Saturday was one of those days where you would be kicking yourself if you didn’t get out to ride. It wasn’t a perfect day, but it was a gift in the winter. The unseasonable weather seemed to be saying, “Take advantage of it now because the colder days are coming.”
I suited up and rolled the bike out on the drive. Where to go? At that moment I wasn’t inspired. None of my usual routes captured my interest.
I decided to head out on the Upstate Winter Bicycle League route. It had been well over a year since I pedaled those roads. One hour out and one hour back would be the plan. I’d see how far I could go.
Of course, first I had get through Greenville. That done I started to roll on roads that I seldom ride. Then I started noticing roads going off to my left or right. It seemed they were calling me to avoid the road less traveled and take the one not traveled.
On a lark, I turned right and took a road I had not taken by car or bicycle. I would see where this would lead. The road was rather rough at first, but then I had to make an awkward turn over a railroad track and the road turned wonderfully smooth.
I found I was riding by a rock quarry. The road was nicely graded and smooth. I climbed up and over the top to find I-185 passing over the road. That was kind of a downer, but I knew where I was and decided to head out to Piedmont or Powdersville… whichever it is out that way.
That is when it really got fun. I was turning from this road to that making my way in the general direction I wanted to go. Some of the roads were rough. Some were smooth. A couple were pretty busy, but most of the roads were quiet.
Then I happened upon one of those moments. I had just ridden along a frontage road to I-85 and turned onto one of the only options I had. Not far along this road, I crested a hill to find this scene.
It was one of those moments you love riding the bicycle. It wasn’t just the scene before me. It was the sound — or lack of it. Everything was just incredibly still. Behind me I knew was a busy interstate highway. In front of me I assumed was a number of communities. However, for this moment it seemed I was all alone in the world.
I just stopped and took it in. Peace.
Soon I started rolling again. I had to be back in time for dinner with my parents. That time could be used to find what was around the next bend.
Returning home I found a smile on my face. The ride back didn’t seem to take nearly as long as some hour rides I have taken. A new road is definitely a good way to bring a bit of joy back to your ride!