One of the things I miss about living in East Tennessee is being able to ride my bike on nice country roads. I don’t miss the dogs tearing through yards when they see me coming, and I don’t miss having people honk and yell, “Git off tha roawd!!!” either. But hilly, curvy country roads are definitely a plus of living in Knoxville.

On the flip side, one of the really nice things about living in a small town in Florida is that you can leave right out of the house and go on long flat rides. Safely. Yeah, no hills means no chance to get stronger going up hills, but it also means there’s no opportunity for rest coming down hills. The result is a long, steady pedal in aero position. Besides, you can always go do intervals on a causeway or hit a spin class if you really want hills.

I’ve been riding loops in a nice safe residential area, but it was getting kind of boring. So last night I jumped on to MapMyRide to see if there were any rides near my house that locals have posted. I found a course that passes right by my house and picks up a nice country road about 3 miles away from home. I checked it out with streetview on Google Maps, and I couldn’t wait to get out there this morning.

It didn’t disappoint.

No hills, but it’s pretty nice when you have to keep refocusing on your ride because you’re constantly on the lookout for dolphins instead of cars. The one caveat is that I had to jump out onto US-1 for about a half a mile–traffic’s not too bad at 6:20 am, but a little more traffic on the way back at 7:30. I ended up doing two loops of Rockledge Drive this morning, only passing two cars on my first loop and maybe 6 or 7 on the second. Love riding a course where the number of cars is tripled by the number of runners and cyclists. Even better when your bike speed is the speed limit! I shot this video at 20 mph as the sun was coming up.

Ok, not the greatest video because I have a Hero and not an EVO (HD), but I shot it while my CardioTrainer app and mSpot were both running. That’s right iPhone<4 owners…I been could do that!

Needless to say, my new favorite ride.