- Tuesday, I tried for speed. I stayed on paved roads, and only made right-hand turns.
- Wednesday, I went for distance, retraced part of my route, and enjoyed refreshing sips from a camelback that included a tray of ice cubes.
- Friday, power. The ride began with a grueling session up Overstreet Creek Road. A sign at the start lets you know that you're entering the Jefferson National Forest, even though there are private homes on both sides of the gravel road. Overstreet Creek is in the cascading stairway state. Pretty soon, you find yourself in granny gear, huffing and puffing and in the stairmaster mode. When you hit the wall, pause and note where you are. Sip, remount, and white-knuckle your ride back down.
In the flatlands and piedmonts, it's fairly easy to craft a wide variety of cycling routes. One of my favorites in Durham was a hair under 16 miles long, and included a stop at Wendy's for a small frosty and a chapter in the Turkish Gospel of John I kept for that purpose. Then, there was the annual wisteria ride, that featured a bank of those fragrant blooms. Here, the geography constricts your range of choices, but clever riders adapt.
Tom Smedley, the Elder and the Younger.