Monday, September 29, 2014

Hardy Lake (S)24O

I can't currently walk, so that either indicates that a swell time or a miserable one was had by all. Mr. Crowell and I decided to be more ambitious than your average S24O and make for that next ring of sites that isn't readily available like our usual Jefferson Forest one. Mr. Crowell decided on Hardy Lake given that Clifty Falls, with its pretty meadow site, was busy with festival traffic for the weekend. Hardy would also required a 55-mile trip, and neither of us had camped there.

Not unlike a usual S24, we left late afternoon, only this time, instead of a mellow 1.5hr easy slog through the city, we had 55 miles of rolling IN terrain on out plate, a fair piece of it in the dark.

Pre-game at Great Flood. Only 1, I promise.
We passed by the NuLu fete on Market.

Rolling sunny skies out towards Utica.


Cow atop hill and below more puffballs.

Atop the mellow Waterline climb. Tired, old shack.
Once we crossed onto Bethany Ln things got slightly more interesting. Below we have Mr. Crowell consulting his gps. This wouldn't be the only time. "Wink, nudge, elbow". The set began its decline and the Golden Hour set in. 

I had lost the festive FL beach glasses I found in April, but found them right before the trip. Good mojo.

As the sun set and the clouds began to do their dance I stopped several times to capture just the right sunset pic. These suffice, I think.

La luna

Mixed-terrain. We encountered this road of corn cobs and had a fun time bumping along. Both of us agreed that it was the first corn cob mixed-terrain for either of us.
At some point it became night, obviously, and at some point we ended up in Scottburg when we were supposed to be in Austin. Once a little sleepy and tired, I get whiny and testy, so for me the goal was FOOD, and CAMP. After devouring a cold Coke at a gas station and supplying up with more junk, we began our last leg comparing our respective lights, my knife-edge utility of the dyno and Dave's blunt force trauma of his Dinottes. There were more folks out than expected.

We didn't arrive until almost 11, and I was pretty exhausted. It was a quick camp set up, but unlike the usual quiet tones of some other campgrounds, this one had jokers playing glow-in-the-dark football in one spot and classic rock blaring in another. I was worried that we were in for a redneck fest. Interestingly enough, quiet hours kicked in at 11 and we might have been the noisiest in the camp. We ate efficiently and I headed for bed about an hour after arrival. Tired.

The out roll was fun, especially catching the sunset and the nighttime riding. I slept like a rock and only tossed a bit in the morning right around when other folks were rousing as well at 7, the official end of quiet time. To my surprise in the dull morning light, I found that the camp was surrounded on 2 sides and that we were in for a treat of a sunrise. I even made Dave get up and take a look. I took many pics and had a couple nice discussions with what looked like a youth group at the end of the peninsula.

Yes, please.

First cup

Seafoam ready for return.

Er, Moo!
Our morning roll took us in to Scottburg again for breakfast. Things started to subtly shift at this point, at least for me. One shouldn't live by expectations; I claim that mistake.
Notice, no sign illuminated.

Post-sign, what to do.

Old-fashiony Scottsburg. At one point the middle building had a restaurant, now closed. The left building has a sign for an upcoming cafe. Maybe it would be open at 10.30 on a Sunday.

We settled on always-solid Waffle House and then made our way south on a somewhat on-the-spot route, given that Mr. Crowell was not having the best of luck with his gps. A little bit of Fall heat was creeping up, and our (my) pace was creeping down a bit. At some point I began to be willing to walk some hills. Dave kept it kicking on the 'bent.

Knobs to the West. Very nice.

We stopped at Brownstown Rd. to route assess. Sometime after this Mr. Smith became very cranky and leg tired. At some point further along Bethany near Charlestown Mr. Smith had problems going *downhill* on Waterline. Mr. Smith had blown, and blown *HARD*. Mr. Crowell kept rolling along but somewhere along Utica Pike waited for Mr. Smith, whose calves and feet were cramping, and whose derriere was feeling like a steak pounded with a meat tenderizer. Bad.  I crawled into home after having, perhaps, the most punishing 30-mile ride on record. But, hey, the sunrise was something.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Bike to Beat Cancer

I didn't do my Family Camp Hundy for a variety of reason; I'm alright with it. With that "failure" my long-distance efforts have dwindled a bit. The next thing I'm gearing up for is again doing the Bike to Beat Cancer next weekend. I'll be honest. I find the donation begging/asking a bit uncomfortable. That being said, I just have to do it. My friend Drew, whom I rode with last year (along with Matt35) had every intention of riding again this year until he received a pretty miserable diagnosis of a recurrence back in late July or early August. It's back again. They say third time is the charm. Barf! This on really make me mad. Drew has done a great job taking care of himself, eating well, living more naturally, riding the bike. And it's back. And I have no choice but to ride and support him. To further beat the horse good and dead, young Ben, whose brother played tennis for me and whose story also motivated me to ride last year got his diagnosis of a return the same week as Drew. Two folks whom I know and have close connections to.

You can donate using this link: and search for me- Tim Smith- or for our team- Fighting Otters on Bikes. Hopefully Matt and I will be sporting our Team Om Nashi Me shirts from last year.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Mucho Mixed-Terrain

Mr. Crowell and I undertook a Vitamin G Mission yesterday in and around Ferdinand State Forest, as we have in before. Each time I come away humbled but ever hungry for more. It's got more gravel, more nature, more empty, more challenge, and more fresh (albeit humid and occasionally odoriferous) air than the rest of what is Kentuckiana. We've been doing some good mileage, and I needed the crunch of mixed-terrain to help focus the senses. What I came away with was struggle well-earned.

We started with a half-mile downhill which then became a half-mile uphill, all of which set the stage for a very jagged day on the bike. No, we don't have epic 1-hr Rockies climbs, but S.IN certainly does have plenty of mile-longish climbs to satisfy the craving.

This whop-dee-doo downhill early on was particularly fun on the fattie. The Mulkuk doesn't like to ascend, but not unlike during my snow adventures, it really, really likes to go downhill.

Along the double-track in the previous pic I saw a road-like entity going off through the field, and it was marked on my gps. We took it. By the time we crossed the ditch, as you can see, it got more "textured".

Fattie at Enlow Cemetery while Dave fixed a surprising flat.

Weird, abandoned house that shouldn't be.

Our run along Carlisle and Calvert through Siberia was particularly nice. We reveled in the low traffic and the mellower road conditions. Yes, we did have a couple climbs, but, no, they weren't as damn long. We hit Co.Rd.Chickadee and took a brief turn down FerdForestCoRd to find that the derelict bridge had been taken down to our chagrin (take at look at the Oct link from above for pics of the standing bridge- just barely). After that we climbed into Ferdinand State Forest for several miles of yet more gravel, but sheltered on both sides by nothing but forest, green, stillness with an occasional farm. Great stuff.  We suffered passing either a chicken or pig farm that filled the air with an acrid urine smell that followed us for at least a mile. Terrible.  We were further surprised to find a $2 entrance fee to FSF that I hadn't paid on previous trips. Damn gov'ment. We searched and find a very easy short-cut that bypassed the fee and even found a nice picnic spot next to the fire tower. That was the high point of the day. Get it? Funny!

At our picnic amid the fire tower we decided that the full 55-mile route wouldn't be a good idea. Simply stated, the climbing was kicking out butts and we doubted that the later miles would be fun. We found a couple alternates, one including our planned store stop in Birdseye, the other the most direct route back to the car. Leaving FSF we planned to make Birdseye and go from there. Our turn onto E 625 and then the flattish run along S Schnell was a real treat. Finally we weren't climbing like banshees (do banshees climb?), but we still had our gravel and trees. Mmm, good!

At some point we took a minor wrong turn and added a mile and change along easy roads, and at that point decided the most direct would be prudent. We just weren't strong enough for the conditions and wanted to finish with some semblance of pride.  The long climb along 710S was both challenging and delightful; it might have been my favorite road of the day.

C.Rd.710S, gravelled, forested goodness

Soon thereof, after bombing a downhill on my pillow tires past a fighting cock farm and passing a gigantic dairy operation we joined our original out route and from that point, we just moved our way home.We slowly "climbed" the 1-mile E Anderson Valley Rd. and then met October Rd again, which shows as a 2-mile acclivity. No wonder we were tired!!! At some point Dave got sort of sick to his stomach, but I was a bad ride friend and just kept pushing (slowly) towards the car. I needed the car.

To be fair, we just sort of crawled in to the car, bought some Gatorade, and skeedaddled.  I would go back tomorrow, in the rain.

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