Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Alabama, Day 1: Fairhope to Weeks Bay and Back...

Slow Moving Morning...

Hot, tired, and dehydrated from the previous days' travel, it took me a while to get moving this morning. I went out side at roughly 5:20 am to recalibrate my GPS. I enjoyed the early morning darkness as the sun was hitting some of the higher atmosphere's clouds. Then at 5:30 I discovered I had locked myself out of the house. I eventually got my wife to let me back in. Then I had to finish putting air in my tires with my bike pump (I let the air out before I packed the bike for the plane). That was a pain. I eventually hit the road a little after 6:30 AM.


I headed south along Scenic 98. It follows the shoreline of Mobile Bay. I did an abbreviated version of the Route 11: "The Weeks Bay Loop" I found on this map It was flat. I was averaging in the mid 17 mph range. The scenery was nice. Not much traffic in these parts this early in the morning. I wasn't sure how far I was going to go, but I was feeling better the further I went. I got to the bridge that was closed last year and kept going. I decided to go all the way to Weeks Bay since I seemed to be feeling so good. It's a nice destination to aim for. So I did. Nothing there but an abandoned restaurant that was wreaked by a Hurricane and a bunch of fisherman.

Not so Flat...

I headed back via and inland route. Now they don't have hills like we have in New England, but they still seemed to suck some energy out of me. The hills are like the local accent, long, drawn out and easy going.

Local Group Ride Tomorrow...

Tomorrow I may join a group ride I heard about from a bike shop I've been in contact with here. They meet at 5:00 AM at a nearby McDonald's. Tomorrow I am told is the "No Drop" ride. That will be good. I'm not that used to all these flat roads. The nice thing about hills is that you can rest going down.

5:00 AM is pretty early. I hope I can make it. I think one of the reasons they ride so early is to avoid the heat, which can be oppressive around mid-day. The other is the traffic, which also can be oppressive around mid-day... ;-)

Weeks Bay

Morning sun

This is what they call a "Shoulder" here in Baldwin County Alabama.