Holly had explained to me that Sharie really wanted me to sing in choir today, so I woke up early to make sure that I got my ride in first thing. Although I was able to ride yesterday, I didn’t like feeling that I had to squeeze it in. I’ve grown accustomed to my morning ride being the first thing of the day. I’m not a morning person, so this is quite a statement. πŸ™‚

I started riding at around 7:00am. It appeared most of the neighborhood was still sleeping, but I don’t know how long that lasted as I rode past. My brakes were squealing like you wouldn’t believe. I tried everything I could think of to slow my descent down the hill, including dragging a foot, but I had to apply my breaks pretty hard. My rear break would just squeal with a “Weeengeeeeeeeeeee” the front brake sounded like a yak’s mating call, “Huuuuuuuuuuuuuungh!” Both were loud as hell and I had to laugh as Juliet made this cacophony down the hill. If anyone was sleeping, this noise woke them up. LOL

I rode with the same amount of weight as the day before, except that I also had a jacket on. After the first 5 miles, the jacket ended up in the rear pannier, so I suppose that added a little weight. Heck at this point I’ll count anything. Yet, now that I think about it, I left my camera and cellphone at home, so I guess I’m breaking even.

I took the same path as the day before, but this time, I decided to continue northeast until I reached Murfreesboro road. Before I reached the intersection to continue past where I was yesterday, I rode past a dead animal in the road. It looked kinda big and when I passed it, I noticed that it was a bobcat. A bobcat!?! What the hell? I had no idea that we even had bobcats out here, much less this close to my home. The only bobcat I’ve ever seen has been in a zoo and here’s one 12 inches from me as I ride past. Nothing quite shakes your foundation than suddenly realizing just how precarious your position at the top of the food chain really is. πŸ˜‰

After my Animal Planet experience, I made my way further down Burkitt to the point that it intersects with Old Hickory. This is where I turned to head back home the day before. Today I continued on. Burkitt road became Old Hickory and I made the climb towards I-24. It’s funny. Just because I have some traffic to ride with, my pace instantly increases. Maybe it’s just adrelinine, but it’s always a charge to ride with some traffic. I made my way across the Interstate and past the truck stops and then on towards AmSouth amphitheater. This area wasn’t as nice as earlier in the ride. It’s more developed and somewhat industrial. The good news was that there was a wide shoulder. With the increased traffic it was a relief to have a little room to myself. Another cool part was to ride over an overpass that had a train track beneath it. There wasn’t a train passing, but it was still kind of cool to be able to look way down the track from above.

I took a left on Murfreesboro and was presented with several nice hills. Due to the traffic though, I was able to cruise up them without a problem. I made my way north until I reached Mt. View road. The name of the road was a little intimidating – do I really want to ride on a road that was named after a mountain? Although the road really never took you up a mountain, or a few of one, there were some challenging climbs and it was a great road overall. The best decent was cut short however as I had to brake to make the turn onto Old Franklin Road.

Heading west on Old Franklin, I was now making my way home. I’ve driven this road many times because it’s a back way to the pool store and where I have my Jeep worked on, yet I’ve never ridden my bike here. There was plenty of climbing, but some outstanding downhills too. When I come this way again, I need to have my camera with me because there’s a great shot on the I-24 overpass where you can just make out downtown. It’s a really cool shot.

Back in familiar territory, I made the most of the downhills and was totally prepared for the climbs until I made it home. My legs were much better today and for the first time my butt wasn’t all that tender. I settled into the saddle almost immediately. It was a great ride, but I was shocked to find out that it was only 20 miles. I could have sworn that it was more than that.

So I now have a 10 mile loop and a 20 mile loop. I’m really being challenged to find 30 or 40 mile loop. I may actually have to ride to another town and back. πŸ™‚

Distance: 20.45
Ride Time: 1:55
Avg Speed: 10.73
Max Speed: 36.4