A Stupid Mistake On a Grand Ride..

It has been a long but satisfying evening. The wheels kept rolling and so did the legs on the pedals. The shoulder of the road is wide enough to keep the speeding vehicles out of reach. The signs read 4miles to reach home. I was getting tired and the surrounds getting dull. I wanted to reach home. Then I heard a siren behind me and slowly stopped. A cop!! Then I knew, for sure, that I was on the wrong road. I am on the interstate!!

He came and asked, ‘Where do you think you are going?’

“Montpelier, officer”, I answered.

“Why are you on the Interstate?”

“I lost my way and ended up on this road.”

“You should not be on the Interstate”

“I didn’t know that, officer. I am sorry!”

“There are signs saying that you should not”. He took out his notepad.

For the record, I’ve never seen one. But I didn’t dare tell him that. He coolly took my details and gave me a ticket. Made me walk across the road and jump fences and walk the fields with my bike to take an internal road. I should have taken a photo along with the officer. He was right in teaching me a lesson. Only, I hoped it was not such a costly one 🙁

The last time I rode towards Elmore, it was overcast and threatening to rain. So, I returned after going about 20miles. Later, friends told me how I missed the highlight of the route by a whisker. The highlight they were talking about was Lake Elmore. Yesterday, I was determined to pay the lake its due and ride a 100k in the process. So, I left office a bit early and started to ride around 5pm. On longish days the sun lingered on until around 8pm and the light lingered for a while longer. This was one of those days. Perfect.

After a steady climb of 20miles, I reached the Lake Elmore. The superlatives from my friends did not do justice to the stunning views of the place. It was simply superb. The hills, the lake, the vast greenery and the post card picture homes. Simply superb!!

I took a few snaps and replenished before heading towards Stowe. Stowe is a huge tourist destination in the winter famous for skiing and other winter sports. The place was amazing in beauty but also crowded with all the commercial signs that plague any tourist destination.

The route from here was almost all downhill. I was quite surprised that even a sign that read ‘9% gradient for next 2000 feet’ did not bring fear for the huge downhill that followed. I think, I am getting better at spinning the legs fast enough even on the longish descents. Brakes are coming in handy at times but in general, I think, I began to get comfortable with the fixed gear. If the road is smooth, my cadence is able to keep up with the needs of longish descents as well. I think with time, I will be able to enjoy the down-hills like I am on any other bike.

It was 8pm already and the sun began to say goodbye. I was not sure if I missed a turn or something because, I kept seeing signs of Stowe ‘this’ and Stowe ‘that’ for almost ten miles. I switched on the Ovi maps on the phone and set the destination address. The mistake I did was to select it to show drive directions. If I were to select it to show walk directions instead, it would never have lead me to the interstate when I reached Waterbury. I vaguely remembered that the settings offered a feature to show only internal roads etc. But, I was so keen to reach home before dark that I did not spend time tinkering with the settings then. At hindsight, it was a mistake. But lesson learnt. Never be on an Interstate again. Not with a bike.

I must have been the only idiot to have got a ticket on a bike!!

Well, that’s how I fell 5k short of a prospective century.

Stats: 95.19 km
Riding time: 3:59mins.
Avg: 23.9kmph.

Photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/hivenkat.d/LakeElmoreLoop20100521#

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