Saturday, November 01, 2008
Edwardsville Hill loop
Date: Nov 1 Sat
Weather: 70++F, sunny and beautiful
November mileage: 47
Year to date: 2520
While riding today I had a plethora of topics about which I could wax poetic on the blog. Now, as I sit here, all I have to say is that the legs are tired, the average mph was much slower than expected, the ride was flat flat flat hill HILL downhill flat flat flat, and I love every freakin' minute of it.
The last two weeks have been the most bereft of the year if you include the fact my mileage-less months of spring are full-beyond-full of tennis. Two weeks ago was filled with mucous and lethargy. This past week was more one of difficulty with the installation of the floor, activities most evenings and a loss of cycling rhythm. Today just all fell into place. After 'Z's last soccer game of the season, the family had some errands so I stated to the good wife, "I'm gone. I'll be back eventually." I prepped the Bleriot for an afternoon of ridiculous 70F+ temps in November. I am still saddled with the concern that I can't find my camera. I know it's not *lost*, just annoying misplaced. I otherwise headed out with the general idea to go across the river to S.IN, for me a land less ridden, and then find a way to Corydon Pike on the way to Edwardsville. It's a semi-famous hill locally, if only b/c it's the most amenable hill coming out of the river valley into the northern and north-eastern areas of In. It was my first time working my way from the bridge into New Albany, although numerous club types and LithoDale do it regularly. From there I took in New Albany's version of a riverwalk, a might nice one if you ask me. Around this time I started developing that stupid grin one gets while out on the road on a perfect day. Stupid grin.
After a detour (unbeknownst) down the access road to an electrical plant- and passing by a wildlife reserve that I would otherwise call bottom land, I headed north on Budd Rd. and away from the city. I encountered massive electrical towers and a short, steep hill on Budd, but it felt great to leave city streets full of stop signs which hindered my rhythm. I turned off of Budd onto Highwater Ln and fell back in time, or into another world or something. I imagined that I could've been in the oft-cliched holler territory of Appalachia: shacks, trucks on blocks, trash, a sense of a complete lack of self-respect or awareness, dogs, despair, filth, a layer of poverty that we 'Bleriot'-ers, Riv-riders, custom-owners and iBobs just don't take into account. I wonder if many of my other bloggers perchance spin on roads on the Drive-By Truckers could imagine. Highwater wasn't long, but I only want to go again, camera in hand, to depict the America Sarah Palin is trying to charm.
From there was the climb up Edwardsville Hill. It's a steady gradual creep until the the last .5m, where it enters some switchbacks and some steeper pitches. That said, it's never that bad and I spun an easy gear up. Just as LithoDale does regularly (with my encouragement), I turned onto Quarry for a ridge-ride and some great overlooks of the river valley. Let's add that the wooded hills of S.IN were in maximum color, simply outstanding. Old Vincennes brought a fun downhill into New Albany again and the return home via city streets...again.
The find of the day, aside the beautiful scenery and temps was the Loop Island Wetlands in N.A. Apparently it was the property of a large tannery. When it closed the owner created a semi-public wetlands area. I only explored a small portion on the Bleriot. One immediate observation as that the storm had blown many a tree down over the trails. All were walkable but not rideable. It looks like another 'mixed-terrain' opportunity. The old LoopIslandWetlands website doesn't load, so I don't know what info is available, but it's looks loverly. I know that S.IN is making efforts much like the 'Ville to reclaim the riverfront for all kinds of recreation and preservation opportunity. Another such is the empty railbed that runs from Jeffersonville into N.A. I think it might be rideable too, and I'm taking either the LHT or even the C'dale over there to try it out sometime.
From there I came home and ran increasingly out of gas. With a few miles from the house my head was swimming- total bonk- and the quads starting cramping a bit. I managed to do 47m after barely riding for 2 weeks, and all on 2 donuts I had eaten much earlier in the morning.
Sorry for the no pics, b/c it would've been the perfect day, b/c it was a near perfect ride. Hope every else had a great one too. peace.