Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bicycling Somewhere Else

I've been going on bike rides for almost three years now. The vast majority of those rides start and end at my house, and that means I've become quite familiar with all of the roads within, say, a 6-mile radius. Well, I haven't exactly gone up and down every single dead-end street, but I have taken the bicycle-friendly through roads in my area countless times, to the point where I'm kind of sick of them now. And since almost all of my bike rides end at home, that means the last half hour of a long ride can be pretty rough. I'm already tired by that point; the last thing I want to do by then is trudge along the same old roads, again.

On occasion, Amber has taken her car and the bike rack (and now, Marla too) out and met me at some predetermined location. That's worked out great, because then my bike ride ends not at home, but somewhere else far more interesting. But, it's not always practical or convenient to do that, especially now.

So...new plan! How about I load the bike onto my car, drive somewhere far, and start (and end) my bike ride from there? That's what I did on Saturday: I drove to Fuquay-Varina High School, and did a 30-mile loop on my bicycle around Fuquay-Varina by way of Angier and northern Harnett County:

View Larger Map

I've never made it as far south as Fuquay-Varina on my bicycle alone. (I've made it to Holly Springs twice, and one of those was a ride in which Amber met me somewhere and picked me up.) And, certainly, I've never made it to Harnett County before, either. So this is pretty much the only way I'll get this far south, for now.

I think this worked out great. The bike ride was fun all the way to the end, and 100% of it was on roads that I've never biked on before. That includes the all important Last Six Miles, which were much more fun than usual. Yeah! (These days, when I start/end at home, it's very difficult to come up with a ride that is even 25% new.)

Ideally, I'd like to do this "drive + bike" sort of deal more often. But the limitation here is the extra time commitment. A 30-mile bike ride takes me 2½ to 3 hours as it is, and the extra drive time adds another 1 to 1½ hours on top of that. (I have to get at least 15 to 20 miles away from home before I start getting into uncharted bicycling territory.) So, we're talking 4 to 5 hours total. Finding that much time is becoming increasingly difficult, and I don't always want to be away from home for that long anyway.

But I do have three other 30-mile bike rides originating from places other than home already plotted out, and I plan on doing all of them eventually. Whatever it takes to get to the Indian Ocean as quickly as possible!


Adam said...

You can always come to eastern wake county and just park your car at our house!

Chris Allen said...

Funny you should mention that, because here's one of the routes I mapped out... http://g.co/maps/kgrvb

Chris said...

Nice to know I'm not the only one who does the drive-to-ride. There just aren't any good roads around where I live, so I had to start looking farther afield. I have a folding bike though, so it makes car transportation a lot easier.