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Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Bakery Ride

There are several places where you can start a favorite ride for Upstate cyclists. The Bakery Ride can start from Furman University, North Greenville University, or downtown Greenville. For this ride, we started at NGU.

We arrived shortly after 8 AM. I noticed riders parking at NGU and near the Post Office. We parked our car with those by the old store. We unloaded and prepped our bikes for the ride. It would be a 35 mile ride there and back.

The weather was great. I was concerned because I wasn't sure how to dress for the ride. I recalled my first ride to the bakery last fall. The weather was pretty cold and I was very uncomfortable. To prepare, I decided to wear a number of layers so that I could adjust as we went.

Turns out we were pretty comfortable since it was about 56 degrees when we started our ride. By the time we reached Saluda the temperature had dropped into the lower 50s and the wind was blowing. However, when we finished the ride back down in Tigerville, the temperature had risen to the mid-sixties.

A group of about 12 riders left just before us. We started out alone. Traffic was basically non-existent and we settled in to a nice easy pace talking as we rode.

By the time we reached the water shed the sun was starting to filter through the trees. At one point I looked to the right and saw the sun coming over a ridge to my right while the nearly full moon, still clearly visible in the sky, was large above the ridge to my left.

Scenes like these continued as we passed the North Saluda Reservoir. Several times we passed through canopies of trees with the sun filtering through the fall leaves. The wind would blow through the limbs above us causing the yellow, red, and gold leaves to fall in front of our path.

That was my favorite part of the ride. Sure the sticky buns were great. The ride down was fun. It took us 70 minutes to climb, but only 50 minutes to make it back. I'm ready to go again just to see the sun glinting off the rippling water of the reservoir.I'm glad for today we started from Tigerville. I'm afraid had we started from Furman, I would have been a little more tired and might have missed much of the beauty around me. Next time, I'll start from Furman just for the experience.



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