Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Breakfast on 17

Heading up Rt. 201 to North Augusta
Despite some stormy weather forecast, a sizable group of diehards gathered at 8 am at the Hussey Elementary School in Augusta on June 23rd for the promise of a bike ride and the prospect of breakfast - enough to trump any forecast. The route took us out through residential neighborhoods and up Rt. 201 towards North Augusta. Normally busy during the week, traffic was quite calm early on a Saturday morning, and the wide shoulder made it easy to avoid any irregular pavement and broken glass.

No Traffic, Wide Shoulder

The route was copied from the original, designed by Connie Brown, who was unable to make the ride this year. I saw no reason to change any part of the route, although since I got lost on the ride the year before (and I can get lost just about anywhere, anytime) I decided to leave nothing to chance and went out and arrowed the route. I have been on an arrowing kick since I learned of the passing of the legendary Dan Henry, the patron saint of bicycle route marking, earlier this year in March. And I found some great paint cheap at Marden's.

One of Many Long Stretches

We soon left the numbered route and headed east on Stevens Road to Church Hill Road - both with nice, long stretches of low traffic and distant hills.

Climbing up Rt. 3 in Formation

To work up an appetite for breakfast the route took us up some long hills on Rt. 3, where we had to contend with some traffic, but once again had a wide shoulder to ride on. After a few miles we turned off onto Bolton Hill Road where we had a nice long descent.

A Back Road in Chelsea

Remarkably, most of the route, as rural as it was, remained within the city limits of Augusta with a short section in neighboring Chelsea. For a good part of the way we managed to stay together as a group until towards the end of the ride when we began to spread out. Plans were to detour up Rt. 17 for breakfast at Rebecca's Place, but the prospect of thunderstorms convinced many to simply return to the start.

 Rebecca's, as it turned out, was OK, but it definitely wasn't as nice as Connie's. If breakfast wasn't the highlight of the trip, the ride getting there certainly was. A Capitol ride in every respect.

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