Saturday, October 10, 2009

Saturday Riding Northeast of Russellville!

Well, we might have gotten rained out on Friday, but no matter what! I was riding on Saturday.

We had an MTF board meeting Saturday morning at 8:00 AM but we were done by 10:15 AM, and by 10:30 AM I was hitting the start button and backing my BMW out of the parking spot to get on the road. I had to abandon my planned route for Friday, but intended to do my Saturday route as planned. Part of this route would be Push Mountain Road riding north to south, and I learned last night that there is now a photographer set up on that road - a la Killboy on the Dragon. Cool!!

I headed 32 miles east on I-40 to get to AR-5. I wanted to check out Greers Ferry Lake and to ride across the dam that creates that lake. There's a dam theme going on here, since I rode the dam at Beavers Bend State Park in OK a couple of days earlier. There's a nice visitor center at the dam so I stopped inside and walked through the exhibits.

Getting back onto AR-5, I headed north to Mountain View. My friend Mike and I camped at a great park on the White River north of Mountain View a few years ago and we had opportunity to ride all of the great roads in the area and to spend some time in this cute town, catching some impromptu musical performances on the courthouse lawn. I wanted to visit the town again, so I parked the bike on the courthouse square and walked around a bit before continuing north.

My route took me north on AR-5 to the town of Norfork AR. I remembered that Mike and I had discovered a neat log building there, the first permanent county courthouse, built in the 1800's. I stopped here again and took some photos and walked about the property a bit. When he and I were here a few years ago, a local told us about Push Mountain Road. It was a fantastic road so I had it on my route for today.

I picked this excellent motorcycle road up just north of Norfork and had the entire road all to myself for the entire stretch between 5 and 14. 30+ miles of terrific sweepers and 90-degree turns! I could see the photographer and his white truck set up about 2/3 of the way. He saw me coming and jumped up, camera in hand. I wasn't sure he'd had time to get a bead on me as I rode past, but he did in fact get some good shots of me banking around that right-hand sweeper and setting up for the left-hander that followed.

I turned east onto 14 heading back toward 5. About halfway, there's an excellent road - 87 - which is a bit more crooked than anything I'd ridden that day. It took me back into Mountain View, where I got gas before heading south on 9 toward Clinton. This road took me through some adorable little villages, including Shirley with its 90-degree turns that could only have been created 200 years ago by horses or oxen teams, as they skirted someone's homestead or other obstacle through the mountainous village.

A full day of riding nearly through, I let 9 put me onto I-40 west toward Russellville and the hotel. I arrived around 5:30 to learn that two riders went down today while out riding the very same roads. One had major damage to his bike but no broken bones; the other had minor damage to his bike but a hairline fracture of his lower leg. Folks seemed to be milling about with no plans yet formulated for dinner. I didn't eat lunch so was too cold and too hungry to hang around outside waiting for a plan to come together, so I walked back over to the Subway shop and brought back a meatball sub for dinner. With the heat cranked way up in my room, I enjoyed my sandwich while downloading photos from my camera and watching a movie on TV.

Tomorrow: I'll ride home by way of Little Rock so that I can get that AR national park stamp!

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