Sunday, October 01, 2006

Route 2: North Hills

This Sunday, Oct. 1, we finished Route 2. Wow! What a turn-out! And what a ride it was! We had 10 people, including 3 year old Ben. The route was a little over 5.7 miles. Thanks to Sam and the power of ped-google, I was also able to calculate the entire RIDE, which went from Fred Fletcher Park near Cameron Village, to Bike Route 2, around Bike Route 2, and then back to Fred Fletcher Park, and eventually the smoothie place on Hillsborough (the name of which I've forgotten now, but if anyone knows it, please remind me because those smoothies were goooood). This turned out to be more like about 15 or 16 miles, including about 300 feet of climbing and descending. Along the way, we learned that, apparently, there is a reason why it's named North Hills... because there are some HILLS.

Here are some pictures of us at the start of our ride at Fred Fletcher Park.

As you can see, our variety of bikes now extends to road bikes, mountain bikes, a BMX bike, a tandem, and Steve with Ben in the buggy in back. Who knows what we will have next?

Our adventure first began with a little confusion traveling to North Hills itself. Initially we wanted to take Route 9, but we got a little lost getting from Harvey Street to White Oak Road. We got back on track, but we think there might be some signage issues in there that may have contributed to our confusion. We also had trouble turning on to Lassiter Mill Road from White Oak Road - the light wouldn't change for us. Maybe we need a bike sensor there?

Once we were finally on our way, we encountered THE HILL. Which by the way, is on Lassiter Mill Road from Marlowe to Pamlico leading up to North Hills. It was pretty intense. We had to take some breaks.

But we all finally made it, and passed over I-440 to the neighborhoods behind North Hills, where we started the actual route:

Route 2 stays in a primarily residential area, which means that the roads have low traffic volumes, traveling at low speeds, and are pretty well-kept up (not a lot of debris in the way). We also passed two elementary schools, North Hills Country Club, and cut close to Optimist Park and Shelley Lake. There was some construction at the North Hills Country Club that left a big pothole in the road - I took a picture but I think it will go away with the completion of the construction. At West Millbrook and Dixon, we had trouble triggering the light with our bikes for us to pass, but then coming back at West Millbrook and North Hills Drive, the light changed right away for us.

When we finally finished the route, we still had the ride back to Fred Fletcher Park to go, so we took St. Mary's straight there.

We then headed for some well-deserved Smoothies, which were MmmMMmm, Good.

With all the hill-climbing and distance riding, this was probably the most intense ride yet. We took lots of breaks, but the hills were pretty steep so I'm proud that we finished so much! We will definitely be prepared for Route 3 coming up!


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