Met up with Chad, Squirrel, Conlan, and Gov for our ration of gravel yesterday. Squirrel opted for some easy putt putt action since he's still recouping. The balance of the group followed my lead (the fools!) and we headed on the gravel south of the airport hooking up with old Army Post before hopping onto the Great Western off of 63rd. We actually headed back south again up a mowed path that runs perpendicular to the Great Western and ties into the gravel running east/west at the top of the hill. A nice little shortcut that kept us off of 63rd. At the top of the hill is a parking area and we found a couple "parking" or more correctly, f#$%cking their brains out in the front seat of a SUV. I'm sure it was a little midday rendezvous of a nefarious nature, but hey, who am I to judge. At least they were enjoying the day as much as we were!
We wound our way towards Orilla and further south on a stretch that is getting ready to be converted to tarmac (what a shame). The headwinds out of the south were fun, but nothing major as the beauty of the day was hard to beat. As we topped a nice steep paved hill Conlan, Chad, and Gov opted to head back while I kept on cruising for a little more mileage. I worked a little further south before turning west and heading into Cumming. The gravel was absolutely beautiful and I cranked up the pace with a cross tailwind. You can't tell I'm enjoying the day, can you?!
I briefly considered finishing out the loop by heading over to Booneville just north of Cumming, but alas the sun was still getting ready to head down, so I opted to cut my enjoyment back short and work back east to Orilla. I did make a strategic decision and added the hilly loop portion of the Ritual Ride onto my route by working down to Walnut Woods drive and doing the soccer hill climb. I was starting to get gassed by the time I worked up to the top of it and headed back to Waterworks and onto Conlan's house where I was parked. 2.5 hours in the warm sun with just shy of 38 miles ticked off and I was a happy camper. I'm headed back out at 3 for another day of soaking up the sun. At least it seems to make coming in to work at 5 in the morning worth my while!