Solo ride this morning; JB's on vacation back east and Rick was a no show. It was the best weather all week, about 60° but a blustery wind persisted.
Today I used the camera on my new cell phone - a Motorola Razor V3M. Takes pretty good photos but it's a hassle getting them onto the computer; I have to e-mail them to myself at twenty-five cents apiece. Also, Verizon reception is pretty good on the Mountain but not as good as T-Mobile was... T-Mobile reception from my house was virtually nonexistent though so I'm glad I switched.
Just as I started out one guy with red shorts went around me, he looked fast but he didn't get too far ahead so I decided he'd be my rabbit. There was another couple also just starting out but they were riding pretty slowly and I never saw them again. Red shorts guy looked back a couple times and I was about 20 meters back - I thought I could pass him but I didn't want to be the rabbit myself today so I dropped back to about 100 meters. Then I dropped back to about 150 meters, then I lost sight of him altogether.
Wildlife Encounter: more snakes.
Dudley Drive-by: just past Upper Washout.
By the time I got to Clavicle Cracker the wind had died down and the sun was getting stronger. At the Junction there were a few people hanging around but nobody I recognized. Not as many riders as I would have expected given the excellent weather.
I decided to go down the south side and come back up. As soon as I got around that first bend to the right I rode into a thick, cold, wall of fog. Trees were dripping onto the road, the wind was still gusting, and visibility was very low. It was one of those days where the north and south sides of the Mountain were in completely different continents. I decided not to go all the way down and turned around at the Kiosk.
Oddball Sighting: A recumbent tandem trike, two wheels in front, one in back, very low to the ground with a safety flag.
View of Danville through the fog.
I timed myself from the Kiosk back to the Junction - it's 3.12 miles and it took me 17m 00s, much nicer going back up than descending in that soup. I need to mark off the 1, 2, and 3 MTJ points on SGR for better split times. Maybe next week.
When I got back to Junction I decided to go up a ways and find a sunny picnic area to rest at - didn't take long, I checked out the first one and it was perfect. I laid down on the table and enjoyed the warmth and peace.