Weather: 43F/58F, rainy
November mileage: 245
Year to date: 2718
Date: Nov 14 Fri
Weather: 55F, windy
November mileage: 282
Year to date: 2755
Wednesday- leisurely in the a.m. on southern route via Audabon Park and then to Sunergo's for new grounds and a mint tea. Afternoon was alright until i was just hit wall. completely knackered i was. crawled home in the dripping mid-50s, but you know what? great ride and great day. Thursday I just took off needing a break.
Friday, today, is a slight deviation from the norm. I took the day off from work for sake of the fact that tomorrow is my bday and I had some things I wanted to accomplish, one of them being not being at work. The morning centered around what kind of cycling experience I would have. Thoughts were a ride to Lexington (going Friday evening to see the Chanticleer show), riding in Bluegrass area Friday afternoon, taking in a local kybikerides route that's new to me, or what I did, which was do some roads in SW Jeff and Bullitt Co., an area I know but one I didn't have to worry about as much given the other business of the day.
The route I decided took me from Iroquois Pk and I hope to achieve 2 goals: to climb the locally infamous Brooks Hill and to take in a new road, Mt. Elmira Rd. Oddly enough, Brooks is not found on 100 Steep Ones, although every other climb in that area is. From the end of that I had several options for the return. I did decide to drive to Iroquois and leave from there b/c sometimes I just don't want urban traffic.
Pretty quickly in the ride I realized that two factors would influence my day in the saddle, the wind and my legs. One influence was strong, the other weak, and you can guess which one. The wind was a strong northeasterly (coming from the SE, right?), and my 'out' trip was in that direction. I knew that if I could just grind early one, my return would be zippy. I passed on Manslick and into Fairdale, stopping a few times for quick pics. Fairdale, to the day, is a strange little "town" mired right on the edge of the 'Ville. Not many years ago it was a close-but-distant rural community not quite part of Louisville; now it's a distant burb. I went south out of Fairdale on perfectly flat roads, but the wind combined with an understanding that I wasn't having my best day meant that I just put my head down and ground it out. Perhaps 4m from Fairdale I encountered the right turn onto 1526/Brooks Hill Rd. I've heard about it but never experienced it. Even with crappy legs I looked forward to experiencing the climb. My multitude of readers know that I have lots of bikes, and Friday's ride included the rarely-used Blueridge, my reasoning being that it's much lighter and ostensibly a better climbing bike. My thoughts Friday were that I like feel, handling, and comfort of the Bleriot and maybe the BR's time with me has come. None-the-less, I climb Brooks Hill slowly and steadily, trying to regulate my breathing and control my pace. About 2/3 way up the climb the heart pounding told me to stop for a moment, which I did. After that brief respite I sauntered back on the bike and made it to the top. I'm sorry that the 100Steepest doesn't have it listed, b/c I don't have another means of calculating the stats, not that it matters. All the climbs in SWJeff/Bullitt are half-mile to one mile climbs. They're steep (8-10%), but relatively short. having cleared that, I continued on 1526 until reaching my turn at Mt. Elmira. This was a nice ridge-top road of 3 miles, with lots of twists and ups-n-downs to make for an intersting ride. I felt like I was in the deep country when I saw the fighting-cock farm and the trailer with 4 beat-to-hell cars out front. At some point on Mt. Elmira I heard a ping which I first took as a misdirected freewheel shift (which the BR sometimes does). A little later I looked at the back wheel to find that the ping was, in fact, exactly what it was. I've had a devil of a time lately with spokes, first on the Redline925, then on the Bleriot and now the Br. The Redline's was broken, the Bleriot's merely detensioned (I fixed that). Now I had to ride home with a wobbly wheel seemingly rubbing on the rear brake pad. This all happened at a church camp at the corner of Mt. Elmira and 44. I didn't take pics b/c of being bothered by the wheel, but I'll return in the future. Mt. Elmira is a fun ride.
From there, wobbly wheel in tow, I turned back towards home via Martin's Hill Rd. (climbed a ways back for the first time). The MHRd. descent would've been a fun one, a perfectly fun one, but I had my left hand clamped on the front brake. I didn't know the effects of the damaged wheel on a fast descent, so I tried to keep things under control. When I reached Knob Creek Rd. (actually a further extension of 1526/Brooks Hill Rd.) I had a decision to make whether to head NE towards home or to extend out. With the wheel and the log-like legs I turned right and made the return leg. Just across the JeffCo line I encountered my 2nd climb of the day, named the backside of Mitchell Hill or the Knob Creek hill. Two other times in my cycling life I had tried to "clean" this climb, but to no avial. Friday, though, provided me with adequate enough legs to again make slow and steady pace up, finishing without stopping nor without losing a lung. From there it was mostly "downhill" back to the truck. I did have a hair-raising time descending the sinuous Mitchell Hill, but the bottom I retraced my route via Manslick to Iroquois Pk. I ended up with 37m on the nose with an average of 14.1mph. It was a tough bike ride, but a really nice bike experience. It also got me closer to an excellent mileage total for November and closer as well to my 3K goal for the 2008 year end. Below are a few pics:
Going over Jefferson Freeway, oops 265/Gene Snyder Freeway. I remember this being completed in the 1980s in the Valley Station area where we lived. Since then, it's been a magnet for fast food and subdivisions.
Litespeed Blueridge leaning against table in memorial park of Fairdale. In its present guise we find Planet Bike fenders and the Carradice Nelson Longflap. It's expensive and irreplaceable, but I just don't like its ride compared with that of the Bleriot.
I couldn't help stopping for a pic of this. Understand that there aren't any train tracks near this.
Where I stopped on Brooks Hill. You can see the destination of the climb following the ridgeline above the road.
More ridge views. "I can see for miles and miles..." I don't think I've seen such long-distance views anywhere else locally.