is a real delight. I'd say its my
favorite. There's something about the
rhythm and flow that I feel when riding
it. One curve leads into another,
well-spaced, good radius, good momentum.
It just feels very good.
Cindy has chosen to ride
at a slightly more relaxed pace this
morning (she's enjoying the magnificent
scenery) and I don't want to pass her. It
just doesn't feel like the polite thing
to do. And so I settle in behind,
matching her rhythm - another of the many
ways to enjoy riding.
This type of flow matching
is also something I enjoy doing in
downhill skiing. If my involvement is
less than intense, I find that closely
pacing a fellow skier and synchronizing
my turns to their rhythm can be very
As we ride up 129 towards
Deals Gap we suddenly come up to a
detour. We find significant road damage
caused by the recent flooding. The detour
takes us over an unpaved dirt road that
has all the sinewy character of route 129
i.e. sharp changes in elevation, tight
ascending corners, descending corners
It goes on like this for a
several miles. The surface varies from
dry packed dirt, to gravely, to slightly
muddy. But with a little care, it's
suitable for just about any bike.
Cindy (having a dirt bike
at home) seems quite comfortable. Carol
and I occasionally stand on our pegs as
we traverse rough or washboard surfaces.
It's hot and somewhat dusty and we go on
like this for a ways.
We finally arrive at Deals
Gap and find a small gathering. It's now
quite warm and Cindy decides to stop for
some cool refreshment. Carol seems a
little fidgety, like a horse chomping at
the bit. She wants to run the Gap, now.
It turns out that she's
been casing the joint, so to speak, and
has spotted a window of opportunity where
she expects a clean run with little
I suggest she go alone.
Riding the Gap is a perception thing.
Hormones can activate and intensity
levels can escalate. I would rather we do
it separately, that we each do our own
run. Off she goes. I give her a good
five-minute lead and follow out.
The Tail of the Dragon is
quite pleasant today. The sun is out and
the road is very clean with only the
occasional debris. Compared to most roads
that we've been on lately, it's
This is going to be a long
day and so I'm running it at about
6/10ths intensity, which feels about
right. At this level, I'm enjoying it
fully. Just letting it happen.
As I get close to the end
I seek out a secluded place where I can
take a break and temporarily hide from
the relentless sun. I find just what I'm
looking for and park under tree canopy,
maybe 15 feet from the road.
Behind me stands an old
wooden fence and behind the fence lies a
trickling brook. This is a perfect
vantage point to see riders go by and yet
be out of harms way.
I enjoy the cool breeze
under shade as I sip a drink from my
tankbag. This is certainly an enjoyable
moment and I savor it for a good 20
I'm back at the Crossroads
of Time and meet the girls on the
balcony. They're finishing some
refreshments and chatting with other
riders. I walk up to them and proclaim
that I finally got my ya-yas out! They
get a good chuckle.
I'm not sure what ya-yas
are, but there's a live album titled
"Get Yer Ya-Yas Out" (from the
early 70's) by the Rolling Stones that
intuitively came to mind. Somehow, it
seems to fit.