Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Rural Tennessee

84.2 Miles - Nashville, TN to McMinnville, TN

The rest of the rain from Ida was coming through the area in the morning, so I opted to get a late start in an effort to stay behind it. A detour (due to the Country Music Awards) before even leaving downtown Nashville aided in holding me back. It did involve me having to consult my map. Having all of my possessions wrapped in plastic bags adds a level of complexity to everything, like checking my electronic map, but at least I could keep my things dry.

Getting out of Nashville wasn’t the worst ride I ever had though not quite as easy as leaving Baton Rouge. I managed to avoid rush hour traffic and stayed off the main thoroughfares. Before long the road I was riding on was wet. I didn’t get rained on at the time, but the ground wouldn’t be dry for the remainder of the day.

It wasn’t long before I was in rural Tennessee. There was the odd dwelling (that formerly had wheels) with numerous appliances and/or vehicles in various states of disrepair ornamenting the front lawn. There were also some nice farm houses, so there was a good mix.

I was getting into steeper territory. I had my first serious climb of the trip this afternoon. The route I had chosen will take me through some more mountainous terrain that I had seen in quite some time.

The last 20 miles came with increased traffic. There was the usual mix of drivers, some granting me some courtesy and others buzzing a foot off my left elbow. Idaho recently passed a law that prohibits cars from passing within three feet of a bicycle. Wouldn’t that be a pleasant change? They also made it official that bicycles are only required to yield at stop signs and red lights. While I haven’t been ticketed for blowing a red light, I suppose I could be.

I survived the last 20 miles of the ride and then spent nearly two hours having to clean my bike after the soaking it received all day. Having to scour my bike is one of the last things I want to do after a long day riding, but if I want it to last I have to suck it up and get polishing.

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