Thursday, August 22, 2013

Gunnar Sport, Brooks B-17 Saddle, Carradice Barley Bag, Bagman bag support and Credit Card Touring.

Click on the photo to enlarge them.
My Gunnar Sport ready for an overnight ride.

I'm taking the first few days off of work ever in three and a half years of working at Ken's Bike Shop . I did a little "credit card" touring Tuesday and Wednesday on my Gunnar Sport. (it would have to be cash touring for me. I don't like to get credit card bills in the mail) Tuesday I rode up to the Blue Ridge Parkway from my house and then on to Bent Mountain Lodge (B&B) between Floyd, Va and Roanoke, Va on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Then today I rode back home. The picture is me with my bike, yesterday morning, on the deck of the Bent Mountain Lodge. You can see for miles and miles from the deck. 

I added a Carradice Barley Bag and a Bagman bag support, to my Gunnar Sport, to carry everything I needed for this trip. The fenders were nice to have as I did encounter a little rain and wet roads on the parkway. Thanks Gunnar Cycles for the great ridding bicycle. It was stable and smooth the whole way.

I stopped both days for a break at the Poor Farmers Market in Meadows of Dan, Va. The first day I ordered a "Hungry Hillbilly" sandwich at the deli and a cup of coffee. The sandwich was so good I went back and order another one. Today, when I stopped on my return trip, I just went ahead and ordered two of the sandwiches the first time I ordered. They are great! Stop in if you are in the area and give one a try. Thanks, Poor Farmer's Market, for such a great place to take a break while riding on the Blue Ridge Parkway!

Wednesday morning I was startled when a HUGE black bear ran in front of me, while I was descending a long hill on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I was squeezing both brakes and hoping the bear would run away. He stopped in the middle of my lane, looked at me, and then disappeared into the woods. I'm glad I didn't hit him and also that he ran away. I've seen bears before, but never one as large as that one! 

The Gunnar Sport performed wonderfully. Having a Powertap Hub helped me to meter out my efforts. Most of this ride was mountainous. My gearing was a 53/39 chainrings with a 11-25 cassette. The two gear combinations I used most were 53x11 and 39x25. I was grinding up a hill or tearing down the other side. 

At the end of the second day I was getting tired. I calculated both days each to be a little more than a hundred miles. The funny thing was that with about 5 miles to go to get home, I began to feel fresh and was flying on the bike. Might be because the roads were finally flat! 

My friend Earl.
I saw Earl, who was out for a ride also, while on my way to the Blue Ridge Parkway. When he found out where I was going he offered me a Honey Stinger Gel. I had all the food I could carry with me already, so I thanked him and went on my way.
C& J Produce in Westfield, NC.
I stopped both days here to take a break and refuel.
Junior and Carol at C&J Produce.
I'm getting close to the Blue Ridge Mountains
This is a section of the road up Squirrel's Spur.
This is the way I took up to the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The Poor Farmer's Market at Meadows of Dan.
This is a great place to take a break while riding on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is at mile post 177.

Felecia, owner of The Poor Farmer's Market, with her daughter's new puppy.

A typical view of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
My Garmin took me to the wrong address when I was looking for the lodge. This is one of the roads I rode on while lost and adding in about ten extra miles. Thank goodness for Gatorskin tires!
Here I am on the deck of the Bent Tree Lodge. Ready to head back.
A view from the deck of the Bent Tree Lodge.
Another view from the deck of the Bent Tree Lodge.
An old farm along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
A field of round hay bales along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The views were beutiful on the way back also. This was along Unity Church Road on the way home.
  Poor ole' Joe kept me company while I cleaned up my bike at the end of my adventure.
Click here to learn more about Gunnar Cycles.
Click here to learn more about Carradice Bags.
Click here to learn more about Brooks Saddles.
Click here to learn more about Planet Bike Fenders.
Click here to learn more about The Poor Farmer's Market.
Click here to lean more about The Bent Mountain Lodge.

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