Monday, December 21, 2009

First Annual Fall Finale Forty-mile Country Path Ramble

On Saturday, December 19, 2009, SteveA, Myles and I drove to Sanger, TX to participate in The First Annual Fall Forty-Mile organized by Chris. In Sanger, we were met by Chris and his friend Keith.

Myles was kind enough to drive Steve and I to Sanger. Chris organized and hosted the event. My heartfelt thanks to both of them.

Steve, Chris and Myles have already posted on this topic as I am composing mine. So, please check out each of our posts for different photos and descriptions.

At 8:30 AM, when we were fixing to hit the road, it was a crisp 31 degrees Fahrenheit. After the introductions and the customary group photo, we hit the road with Chris leading the way.

 Sanger, TX is a quaint little town outside of Denton. It is picturesque, quiet and has a ton of farms raising all kinds of beautiful animals including horses, cows and goats.
 
There was no shortage of really pretty barns in and around Sanger. This one had particularly pretty horses and I thought I would practice my photography. What do ya think?

Chris led the way as he was the most familiar with the route and the neighborhood. As one would expect out of Chris, he was very thorough and never had to think twice about which way to turn. It was most comforting to follow his lead.

Seeing all the cool animals was like a dream come true for me. I love animals of all kinds, big or small. These goats were a joy to see and they seemed like a really friendly bunch. They were nice enough to pose for my photo. Back when I was a young boy, growing up in India, I saw tons of goats. Goat milk was a popular commodity in India, even back then.

Wide open spaces, a breath of fresh air for a city dweller. The azure skies and the silhouette of these trees made an interesting scene that I didn't want to miss photographing.

All along this ride we saw tons of cows, brown ones, black and white ones, black ones, you name it, we saw it. The cows were particularly interested in finding out what we were up to it seemed. They were watching us with a cautious eye. Another group that were particularly interested in finding out about us were the dogs and boy did we see a whole bunch. None of them were hostile but they sure wanted to protect their farms. They made sure were did not mess with their property. Some even came outside the fence to make sure were headed our way and not onto their property :)

A little story about these neck of the woods from Chris perhaps? Or was Myles trying to tell Chris how his video camera worked??

A bull session between two amigos, our new friend Keith and Steve! Keith rode his Mountain bike on this ride, which helped him quite a bit when the road got rougher. While that is true, he might agree with me on that the Mountain bike might have also slowed him down a tad bit. The rest of us rode road bikes equipped with cross tires or touring tires.

A beautiful creek in Sanger. The water was quite clear and not muddy. I bet it was cold too :)

We took one scheduled break on the way up to Rosston General Store. There were some other unscheduled stops as well. If there was an opportunity for a photo, we definitely stopped to capture the moment. In this picture, you can see Myles filming with his video camera. I guess I was photographing him video recording us :)

Yet another beautiful creek. There were many of these where we rode. In my younger days, I would have ventured to check out the creek a bit more.

This was a nice size barn. I didn't see any one working on the farm but I saw some cattle in the farm. This one reminded me of paintings of this great land where farms were pictured. Awww, so pretty!

One of the coolest parts of our ride was this stretch of a country road which was lined with trees on both sides. In addition to very scenic, this road also reminded me of my dad explaining to me what the word boulevard meant many moons ago.

This was the last stream before we took our first official break. The reflection of the trees' in the water was very pretty. By this time, as you can see, the sun was out and shining. It made things feel a bit warmer. However, it felt cold soon as we stopped riding though.

Chris enjoying his hot cuppa Java! He carried his coffee in a compact Thermos flask. Smart guy!!

During our break, all of us took at least a few pictures. Here is Steve showing off his red bandanna that so immaculately matched the color of his bike.

And, here is Myles! Myles replaced his helmet with a nice warm looking hat with ear flaps during our first break. I continued wearing my balaclava until lunch break.

Keith taking some great pictures of all of us.

Creek at the first official break! We were atop the bridge over this creek during the first break.Part of me wished I had brought a SLR with me. I might have been able to capture the splendor of this particular creek, had I had my SLR with a wide angle lens. But I think my little Nikon digital camera did a pretty good job!

And, this is where I met Norman!

We saw this nice unoccupied project home along the way. Rumor has it that a handy Civil Engineer might be interested in this property!

 Norman introduced us to Al, Ted and aunt Lisa! They were a pretty casual bunch!!

There were a few demolished homes along the way. This particular one had its chimney intact. I couldn't quite tell how old the structure might have been. However, it was evident from the surroundings that this home might have had a great backyard overlooking the meadow.

This was a good opportunity to show off the Gikma in the nice country surroundings. I simply couldn't disappoint Gikma :)

I was fascinated by a beautiful Tortoise Shell cat, which I met right around here. He was a very handsome young kitty. He took refuge in the bush pictured here, when he heard Keith approach. I so desperately wanted to take a picture of the cat. I was hoping I could find him hidden in the bushes in this picture. See if you can find him :)

The beauty of wide open spaces! For someone who has a desk job, like me, this was a real treat. I spent a few minutes enjoying this view.

Steve maintains that there were no hills on this ride; only gentle inclines. Here is one of them. Keith beat Steve to the top of this hill - errr, I mean gentle incline :)

And the second prize goes to Mr. Steve :) Not really, Steve is a fast rider!

Good thing, I only rode a bike with a tandem axle and not a tandem LOL

In Rosston, I met this young dog nuclear scientist who had designed this ICBM! In his free time, this dog also worked on a farm herding cattle.

Official lunch break at the Rosston General Store. We were visited by many local dogs.

Another view of Rosston General! Apparently, this store sold Kelly Tires among other things such as Steak sandwiches.

The inside of the Rosston General store was quite the sight. They had many collectibles inside including this beautiful cast-iron furnace. This is a classic and it was very classy and in great condition!


Whoda thunked? Made in Saint Louie, USA :)

After lunch, we rode back to Sanger. We made very few stops on the way back.

During this ride, there were several of them "gentle inclines". My GPS registered a maximum grade of 17% on one of the "gentle inclines". In all, we rode close to 42 miles.

We had a ball!
Peace :)

6 comments:

  1. Chandra wins the "most complete story" award for this thorough description and varied photo display of the event. Thanks for all the details.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great post! I glad that you hit it off with the animals. I'm sure Norman will fondly remember your visit.

    We'll have to get together again soon. Let me know if you want to head into town to try the Spiral Diner.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is a really great account of the event. You were very thorough with both words and photos, and I got a good sense of what the ride was like.

    Looks like you made some new friends, human and otherwise. Your appreciation for animals and natural beauty is apparent ... I sometimes take for granted that I have so much rural riding easily available to me. Glad you got out of the city and to some wide open places!

    ReplyDelete
  4. The only thing missing is the Lone Star cyclist!

    ReplyDelete
  5. @Chris and @Apertome --- Thanks guys!
    @Myles -- Will do :)
    @Steve -- I forgot to post that one picture for some reason. I will have to add it soon!

    ReplyDelete
  6. that is awesome!! look at all that beautiful open spaces and the cows mooooooo :D

    we are here in SF, very close to the country-ish as close as we can get aka Marin county. Deer, cows and the birthplace of mt. biking, not bad for a day trip

    cheers guys, this post made me smile, you are all so cool :D +happy holidays evverybody!!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for your visit and comments. I read all comments and I appreciate them all.