i got up before the crack of dawn, got dressed and headed to dan's house. he wasn't up despite his "i think i'll ride at 6:00 tomorrow" last night. i smiled and went on.
since the wind was out of the northeast, i decided to ride over to 281 on 54 and then head north into the teeth of it. that gave me a little time with the bricks on main street which always make me smile despite the torture they dish out.
i rode out of town thinking maybe i'd ride up to iuka and take an eastward journey over to 61 and take 61 back home, but when i got to the northern edge of iuka i decided to keep going north and take in some new territory.
the shoulder practically disappears north of iuka, so i had to get back into my "pay attention to the cars around you" mode. you'd think i'd always be in that mode, but the wide shoulders on 54 and 281 to iuka kind of lull you into a false sense of security.
i rode north until i's gone far enough that i was concerned about getting back in time to get ready for work. turning around, i enjoyed a decent tailwind. not strong enough to boost my speed a bunch, but enough to reduce the effort required to pick up a little speed.
the shoulder on southbound 281 is worse than the northbound shoulder. there were times when i could barely balance in the inches i was given. other times i was forced to ride out on the highway. thankfully, there isn't a lot of traffic, so i was safe. i must say, though, that i was glad when i got back to iuka and the wide shoulder returned.
i cruised back into town and turned east on maple. i almost caught the draft off a car that was turning at the same time, but missed it. i raced down the hill and then climbed back up toward stout. i turned a block early and then did a little zigzagging to get myself back home.
this will be my last 6:00 ride for awhile. school starts tomorrow, so that means 5:00 rides. hope i can get myself out of bed. (21.47 miles @ 16.7mph)