Friday, July 21, 2006

first Longleaf trip

This morning my bud & I went bicycling down Longleaf Trace Trail for a while, bicycling a total of 24.7 miles.

Our cycling time was just over 2 hours. My top speed was 24 mph with an average speed of 11.6 mph. At the end of the trip, my odometer reported that my total mileage on the bike to date is 444 miles.

Unfortunately, my riding partner's cyclocomputer didn't survive the trip to Prentiss. We have no idea what came of it.

We took off early this morning, so we'd be able to get in as much ride time as possible before the heat of the day could kick in.

Behold my trusty bike at the Prentiss Trailhead and the facility at which one can find water, bathrooms, and such.

We'd planned on starting off from the Hattiesburg end, but figured Prentiss to be closer and a bit less trouble to access. We weren't disappointed.

The biggest vehicles we encountered during our ride were a few electric golf carts. Other people enjoying the trail were on foot, but mostly on bicycles of various kinds (including one electric bicycle, by the sound of it).

No motorized vehicles are allowed. This suits us just fine, as we're always grappling with traffic when we bicycle up here in Rankin County.

We turned around at 12.3 miles in. Our chief concern was that we stick to the time table to which we'd agreed in order to miss the worst heat. It was still bloody hot by the time we made it back to Prentiss, but our planning was sufficient for safety & enjoyment.

This weather station between Bassville and Sumrall served as a convenient turning point.

The Prentiss end of Longleaf moderately hilly, but we did encounter more or less flat stretches.

We're accustomed to riding steeper hills around home, involving a good bit of sprinting and coasting. The hilliness of the Prentiss end of Longleaf is such that one spends longer stretches of time on more gradual hills that don't allow for coasting.

We spotted at least 3 rabbits, but no really exotic wildlife. The insects were not as bad as I'd expected, but we did know they were there, and they certainly knew about us!

We had no trouble maintaining water supplies, as each of us carried 2 bottles, and I had my 1.5 litre Camelbak. I dipped into my trail mix about halfway through, but neither of us really felt like we were running out of energy from the breakfast we'd picked up on the way to Prentiss.

I recommend that anyone attempting this sort of trip get underway as early as possible for a summer trip, and bring along towel & fresh clothing for after the ride. We were pretty sweaty by the time we wrapped things up.

No comments: