Normandy Bike Ride

Glass of Water with Lemon

Glass of water with lemon at Normandy River Cafe, Normandy, Tennessee

I’d planned to make this ride with my friend, Adrian, the guy who bought the nearly new condition old Bianchi last week, but he got sick and couldn’t make it.  The rough pavement on Cascade Hollow Road would’ve probably done for his bike’s original equipment 27 year-old (?!) Michelin tires, though.  My own bicycle’s Continental Gatorskin tires did fine, and it was a long way down that bumpy road.  At the bottom of the hollow is George Dickel Distillery – I snapped a picture of the company’s roadside sign with three birds next to it – I think they are wild turkeys.  An old man, probably somebody’s grand-dad, stopped me a minute or two later asking directions.  Spooky stuff, people.

Distillery Sign

Wild turkeys and George Dickel Distillery sign

George Dickel distillery

A pleasant morning in the hollow

I didn’t stop to take the tour, but pedaled on into Normandy where I stopped at a cafe that wasn’t open for the day, yet, and ordered a bowl of turkey chili and some ice-water with lemon.   I rode on through Normandy to the fish hatchery and to the dam.  It was a very windy, but otherwise pleasant morning for a bike ride.

Normandy House

Old house on the main street at Normandy, Tennessee

Normandy Cafe

That's me, smiling for the camera at the Normandy River Cafe

Normandy fish hatchery

Normandy fish hatchery on the Duck River

Normandy Dam

Watergates at Normandy dam

Severe Thunderstorm Warning

Silo at Sumner County Park, Gallatin

The villagers didn't pay any attention to me, Thursday, and no one pursued me to this place.

Thursday evening, I checked with the Gallatin locals who said, “When they issue a tornado warning, then you should pay attention,” but said they thought the severe thunderstorm wouldn’t materialize.  I was glad when they said that and headed out Nashville Pike, feeling subversive riding in traffic, to a street named Something Circle, between a Wendy’s fast food restaurant and either a strip mall or a sit-down chain restaurant (all that commercial stuff looks alike on a busy four-lane).

Certainly it was warm enough, outside, and would have been humid if it hadn’t been windy.  I welcomed the wind because it made flight problematic for the variety of little, whitish colored gnats that swarm in the area of an evening.  The neighborhoods I rode through were pleasant and shady – mostly attractive, 40 year-old Tennessee brick houses with established lawns and leafy trees for landscaping.

I found a street that cut through to Lock 4 Road, which runs the length of a peninsula of sorts to Sumner County Park.  I turned right and pedaled to the park over a series of more and steeper hills than I am used to riding here at Stepford.  This being the third time I rode the hills, I found them easier than I had when first encountered Monday night.  Near the road’s end, not far from the entrance of the park, I negotiated a bolted-down speed bump, riding the six inches of pavement between its end and the ditch.

At the park, I saw an old man fishing at a dock with a little boy.  I saw young people sitting across from each other at a covered picnic area.  I saw two men fishing at the lake’s shore.  The water looked calm.  The grassy slopes leading down to the water’s edge looked like a good place to launch a kayak.  I rode on back out of the park past where mountain-bike trails crossed the paved park road.  At Lock 4 Road, I turned right and pedaled a short way and right again up a gravel road to the silo pictured above.  Although I am no fan of horror movies, even the early Universal films of that genre, I found myself thinking of Boris Karloff, whose stage name inspired my Internet moniker.  I snapped a couple of pictures of my Razesa by the dilapidated concrete structure, then rode back to the hotel.