March 2011

Went to Atlanta today on a book search, found "Tiger of the Snows" by James Ramsey Ullman (The Autobiography of Tenzing of Everest) and "The Explorer" by Frances Parkinson Keyes, I'm looking forward to both and will let you know how they turn out.

Then it was Chinese Food, Mai's new husband was in town, she had him in the kitchen, Teresa told her that was good, make him work, I pretended I didn't hear.

I got home and took a mountain bike ride, a fourteen miler over the "Cordillera de Carteville," it was nice day to be out on the bike, sixty degrees and sun, low wind.
As I was riding I was thinking about my neck problems and I recall several years ago when I had this problem, I bought a Recumbent Bike, note, you don't have to pay tax if you get a note from your Dr. saying this is necessary, as in Neck problems, so I decide to get out the Recumbent I built when I get to the house.

I built this bike with some plans off the Internet and a couple of old bikes I had around the Casa.

So I'm going to take some "R & R" not Rest and Recuperation
"Recumbent and Rum and Coke"

The Grandkids and their Mom came over and I got out my Mom's old bike, a three speed, the kids bikes and the Recumbent I built and we had what I call, "BikeORama"

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I still don't feel one hundred per cent but if I hurt on the bike and off the bike I figure I might as well be on the bike, so I took me a ride today.
I did my Lottery ride to Linden, weather was depressing (cool and cloudy) but fine for riding.

I took these pics of Downtown Linden, it may actually look pretty decent when all the work is done.

This photo shows the new sidewalks

The Cass County Courthouse under renovation, originally supposed to be finished in April, won't happen, no surprise.

It was great to be back on the bike, legs felt good, neck pain is slowly getting better, I hope, not a good spot for pain, to close to the brain.

I plan on riding tomorrow, I always try to ride the first and last day of the month.


A past love, take my word for it, these guys are Good


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I didn't ride today, still in recovery, hopefully I'll be out tomorrow weather permitting, we're praying for rain.


My next ride


In the reading department I just finished "Be My Guest" by Conrad Hilton, a good read.
I can't help but wonder if Conrad rolls over in his grave every time Paris pulls another dumb stunt, but then again, maybe not surprised at all.


My Biorythms for today.

Looks like it's going to be a rough day on the bike, I'm at the bottom emotionally and physically, I may cry and it will hurt, but Intellectually I'm on top, at least I shouldn't get lost.

Check yours, link to the right.

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I've always thought it was a good idea to take a ride the day after a good effort, so after yesterdays ride at the Beauty and Beast I took a short ride thru the bottoms, I did include "Heartbreak Hill" and "Alpe de Red Hill", both as steep as the Beast but not as long, makes a big difference.

As I was riding I was thinking about the "Beauty and the Beast ride and something came to mind.
As I was riding I came upon two other riders and as I was approaching them a motorcycle passed us going the other way.
I was watching the two riders in front of me and sure enough one of the guys gives the "Motorcycle Rider" a wave, the Motorcycle rider was not impressed, the Bike rider suddenly has the feeling that he isn't cool, because the expression on the Motorcyclist face lets him know he screwed up the wave, or salute.

I found this extremely funny because my riding friend Barry and I had a discussion on this very same subject.
We were on a ride last fall and we passed a Motorcyclist, I waved and knew immediately that I had screwed up, improper salute, Barry and I discussed it and came to some rather unsettling conclusions.

I'm going to try and straighten this out for everyone so that the next time you pass a motorcyclist you will be cool, not a "Spandax Wearing Sissy Bike Rider".

This first photo illustrates the wrong way to salute a Motorcyclist,
this will get you a negative stare

Here's the proper Salute, be sure and don't smile, that's important,
With this Salute, your in, one of the club, your cool

At all costs avoid this type of wave,
could lead to an ass whuppin

I hope everyone had a great weekend, hopefully I'm on the road to recovery, at this stage in life it seems like I'm always in Recovery, guess it beats the alternative.


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From:MrDaveyGieThat was damn hilarious.

I thought so too

You can't let a little pain keep you from living!!
So even tho my neck and shoulder are still sore I decided to stay with my game plan and ride the "Beauty and the Beast" ride in Tyler, Texas, I just thought, "What would Evil Knivel do? and I know he had bunches more pain them me, probably better medication too.

I felt a little like the "Boy who cried Wolf" when I met my riding friends from Texarkana, as usual I started telling them I was hurting, didn't feel good and would probably take it easy, and as usual, the reply was, "Right, we've heard that before," the only problem was I wasn't BSing this time.

I told myself to take it easy and remember to keep the head up, easy on the neck, but isn't it funny, when the shotgun went off and we were on our way, it was ride time, pain was a distant memory and mrbill was up to his usual antics.

Originally I was going to ride the 46 mile route but I opted for the 34 mile route since I hadn't ridden all week and wasn't feeling 100%, to put it mildly.
The ride began with the wind at our back, you know what this means, so much for an easy start, always take advantage of the wind on your back, is my mantra.
Actually the wind didn't bother us much until we reached the 34 mile cut off and then after the 90degree right turn I felt the wind for the first time today, a nice breeze, my pace slackened.
I had skipped the first reststop, as usual, and that is where I last saw Barry, shortly thereafter I passed Scott and just kept pressing on.
It was a nice route, lots of rollers and the country side greening up and trees in bloom, as usual the only problem was the wind.
About 25 miles into the ride I'm riding along with a Guy from Keller, TX, we top a roller and the wind practically stops me, I tell my buddy, "Damn, I thought for a minute my brakes where hung up," he got a kick out of the comment, I was serious.

The name of this ride, "Beauty and the Beast" means you will enjoy some "Beautiful" countryside and the "Beast" means you've got to climb one hell of a hill, where did that hill come from, think TX is flat, ride the beast.
To make matters worse just before the Beast is another steep little hill, we thought it was the Beast but when you get to the top a sign says, "Sorry, but this is not the Beast", depressing news.
Then comes the beast, you see it up ahead, gradually at first and then climbing up up and up, there's folks all over the road encouraging the riders, a guy dressed like the devil, urging us on, and I ran out of gears, hate it when that happens.
I was in my lowest gear, the one I like to save for a rainy day, and I was moving a little bit faster than walking.
There are people walking up the hill, some of the 24 milers that got there ahead of me, and some people falling, heard that cry behind me, knew immediately what it was.
I find these steep hills amusing, folks get into them in the wrong gear and then they try to shift under a heave load, shift screws up, clipped in, down they go, I hate to see it, I feel their pain, one old boy at the finish told me he fell twice, maybe a slow learner.

Another neat thing I remember about my ride up the Beast was a little old gal, think "Granny" on the "Beverly Hillbillies, must have been 75 yrs old, her grandson was riding along with her, I slowly passed her, told her she was doing great, she says, "Who Me?", I say yes, you, and then she tells me, "I just love it, I just love it", I told her good luck and struggled on up the hill.
The "Beast" is the toughest thing I've done in awhile, could have been a bit easier on my KHS with a triple crank, but my crazy mind wouldn't let my body quit and I topped that hill, I would probably have had to pass out and lay down before I was going to get off that bike, but I made it.

The hill was extremely tough but there was a payoff, as you top the hill you get to the intersection with HWY 69, turn right, and it's about 5 miles to the finish and the wind was at my back, I was flying, at one point, 27 mph, was that me struggling up that hill, pro racer me, love that wind, when it's on my backside.

I got back at about 11:10 am the ride started at approx 9 am, I was a happy camper.
I was parked on the side of the road near where everyone finishes, after I had my bike put up and had changed my clothes I sat on the back of my truck waiting for the Texarkana group to arrive, and waited, the Beast took it's toll.
I decided to go on the finish area and see what was for lunch, Spagehetti, rolls, cookies and a salad.
Since I am on a Gluten free diet, mandatory, there was basically nothing for me and my friends hadn't arrived so I decided to head for the casa, had a 2 hr drive.
As I was walking back to my truck I see my friends finishing up, Barry in the lead, I was surprised at how well he rides a recumbent, he switched to a recumbent for physical reasons, just like the rest of us trying to adapt our riding to our slowly deteriorating bodies, the joys of old age.
I found it funny when we were talking before the ride, when your young and got some pain they tell you to work thru it, but when you get a bit older that doesn't seem to work, you just have to lay up and heal and medicate.

All in all I would have to say the day was a great success, got home and Teresa had something for me to eat and I told her to turn on the A/C, our first time this year, it was 94 degrees on the back porch, got my spot on the couch, watched Tiger play some awful golf and finished my day in comfort.

I hope everyone had as good a day as I did, will do it again next year, but, I will be on my KHS with that triple crank, and fly up the Beast, well, that may be a bit strong, maybe I'll creep just a little faster up it, and that's fine with me.

Some pictures from the ride

The Venue, "KE Winery and Celebration Center", nice place
Check out those flags, wind makes em stand out like that


Before the ride

They even had a band after the ride, what, no one dancing,
I did my dancing with the Beast

Food, but not for mrbill

My old buddy Barry, finishing up, I love the little "Arkansas Bullett Hole" decals on that Faring

I wish I had gotten a pic of the Beast, but I was busy, deep in Concentration and Pain.
A good day and a good ride, nothing like a Bicycle ride with some like minded folks for a good time.

I'll do it again next year, Lord willin and the Creek don't rise.

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Today was a beautiful day, to nice not to ride, so I saddled up and took a short ride.
Even tho I'm still not one hundred per cent I really enjoyed getting out on the bike.
I also wanted to get out and see just how riding was going with some pain still in my neck and right shoulder.
The ride went well, no major changes in the pain department, that's good.

I know what caused the problem, an old man feeling like a 25 yr old and then trying to act on those feelings, not the first time and won't be the last, unfortunately, we active humans are like that.
The problem is we sometimes get to feeling so good we push ourselves over the limit or do things we know we shouldn't and we never learn.
I was on a roll getting in the mileage and having fun with my new bike, I was getting down in the drops and cranking it like a 20 yr old, the only problem is, the Degenerative Arthritis in my neck, when I'm in the drops I have to kick my head back to see down the road and it's that position that messes with the Arthritis in my neck, usually takes a couple of weeks to settle down, if I cooperate.

I plan on doing the "Beauty and the Beast" ride in Tyler on Saturday, but not sure of distance, probably 30, don't want to stir things up although 30 may do it, gotta ride.

I thought of putting my arm in a sling or taking my crutches to the ride and telling everyone that I got hurt doing some fantastic bike move, but I decided to go and ride, if necessary I can start the ride with everyone else and then after we get going cut off and head back to the finish, then hang around and wait on friends to finish and of course play like I got back ahead of everyone, surely I wouldn't do this.

While I've been off I have managed to get some things done around the Rancho and I managed to get my Tomatoes and Peppers planted, hopefully we'll have a year like last year.

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From:TomCrutches would've been a good touch.

Yep, but I couldn't figure out how to clip in my crutches

From:MrDaveyGieYes sir, I know so well what you say. I have the neck and shoulder thing going on too. Seems my mind would push push push myself, but my body can't keep up with those thoughts like I would like these days. Oh well, we'll keep doing what we can get away with and make adjustments on the way. Happy rides to ya Bill

Easy for you to say, your tougher than I am, you also have a good time out there, how would you like some 94 degree weather in March, yep, I thought so.

There's nothing worse than not being able to ride my bike when the weather is perfect.
My right shoulder is acting up again and I'm taking a couple of days off the bike, or I'm trying to.
It just doesn't seem right not to be able to ride because of a sore shoulder, but that's the case, it's darn sore, kind of like a "charlie horse".

I'm planning on planting some tomatoes today, son in law got them for us from the place where he works.
Hopefully one day I'll be able to ride again, looks like some changes will be made on my new bike.
Everybody have a good one and be careful out there.

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I decided to play with the wind today, it was Big Fun and little fun.
I did forty miles, from BBB to Linden, Kildare, Bivins, Linden and return to BBB.
I started
riding into the wind, 20mph wind
and I was wondering if I would have enough gears.
At about 14 miles I left Kildare and had Big Fun for about 8 miles until I reached Bivins.
I had a coke at "Crackers" the old store in Bivins, which is closed but Jimmy keeps a cold drink machine going out front.
Finishing my ride from Linden to BBB I had the wind behind me, I not only looked like Boonen I was riding like him, nothing like a strong 20 mph tailwind to make an old rider feel like he may still have a shot at the "Yellow Jersey", maybe that's a bit strong.

I took this photo heading to Linden from Bivins, "Fire Department Hill".
This hill is near the community of "Center Hill", it's a tough Hill, what you see is the main grade but you don't see the top, Bboy liked it.

Can a person get used to the wind?

Yeah, as long as it's behind me.


My next ride

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Went for a bike ride on Bboy today, did thirty five miles, a good workout.
I did part of the Marietta Roller-coaster and the High School Mtns, enjoyed the ride.

As I was entering Linden on 1841 I ran into Jerry Harp, who is a "Touring Cyclist", we went to the Truck Stop and visited a bit.

The Redbuds are in bloom

Big Fun today


I'm been following the "Family On Bikes" for a while now, link to the right, as they travel from the North tip of the Americas to the Southern tip.

I just thought I had problems with the wind, check out this video they took of the "Patagonian Winds"

Little Fun

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From:TomDon't need that wind.

While riding into the wind today I thought about the "Wind Video" and my wind didn't seem so bad.

From: DanMan - that's an incredible clip...

Yep, an incredible wind, nothing I'd like to cycle in

If you could ask for the perfect day for cycling and get it, you would have got today.
Full Sun, light wind, 63 degrees and just all around perfect.
I rode to Linden, then out Bivins Rd to a County Rd that cuts back to the church on Hwy 59 and then to the house by way of Tabacco Road.

Before the ride I fueled up on "Arkansas Rice"

"Bboy" sure liked it out there today on top the hill
he told me it sure beats the Warehouse

This is just the kind of day it was
and it's downhill from here, for a ways

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From:MrDaveyGieO such a beautiful day. Coming my way too. :-)
Chow LQQKs good.

If anyone deserves a good day it's you, hoping you have one, and the Food is Muy Bueno

I awoke to cloudy skies and mucho wind and even tho I'm an enthusiastic, macho cyclist I just didn't want to do wind today so I opted for the trainer.
I did fifteen miles and was entertained by Floyd and Levi in the 06 Tour de France.
Tomorrow I will definitely be out on the bike, weather is looking good, just wondering if I should wear a mask, maybe I should also take my Giger counter, well maybe not, at my age it probably doesn't matter.


In the reading department I'm currently reading "The Hammer of Eden" by Ken Follett.
This book is about some old hippies in a commune in Northern California whose valley where they live is being threatened by plans to build a Nuclear Plant so they devise a plan to create an Earthquake, in hopes that it will cause construction to be halted.
They probably wouldn't have done it if the Quake in Japan had happened previously, or maybe they would, some pretty far out folks.

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Took "Bboy" out for another ride, did some backroads and county roads, my Lisa loop plus Janice's, for a total of 26 miles.
I'm liking my new bike especially with the road tires, I may not need more gears after all, the trouble may be in my legs.
I've managed to climb all my tough hills and yesterday I even managed to save a gear, I always like to have one gear left for emergencies.
It looks like the bike is going to work fine on the backroads and on the county roads so looks like it will be a good backup.
I'm waiting on new tires for my Centurion, they should be here in a few days, she wants to do a ride, and I want to oblige her.

When you get a new bike, do you break the bike in, or does the bike break you in?, I tend to think it's a little bit of both.

A Thing of Beauty, And you can also see my new bike, "Bboy"

I like this photo, I look a little like Tom Boonen, use your imagination

I had a good weekend toying with my new ride, I'm not faster, but I look good and that's important.

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Nice day for riding not counting the wind, took Blue Boy out for a spin, a lot better with slick tires, those Mud Grips are depressing.
I had plenty of help changing my tires, our Granddaughters Lexy and Ashlynn, they kept wanting to pump, so I let them, needless to say the fun of pumping didn't last long.
We also played some soccer and even got Grannie out to kick the ball a bit.

I may take "Blue Boy" for a little longer ride tomorrow, may, being the key word.

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I took my new bike, "Blue Boy", out for his maiden ride today, everything went fine, I figured it would since I only had a few pieces left when I put it together.
I knew I wouldn't like the tires, there's one thing I really don't care for and that's the "Whrrrr" as you ride down the road with "mud grips" grabbing the road, depressing.
So first off, change tires and then the only other change I might make or will probably make is a bit more gear on the low side, some old man gears.

All in all I like the bike, it's comfortable and everything works fine, just have to get rid of the mud grips.

I'll get some photos of my "Blue Boy" soon but if you'd like to see the bike and specs

Click Here

I rode to town and back for a total of sixteen miles, gotta ditch the mud grips.

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Great weather for a Bike ride, what did I do, I took a bike ride.
I did my Lisa loop+ for 26 miles, wind wasn't too bad, maybe I'm actually getting used to it.
I took my Mountain bike, no mechanicals, no flats, a good ride, I did have to fix a flat before I started, a small sticker, maybe from a Sweetgum ball.

I got my new Cross Bike last night, of course I tore into the box, and had it put together in about 15 minutes, just had to, today I need to take it apart and put it back together properly, oil those pedals and seatpost.
I'm pretty tickled with my new bike, love the color, that's important, I can already see I'll need different tires, lighter, pedals, lighter and maybe a seat, yep you guessed it, lighter.
It's funny but I've never been totally excited when I've got a new bike, except when I was six yrs old, that was exciting, but after about a year or five and it's all tweaked in, I don't know how I would live without it, and of course by that time it's just about wore out, that's Bicycle business, what did I say?

We've got some good biking weather coming up so I'll be out there, this is our prime time and I assure you it won't last forever.

If you think you've got it rough, think again, the folks in Japan have it rough, my best to all those folks in the days ahead as they deal with the results of the Earthquake.

In the pro race, Paris/Nice, one of my favorites, Jani Brajkovic, helped Kloden to win the stage, "hey Klodie, get on my wheel, I'm taking you to the line", and that's why I like Jani.

Hope everyone has a great weekend, get out and ride, if you don't ride, get out and do something, believe me you will feel better.

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From:TomBunch of my friends just arrived in Austin today to take on some of your Texas hills, and warm weather. I'm glad it's good riding weather there for them. I'm up here stuck in the 30's. It's my own fault though.

Once they get a taste of Texas you may not see them again, come on down.

From:NancyWe need to see a pic of you new bike...
I am happy for you.

Hi Nancy, click link above, thanks for stopping by, maybe some action shots later.

The word for the day was Wind, it was fun for the first eight miles and then it was work for 12 miles.
It wasn't really to bad because I was in the bottoms when the wind was against me it was blocked by trees and hills.

I got my Lottery ticket and if I win you might no hear from me for a while, first I'm going to get me a job, so I can quit it and then I'm going for a long bike ride.

Hope everyones weather is as nice as ours, minus wind of course, get out and enjoy it!


Oh where have all the favorites gone?

Thomas Voeckler wins the stage at Paris/Nice, is this guy really French, he rides with as much heart as any pro I have ever seen, glad to see him win the stage, even tho he is French, must not be totally French.
Thanks for the pic.

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The weather was threatening and I had some things to do so I opted for the trainer today.
While on the trainer I got back into the TDF 06 stage 16, just after Floyds Miraculous mountain stage.
One thing I clearly remember is the amount of water he used, 71 bottles from the car, didn't realize it was that many, must be a record, I guess Testosterone makes you thirsty.

Tomorrow I'll make my Lottery ride, need to win so I can pay for the bike that is being accidentally shipped to my house, boy will I be surprised, Teresa too.


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Summer's not here yet, and that's a good thing, 58 degrees today with a cool East wind.
East wind always catches me off guard, it's supposed to be from the West.
I was headed East for most of my ride today on 995 headed toward Atlanta, for just a minute I thought I was coming down with "Winditis."
Winditis is biking term for too much wind, it's symtoms are, dizzyness, nausea, mild depression and the really bad thing is, the cure is to ride in more wind, Hum, this is "Bad."

The only other animal out there today other than me was a family of Wild Pigs, Boar, Sow, and 10 to 12 young un's, I stopped to try and take a photo but pigs are quicker than you think.

These woods and bottoms of North East Texas have every kind of "Kreetcher" there is.

Here's the only other amimal that was out there today other than the pigs.

"Comin At Ya"

Don't tell Teresa but I bought another bike, needed a backup, details to follow, it's a good thing she doesn't read my page.
I'm going to act like it was shipped here by mistake, that'll work.

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From:TomYou'll be lucky if you don't get returned along with your new bike. Most likely you'll both be in the same box.

I'm feeling Lucky

I got my spoke replaced on my Centurion and got the wheel back together, lot of little bearing on that "Gear Cluster", and then I took her for a ride.
I did my High School loop plus Almira and Red Hill for a total of 35 miles.
I didn't have a whole lot of spunk even tho the weather was fine, 58 deg, Sun and light wind.

A goal without a plan is just a wish

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Guess this is our "Easter Cold Snap", was nice and warm then this little front comes thru gives us much needed rain and not needed wind.
On my ride today it was 49 degrees and I had a NW wind blowing at about 20 mph, little fun.
I had almost forgotten how to dress in sub 50 deg weather, and I wasn't overdressed.
I rode my Mountain bike and did my loop thru the bottoms.

Paris/Nice starts on Sunday, I like this race and am looking forward to it.
My favorites are: Janez Brajkovic, Levi Leipheimer and Fränk Schleck, gotta like these three, all exceptional riders and fine folk.

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Here in Texas we don't pay much attention to Groundhogs, if we see a snake in the first part of March, it's going to be an early spring.

I realize that the weather has been really nice lately and I've even thought about snakes, but it's March.

So yesterday afternoon Teresa and I walked the dogs around the trail on our place.
We just got started good when Teresa stops and says, "Whoa", I say, "What", I step forward and take a look, a little "Copperhead" snake is laying in the trail, head all flared, looking like a mini Cobra.

I know it's early in the year and he's sunning so I just pick him up with my walking stick and pitch him to the side of the trail.

Today Teresa and I take the dogs for a walk and at just about the same spot in the trail, yep, you guessed it, our little Copperhead friend.
We back up and take a look, again head all flared like a mini Cobra.
About this time, Fluffy, our cat, who is walking with us decides she's going to check this out, she noses around right up close and I'm thinking poor Fluffy, Copperheads are Poisonous.
Fluffy takes a paw and places it on snakes back, snake is not happy, snake stikes, Fluffy is fast, escapes, and she has also gained newfound respect for snakes.

I did give the little Poisonous snake one chance, I really thought that was nice, now he's in "Snake Heaven."


I rode my "Club Lake Loop" today, beautiful, a bit windy, but Big Fun, 25 miles, Mountain bike.

I'm wondering if anyone is wondering why Teresa is always in the lead on our walks, Hum.
She's got good eyes!

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Just another day in Paradise.
What a beautiful day, 70 deg, Full Sun, Light Wind, Low Humidity, just doesn't get any better than this.
A great day for a bike ride and I took me one, took my Mountain bike out for a thirty mile ride, the "Dump Loop".

Here are a couple of photos I took in one of my favorite spots,
Hwy 130 going from Carterville to Hwy 11

Headed into the hills, only one way out


We all have our prime time for riding and ours is now!

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Part 2:

I had a great day on my Birthday, yesterday.
I would definitely like to thank everyone who wished me a happy Birthday, that was nice.
I couldn't have ordered better weather, 68 deg, Sun and a light wind, just perfect.
My lovely wife took me to eat Chinese at a favorite little spot of ours in Atlanta

Then we came home and I went for a bike ride,
I decided to do my "Union Mtn" ride, one of my favorites.

On this ride you can really get out there with the critters, not much in the way of people or traffic, one of the reasons I like this route.

If you look real hard you can see a Grey Wolf on this road ahead of me, I was in the bottoms, came around a curve and he was standing in the road, he looked and then slowly turned and left, I got my camera but he had gone, I rode after him and snapped this pic, close as I could get.

If all days could be like this one in every way, yep, it might get boring, but it would be a good boring, I'm already looking forward to my next Birthday.

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Yep, surprise, surprise, mrbill made it to 64, and that's quite an accomplishment when you live on the edge.

What will I do on my Birthday, Yep, ride my bike.


I shot a little video yesterday on my ride, I did my Janice loop, the video was taken about halfway into the ride.
I must warn you, I know it might be hard for you to believe, but mrbill talks on the video, just wanted to forewarn you.

Everyone have a great day, even if it isn't your Birthday.

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