Note to self: rather than standing on the brakes at the foot of the hill, why not see how far my momentum will carry me up the other side of the dip?
Oslin Creek Road. It's been more than a year since I've traversed it from this direction. If you're cycling, it's about as nice of a gravel road as you can find in these parts. A bit over four miles of gentle inclines and sparse gravel on a smooth surface. Nicely shaded. On a 90 degree day, you can take it easy and feel reasonably comfortable. Until you reach the last hill, easily climbed -- but an awareness of limits suggests the wisdom of resting in the shade for a few minutes, to cool off.
The last time I tackled Charlemont Road from this direction, I had to walk up parts of two hills. This time, I made the grade. Seen from the side, the most dreaded hill looked achievable, and was.
Pause at the Sedalia Store to buy a cold beverage and let the A/C do its thing to bring down your core body temperature. Sixteen miles down, four to go ... carefully. At one point, you hear a wild turkey gobbler voicing its challenge.
20.7 miles in all, but the average speed was nothing to write home about -- or confess on this blog!