DAY RIDE 10/13/2018

Can I Go Or No?

October 13, 2018
  Well, if I plan on riding on two wheels to the Blue Ridge Gathering next week I'd better find out if I can ride. It's not been two full months since my left hand and left elbow were operated on and that long since I was on two wheels. But it's today or too late to find out what I am able to deal with in the saddle. As with every surgery, I always wonder if this will be the one that makes it impractical for me to ride two wheels. My surgeon has 'released' me to do 'normal' activities but he probably forgot that riding distances on motorcycles is 'normal' for me. As always I figure I'll start down the Natchez Trace since it's close by, little traffic and no stops. I've got to be back at the office by 1:30 PM for a board meeting, so I'll have to chose my route with that in mind. SweetTreat gets the honors this morning since she is the one I want to take to the BRG.
  It takes me a little bit to get back into the 'dressing up' routine but it's a bit chilly this morning. I take the time to zip the liners into my riding gear and figure out which gloves to wear. I was hoping I'd be able to wear my braces in the gloves but that just ain't happening. I get suited up finally and head down the road to my favorite turnoff, Newsom Station Road.
  It's nice little shortcut that takes me toward the Trace and right by the Newsom Station Dam and Mill. Unfortunately they tore down the Newsom Home when they put in I40 which is a real shame. Once history is lost, it can never be replaced, only replicated. A lot of Nashville historical buildings have Newsom stone in them from the quarry that is also nearby.
  Before long I'm down McCrory Lane, right on Highway 100 and at the entrance of the Trace. So far so good but it ain't far so far.
  Right over there in amongst the trees was where the house that I am living in used to sit. It was the north terminus ranger station for the Trace before they finished it to Pasquo. We had it moved to our property in 1992 and redid it, so we live in a bit of Trace History.
  I enjoy the butter smooth pavement and the lack of shifting as I make my way towards Leipers Fork. There's another rider behind me in my mirrors so I pick up the pace a bit to make it interesting for him. My hands seem to be behaving up to this point.
  Soon I come to the Leiper's Fork exit, so I peg it way back since there is a ranger station located there. Leiper's Fork has become quite the 'high rent' district as several music stars live there. A lot of the old farm houses have been very nicely redone.
  Soon I am in the 'city proper' where there is always gatherings at the restaurants there - Puckett's and the Country Boy.
  As I am leaving I see they've put back the replica General Jackson car alongside the replica Barney Fife car. I guess someone decided it was not politically correct and then someone else decided otherwise.
  I make the loop back toward the highway 96 entrance to the Trace and the bridge with the intent of getting back on the Trace. But a little light comes on in my mind as my hands are doing okay at this point. If I run straight down 96 to 100 and then hook a left by the cemetery, I can end up in Kingston Springs. Then back to 70, by the Narrows of the Harpeth then up 250, 49 and then 12 back to the office. That should put there about 10 AM which would be pretty near perfect. I have found that having the roads in your brain works a lot better than having them in the GPS for planning purposes.
  The cemetery 'cutoff' road is a nice little bit of twisty tarmac that seldom sees much traffic - just my kind of road.
  When I cross over into another county on it, the nature of the pavement changes - which is not unusual in the State of Tennessee. County Road Commissioner is an elected position so you can be sure when an election draws near, there's a lot of new pavement put down.  
  I make it through Kingston Springs which is usually carefully watched by the local constabulary. When I hit US70, I see some flashing lights up ahead. Turns out it is just a crew unloading a heavy piece of machinery. But their choice of location - just over the hilltop if you are coming from the west - seems a bit unwise to me.  
  Tippecanoe seems a bit deserted as well as the other places that rent canoes for paddling the Harpeth. But in the summer, you can't stir all the folks with a stick that want to wet a paddle.  
  I can't see them today, but over behind the trees and on the other side of the river is an old Indian village. Fortunately the land is in the hands of the State so that it will not be destroyed by souvenir hunters.  
  The roads that run by the Narrows of the Harpeth are pretty twisty but the pavement is a little lacking. But they are just what I need to see if my hands are going to take the bumps and such.  
  However, Highway 250, a jewel of a road, is in great shape and I can stretch SweetTreat's legs out a bit.
  Too soon but right on schedule, I'm crossing the Cumberland River just before Ashland City.  
  A little bypass around the town that has shut down the main road for a music festival, and I am on highway 12, a decent four lane back to Nashville.  
  No surprises on the way in as I pull safely into our parking lot just about the time I thought I would.  
  I believe that I will be okay for the ride to the BRG as my hands are serviceable if not quite pain free. The surgeon has told me it will take six months to a year before they are 'as good as they will get'. So there's still some hope for more improvement as time goes on. This has only been an 80 mile ride but it answers the questions I needed answered. Now to get home after the meeting and pack for the BRG.