Saturday, November 10, 2012

Elm Bottom Circle


This seemed as good a place as any to pull my two chocolate-topped cake donuts from my gravel dust encrusted Carradice bag. I had stopped at the donut shop in Sanger and packed a little snack to compliment my thermos of coffee before making my way down to Elm Bottom Circle. The morning was cloudy and blustery. With the 20-30 mph winds and color frosted vegetation, the world seemed restless in anticipation of the season's next cold front.

Elm Bottom Circle is a actually more triangle-shaped than circular, but does basically connect FM 428 at two points.  In between those two points, it drops down close to the Elm Fork of the Trinity River downstream of Lake Ray Roberts. My looped route descended toward the southeast and into the wind, and the climb back home was eased with a furious tailwind. I had figured that there might be some relief from the wind in the bottomlands, but even here, I was forced to hook my handlebar over the barbed wire to keep the bike from blowing over.

So I sat there on the slope of a roadside ditch, licking chocolate off my fingers, sipping coffee, and watching the bright-colored leaves rain sideways to the earth. And nobody else came by on Elm Bottom Circle.

















7 comments:

Scott said...

Some great observations. Restless and anticipation. Colored leaves raining sideways. Muscle powered transport and it's ability to feel the landscape. Awesome.
I like the saddle bag. Old school, military feel, but very efficient. Special forces. Tastefully color coordinated. A nice accessory to an interesting and capable bike.

GravelDoc said...

It's been rather blustery here as well. Getting a nice steady rain (which we've definitely been needing) as I write this. Temperatures are supposed to drop into the 20's tonight or tomorrow night. Your photos depict your words quite well. The one of the grass blowing sideways with the clouds in the background make me want to hunker over the drops to become more "aero"! Bet that chcoloate really helped, too, eh?

Rombsy said...

That's one of the best opening sentences I've read in a long time, anywhere.

Did you mod the seat stay brace in order to fit larger tires? (Without being familiar with this bike, it looks like that way to me in the third-to-last photo.)

Rombsy said...

(I guess I was referring to the brake bridge.)

Peter said...

Great stuff. I can see the countryside in your pictures and imagine the sound of the wind blowing through the grasses. Difficult to recall the taste of the doughnut so I better go buy one to get the full effect.

Pondero said...

Thanks, guys, for the encouragement.

Scott, this blog post was almost going to focus on the bag, and how it adds enjoyment to my outings. But the conditions mostly dominated the character of the trip.

GravelDoc and Peter, regarding the chocolate-topped snack, it was so good I plan to do it again at the next opportunity.

Rombsy, no modification required. Rivendell is good at making sure there is a reasonable amount of clearance for plush tires.

Jerome said...

That is a beautiful part of the world you live in my friend.