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Square Wheels Cycling

Roads Less Traveled


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...often lead to stuff you don't regularly see.  My ride yesterday was in horse and farm country, and as I made a turn onto dirt road, I spotted a guy out plowing a small field with a team of three LARGE horses.  I stopped to watch for a few minutes and ate a fig bar.  The young guy helping wandered over and we chatter a bit.  He said the guy was just exercising the horses and he enjoyed using the old equipment once in a while.  Very slow relative to a tractor, but it dug a really nice trench seemingly pretty easily.

You just don't see stuff like this unless you branch out a bit to less traveled areas.

HorsePlow2.png.db3702c59794d2d3564517c26aef35cd.pngHorsePlow.thumb.png.e53371894d97d83a01ddce186f8a9e90.png

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8 hours ago, Razors Edge said:

You just don't see stuff like this unless you branch out a bit to less traveled areas.

 

Sometimes when wandering off the roads in search of waterfalls or historical sites I come across oddities.  I have no idea why someone would dump a huge cross in the middle of the woods, other than it was the easiest way to dispose of it.

cross.thumb.jpg.27db77397895ba9fe671136e6c9c86fc.jpg

 

On another trip I found an old abandoned water turbine.

turbine.thumb.jpg.63846ed366e84e3d0bb1f7a1ed8fdb05.jpg

 

Sometimes it's worthwhile to set aside Strava, etc., lift your eyes off the average speed reading of your bike computer, and take a look around during the routes you've ridden so often.  Ride to see how many new things you can notice in place of the usual ride goals. 

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14 hours ago, Thaddeus Kosciuszko said:

Sometimes it's worthwhile to set aside Strava, etc., lift your eyes off the average speed reading of your bike computer, and take a look around during the routes you've ridden so often.  Ride to see how many new things you can notice in place of the usual ride goals. 

That's the beauty of getting off our paved roads and hitting the countryside - no chance I'm setting any speed records!  Riding the Diverge makes everything "slow down" - both because the gearing is maximized for a slower pace and because these country roads go up and down and up and down repeatedly so you have tons of time to just look around.  The downside is having to still pay careful attention to the road surface to avoid holes, ruts, super soft areas, etc..

I remember riding with my cousin through the beautiful Italian and French countryside.  We'd pick a route that eventually led to a well known climb, and being different paced riders, when we would chat about the ride later with his wife, I'd be talking about the various animals I spotted or cool buildings.  He'd shake his head and wonder WTF I was talking about. :D

But thank god for Strava as it has exponentially expanded my riding options out there.  If I pass a few other cyclists out there, I may also get lucky and spot them on Strava fly-bys, and then their route becomes a potential for my future routes.  I've been slowly pushing out my field of exploration, and hope to keep it going even more as Virginia, WV, and MD have plenty of old roads I can ride especially if I see that other folks already found them as viable routes.  Build a nice loop, load into the Garmin, and hit the road for several hours of new terrain. 

All things considered, I'm more a rider who is on the lookout for animals - from the horses and cows and other livestock to the various cats and dogs that appear in the middle of nowhere or the deer, groundhogs, chipmunks, hawks, and vultures that are just doing their thing.  I also like the barns and some of the classic stone buildings or other old structures.  And, of course natural beauty is great too - especially the fall and spring leaf change-overs.  Overall, neat stuff and worth seeking out.

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