Thursday, March 12, 2009

Day 5 in Asheville… We started the day with French toast, eggs, bacon, juice and coffee. That was my job. That was easy. I can do basic breakfast stuff. Wayne is the real cook. Wayne did a great pasta dish two nights ago which was excellent. This AM, Wayne surveyed the meager provisions left scattered about the kitchen and cooked up this warm apple concoction with fresh apple chunks, brown sugar, cinnamon, jelly, jam, and other stuff that topped off the French toast and provided the kick for the ride ahead. Today Wayne is due to fly back to Albany. We are going to miss our cook. Its gonna be the Waffle House and cheap spaghetti from this day forward.

Day 5 we took a conservative approach for the day’s ride. We chose to avoid the mountains and to ride out to Marshall along the French Broad River again. We visited the Zuma coffe shop there last Tuesday and enjoyed the stop and the town so much we decided to return. Plus, it was a known quantity and we were comfortable with the distance and the amount of time that it would take so we could get back to town in time for Wayne’s flight.

Today’s weather was cooler than what we had been blessed with earlier this week. Today was overcast and temps in the 40’s. Back to long sleeves, tights, and long fingered gloves. So the stop at Zuma’s would be for coffee and baked goodies. We started out at a reasonable pace and quickly settled into a nice four man pace line. The roads here are quite narrow with no shoulder at all. In fact, some spots the road can disappear near the right hand edge due to erosion. Everyone needed to be alert. Motorists are understanding and will hang back behind us and wait until the coast is clear to pass on the windy road. They also seem very appreciative when we scout the traffic up ahead and wave them on when we see that the road ahead is clear. No one has yelled or blown a horn at us for five solid days of riding. At one point in the ride, Wayne sprinted ahead for a county line sign. Obviously he had been holding back all week. Maybe because this was his last day, he was leaving it all out on the road. In any event, I chased and chased and came up short. It was a photo finish, though. It felt good to hammer a bit on a flat stretch of road. Soon we were in Marshal and we all piled into the shop anxious to get some warm liquid and fresh baked cookies. We sat in the lounge, read the paper, chatted with the locals, and sipped the house brew. This Zuma’s place is awesome. Friendly folks and tasty cookies.

We left the warm confines and fresh baked smells of Zuma’s and headed south. Again we settled into a nice unhurried pace line. This time though, I was on the lookout for the same county line sign going in the opposite direction. I carefully timed my duration at the front of the line so that I could be at the back when we were going to approach where I thought the sign was. Of course it worked out just the opposite. The sign came into view after a corner and I went off the front. This time I surprised Mr. Triner and I think the photo will show that I took that sign. We got back to the car in plenty of time for the drive back to the house, a quick bite to eat and then off to the airport. We will miss the cook.

On a side note, and off topic just a bit, special mention goes out to to “Carmen” Garmin Nuvi. This piece of technology has won me over. Its no toy. If you drive lots anywhere in unfamiliar territory… OMG it’s the hot set up.

6 comments:

Tim said...

Hey Dave,

Thanks for the blog. It's great, especially since I will be there in a couple of weeks. The ride up to Pisgah sounds sweet! Had to take a second look at the pics as it looked like you hooked up with Jerry Garcia, but, of course, couldn't be, he is now with the Dead. Oh, how do you hook that Garmin up to your handlebars?

Tim Leonard

Dave Beals said...

Hey Tim, the riding here is great. You'll love it. Lots of hills. Pisgah was a beaut... long and totally doable in a 39 X 25. The Garmin has been put to a lot of use driving arond town, in my Toyota, not the bike. One of our club members has one for the bike, just not here on the NC trip.

Tim said...

Dave,

Next time I'm coming with you and we'll bring the off road gear as well. You would love the Tsali Trails just west of Asheville near Bryson City and Dupont just south. I was only kidding about the garmin on the handlebars. Have a great rest of the week, it's getting nice up here.

Tim

Dave Beals said...

Tim,

Yeah, the weather for Asheville for Friday was for temp in the forties and rain and heavy rain on Saturday...so we drove back to Albany for 50 degree weather and sunshine...it was nice to get away though and ride in completely different environs.

Zuma Coffee said...

Hey guys,

It was good to meet your group.
Thanks for coming in to Zuma Coffee.

Dave Beals said...

Zuma, The trip to the coffee house was a treat in itself. Good strong coffee, awesome baked goods, comfy environment, and friendly folks on both sides of the counter. If i'm ever in the area again, i'll be sure to stop.