Great bike ride a few days before Christmas - John from Meetup helped me mount my new road tires on Toulouse, who has been ecstatic to get his first exercise in (ashamed face) 6 years...
I'm in yellow, Marianna is in the foreground. John is behind me still under the bridge, and Bill is snapping.
We were riding country roads out near Westminster SC by Bill & Marianna's house - almost in GA. We were right by Yonah Dam and did some of the roads which are part of the Tour de Tugaloo. (Basically it's in the very tip-top west corner of SC and a little in GA.) It's a great place to ride because up by the dam are a couple of huge cul de sac/dead ends (several-mile loops with no egress), so not much traffic. Also as you can see it's quite beautiful. Rolling hills but not scary steep make for an outing that is pretty gentle on those new to biking or who haven't Really Cycled for a while.
Bill on left, John helping Marianna adjust her derailleur. Bill and Marianna are two of my best friends from the hiking group. John is in Meetup as well, but I met him thru the French group altho he's a member of our group, too.
Me and John loading up after the tour. Much happiness to have had such a great day out enjoying the sun and nature.
We ended up doing 21 miles. Not huge but respectable given how long it had been since I really rode - moreso for Bill & Marianna since they are just getting into riding. I at least have commuter muscles which were pretty ready altho my endurance wasn't what it used to be. I surprised myself by being much more fit than I expected, tho much of the credit goes to Toulouse, who is hugely easier to pedal on than my mountain bike, Spike. I really couldn't believe how it felt to be on Toulouse again after all this time. I'm much more at ease on that bike than on Spike, altho he's also way lighter; I hadn't realized how much until we started off. The difference is pretty amazing.
We had a huge scary wind that would come and go at an instant's notice. It increased throughout the ride but we still made it back to the vehicles. If it had started earlier I doubt very much we would have gone more than 10 miles. It really was kinda freaky, hitting out of nowhere and full blast against us, then 5 minutes later it would stop just as suddenly. Better than being on us all the time at least. Even John was wobbled a bit by it even tho he rides all the time.
Looks like tomorrow I'm going to ride with Bill & Marianna again - we're going to Fants Grove here right outside Clems*n. I'm not sure there is road riding potential so I'll take Spike instead of Toulouse just in case we have to trail it a bit. Meanwhile I'm gearing up to use Toulouse as much as possible for commuting to school this semester. Way easier than the mountain bike. Anyway partly to save the car and partly b/c I really need more exercise and it makes me feel so good. I won't be heading out on super chilly mornings but will try to ride anytime it's just this side of Super Chilly. It's considerably colder here than it was in Aub*rn but still way more feasible (for Susan the Cold Wimp) than farther north.