Monday, August 20, 2007

Flooded roads

Yesterday another road captain and I did a preride for a ride we're going to do in a few weeks. The ride was really nice, good curvy roads until we turned off onto a small side road, Cow Creek road. I had ridden it in the spring and it was a nice, scenic small road. But that was before the "rain bomb" hit that area. Immediately off the main road the flood damage was apparent. There was damaged and repaired asphalt, a real rough section, but we went on since it wasn't too terrible. As we continued, there were lots of potholes and other things standard on a small back road. Then we came to a crossing and the bridge was closed. It looked alright, but had signs blocking it off. I stopped, not knowing if we had to turn around or what to do and just heard Joe laughing as he came up next to me. The "road" went through the stream, and was just gravel. We instead went around the barricades and took the bridge across. The road continued in a fashion where it wasn't too bad as long as it wasn't near the creek. At one crossing, the vegetation showed clear signs of having been flooded and the road was almost stripped clean of asphalt. There was only one spot that actually had water on the road, and it was pretty slick, my back tire "wandered" a bit, but it was a short enough section that it wasn't a big deal. That was until we were almost at the end of the road. Seeing on my GPS that we were less than half a mile from a main road, I figured it was smooth sailing. Then I saw the last crossing- gravel leading to a wide concrete section that was under water. I slowed way down and started through, but the gravel was wet and shifted and I lost control and the bike went over. Fortunately it went down slowly and didn't go all the way down. Joe helped me pick the bike up and I went through slowly with my feet out for stability. The rest of the ride out was uneventful. We managed to get to Cooper's in time to beat the church crowd so there wasn't a line. I got one beef rib that weighed over a pound and some pork loin. I took about half of it home with me.
On the ride home, I had planned to just go straight back, but Joe had a route in mind, so I just followed him. We went via Park Road 4, which was nice and I don't think I'd ever ridden it. From there we went to Hamilton Pool Rd, were zipping along until we came to a "road closed" sign. We went around the barricade to check out the bridge. It was hard even to walk down to the actual bridge, there was at least three inches of muddy silt on the slope leading to it. The water over the bridge didn't seem too deep, but it was fairly swift if we could have even gotten to it. We wound up just turning around and heading straight back to town on a major highway.

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