McGrath Road

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“You must be freaking cold,” my wife said to me when I returned after a two hour pedal on a day which featured strong winds and 40-degree temps

“I am,” I replied, “but not as much as you might think.”  Fortunately, I chose my clothing wisely and managed to stay relatively comfortable out in the elements, although my nose dripped like a leaky faucet and I can honestly state there are few things I enjoy less when cycling then cycling into a strong headwind.  If I were to undertake a tour, one of the first things I would do is check the prevailing winds.  There is NO WAY I would head into those winds (I’m looking at you, Spokie!).  15 miles is long enough – days of that punishment would drive me mad.

But it was all good training as I took advantage of another day off work.  My mileage is now got me on pace for 8,212 miles this year!  And this is the last time you will see me make this computation as I return to work tomorrow and my mileage totals will drop to more predictable levels.

I try to do some exploring on every ride and today’s goal was to check out McGrath Road, a side road just north of Lake Jackson which I have pedaled past about 100 times without venturing down it.  I’ve never traveled that road since it leads to nowhere – or does it?  Sometimes interesting things lay at the end of such roads and I decided to check this one out.  “Nothing ventured, nothing gained,” was my motto.

There was nothing interesting.

Still, there were some excellent hills which helped me to over 1,200 feet of climbing for the ride.  Not bad.  I’m always on the lookout for steep climbs as mountains are in short supply along the Potomac River.  The route is forested with many secluded homes along the way – some rather new and some rather old.

I spotted an interesting home overlooking the north bank of Lake Jackson and surreptitiously rode partway up the drive to take this picture.  I didn’t dare go any further as trespassing is taken more seriously by some than others and I did not know where the owner of this house fell on that spectrum.  The view from this hilltop must be excellent and the architecture is quite fetching, in my humble opinion.  It is built in the colonial style but I suspect it is nowhere near that old.

On my way home, I was almost hit by another car in almost the exact same place as in yesterday’s ride.  This time a minivan was pulling out of a cul-de-sac and simply never saw me in the road.  I was able to lay my hand on the back of the vehicle as we nearly occupied the same space.  Again, there was no real danger as the van was moving slowly and I easily avoided it, but jeesh, enough of this already!