Monday, March 1, 2010

An Attempt at Uncharted Territory

The plan for today's ride was to ride to where Tono Rd. comes into Big Hanaford Rd. and go left on BH. As I rolled up to the intersection and looked to my left, what to my wondering eyes do I see? A DEAD END sign. Dang, I hate dead end roads! BUT, I decided to ride it to the end anyway. In a previous post (How a 45 mile ride became 65--or something like that), I mentioned that I came out onto Big Hanaford Rd. from the forest service road. Well, less than a mile beyond that point, the road ended at the TransAlta property. However, one cool thing I saw, as I was riding on this dead end road, was a herd of elk. They were running along in a pasture. I got a picture, but they are a ways off. Here it is anyway.

On the way back, before I reached Tono Rd., I was trying to decide whether to continue on Big Hanaford past the steam plant or go back up Tono (the very hilly option). I looked down at my front tire and noticed it looked low. When I got to a wide spot in the road, I stopped and felt the tire. Sure enough it was squishy. I had checked both tires before I left. The front was not squishy then. So, I changed the tube. Ironically (or luckily), when I left the house this morning, I got about 1/2 mile down the road and realized I didn't have my bike pump. Yesterday, I had put a new rear tire on Stella as the sidewall had blown out on the old one. I hadn't changed the front tire (I have now!)Anyway, I turned around and picked up the pump. Good thing! After I changed the flat, I decided it was Tono Rd. (hills and all). When I got to Tenino, I stopped at Subway for some lunch. It was only about 1:00 so I figured I could ride to Rainier on the trail and take the road back. When I got to Rainier, I calculated that it would be another 18 miles if I continued to Yelm on the trail and took the road back from there. I had plenty of time, so that's what I did. The ride ended up being 74 miles of which only 2 were uncharted territory! Still, a good day in the saddle (flat tire and all)!

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