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Last Weekend Ride Report

So, last weekend I get the urge to go rambling.  I head up toward town – hwy 18 north to Brandon.  I go across 80, take a left at the T, take a right at the four-way onto El Dorado road and the left to get onto the new 4-lane cut-through to Dogwood Festival on hwy 25.  I take that onto Old Fannin and turn left onto Spillway road, then a right onto Harbor drive.

Here is where it gets interesting.  I took a right at the end of Harbor drive, thinking there was a on-ramp to the Trace back there.  There isn’t and I’m not sure why I thought there was, but I headed that way up Rice road.  It was a pretty fun ride, nice curves and such.  I took a left at the light onto St. Augustine road and then and left onto Old Canton Road at Strawberry Patch Park.  Passing the private airport on the left, I saw the big Baptist church on the right – there was a group of motorcycles, led by a trike, coming out of the parking lot and pulling in front of me.

Awkward, right?  You don’t want to just fall in with a group and act like you’re a part of them, but you don’t want to just slow down and fall back just to avoid them.  I was hoping they were not headed north on the Trace like I was.  So, they passed the Trace on-ramp and I took it… awkward averted.  Until I realized that this on-ramp was a South-Only ramp.  No signs indicating that – no signs indicating the Trace at all on Old Canton coming from Madison.  I just knew that was about the spot to get on the Trace as I saw the Trace bridge.  Well, as I hit South, I saw the group of riders hit the Northbound side.  Yeah, that would have been weird.

So, I keep on to the next point of interest – the Craft Center.  I turn around and head back North.  I stop at the Overlook briefly to take a sip of my Monster Rehab Green Tea.  Then back on the Trace toward the Cypress Swamp!

I realized about that time that I had left my long lens at home and only had the 35mm with me.  Aaarrrggghhh!

I did get some okay shots though :

So, I go on up toward Riverbend.  Then I recall someone mentioning Ratliff Ferry as a motorcycle hangout.  So, I skip Riverbend, setting myself up for a long ride.  Just as I settled in, there was Ratliff Ferry on the right.  It is kind of a longish road to the Trading Post, but there is a big parking lot and picnic tables a store and a “bar” with a live band that day.  I got a Gatorade from the store and sat down at the picnic table just outside.  There were motorcycles parked and a large group of people – including, I think, the group from the church – hanging out under a shade tree.

Now, I’m not a very outgoing person.  I’m shy and socially awkward.  Nervous even.  So, basically, I just sat there and watched.  I didn’t want to try to insert myself into a conversation – though I almost commented on one guy’s shirt that was pretty cool, it said ” Cars Suck ” – and I didn’t go stand around on the edges like I belonged.  I consider that I pulled a 13th Warrior – standing on the bow of the ship to give the locals time to decide whether I was real or an apparition.  I may do that a few more times.  🙂

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