray had an instant effect and the dog whimpered and went back in the yard. I backed the other dog down and left the scene.
My bliss was gone and it took a while for the adrenaline rush to subside.
The next problem was a truck coming down the road that I could hear from a mile back. Once it got up to my I found out why. It was full of teenage boys and they were running on a bare rim.
This part of the road was secluded and the passengers in the back stared at my as they passed.
About a quarter mile up the pulled into a side road and got out of the truck and fanned out in the road. I did not like the looks of what was going on, were they trying to jump me or what? I stopped and turned around and went a little way down the road trying to decide what to do. In the meantime, they got back in the truck and took off. I waited a bit and then continued on my ride. I closely watched the gouge in the road left by their bare rim to make sure they were not waiting for me somewhere. As the miles passed, I saw pieces of their rim lying in the road. Near Ryderwood, I passed them on the side of the road. I was doing about 35 mph on a long descent at this point.
Once I came to the turn onto the Vader-Winlock Rd, I stopped at the store and had a V-8. I was feeling great again, now that the problems were behind me and I had some very pleasant riding still to come.
Overall the ride was very easy, though I still struggle with hill climbs and there were several extended ones on this ride.
I look forward to riding in this area again.
After the ride was over I contacted the Sheriff's office to report the dog incident.

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