Tuesday, June 7, 2011

NTP Day 3

The Gang of four

A great day on the NTP today.  We got an early start and it did not get hot until we were almost finished, at a bit after 12:00 noon. Our ride was 62 miles up to milepost 204 near Starkville.

 Overlook at Jeff Busby

The route was very flat in the morning. I showed about 50 feet of total ascent over the first 30 miles. Then, the road started to roll a bit, inclusive of a side trip at the Jeff Busby picnic area up to a pretty overlook. For the day, we only had about 1400 feet of total ascent. I was sweeping the course and Jeff, Alex, Rod, and Baltimore Mark were kind enough to wait for me so we could all ride to the finish together. I like this "sweeping" business. One has a nice enjoyable pace where you can enjoy the countryside and listen to the birds chirping, but without the guilt of the lower average mile per hour pace.

A section of the Old Trace

As we got closer to US82 near Starkville, more and more trees were downed from the recent tornadoes. Our choice of US 82 as the endpoint of today's ride turned out to be a good one since the NTP is closed from MP 204 to 214 so the downed trees can be cleared from the parkway. Tomorrow, we will drive directly to the other end of the closure to begin our ride towards Tupelo. Each day's ride has been better than the previous day. Let's hope it stays that way. 50 easy miles to Tupelo, and we get to cycle directly to the hotel instead of car pooling. The NTP road itself has been fantastic. Smooth, no potholes, and little traffic (except for the Jackson area).

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