Sunday, June 28, 2009

4-Star

Not much to say other than I wish more folks had the opportunity to experience what a fantastic ride we did today, well, save the near-death experience careening out of control in front of an SUV while descending at near-40mph. I digress. I first suggested the route and Dave made appropriate alterations, maps and cue sheets. Much thanks to Dave. We started in Sellersberg and head north via many empty country roads. Some of these showed up at both a Spring RCCS ride and one I took with Dave a ways back as well. This route put us toward Underwood, where we both found the necessary goods we were lacking. From there we again ventured over some of the same roads as the RCCS ride, but after the climb up S. Liberty Knob Rd, we headed SW into new territory on the Blue River Rd., or some variation of it (E.B.R. or S.B.R., etc.)


Maize, plenty of that today, although the recent flash flooding hasn't helped.

Our tour along the Blue River- I never saw it unless it was the creek we followed, delivered us into Pekin, sometimes known as Old Pekin. We were greeted with a rough-n-tumble kinda rural town. The Sunoco provided snacks and drinks, but also a myriad of, well, rednecks, of all sort. They were pleasant enough, but living in a near-hippie enclave and teaching reasonably middle and upper-middle class sorts separates me from these kind of folk I used to teach in Trimble Co. I made the comment that I understood why there was a New Pekin just up the road. Not nice, but the truth hurts sometimes. I hope escalating globalization and State and Federal education and economic efforts bless these folks with future reward.


Gene's right on the track. I failed to get a good pic of a big pipe coming out of the side of this building, one used to refuel the train with water and/or coal from back in the old days.


Nice bridge on E.Main St. in Old Pekin

Church steeple may or may not be visible in the distance


After Pekin, and a steep set of short climbs to get us to appropriate altitude, we were blessed with amazing expanses high above the knobs. Who knew? It was truly beautiful country and worth the 40m we had ridden to arrive there. Shortly thereafter we happened upon a couple cultural touchstones of Southern Indiana: Stumler's, Huber's and St. John's the Baptist Church. Concerning the latter, with the quantity of Virgin Mary statues we saw in Starlight I would say that the parish is doing a pretty good job getting the word out. The former- and middle?- are both popular family-run orchards and restaurants. Huber is big enough that it has a bit of everything, including wine. The ride through Starlight where these are based was just heaven, with blue skies, cooling tailwinds, sunshine and no traffic to speak of.

Our last leg involved getting down off this plateau and into the valley where Sellersberg resides. This is where the brief plot thickens. We came upon the following descent

Top of Dug Knob

Dub Knob Rd. falls off the plateau, so we fell too. Not smartly, I took the lead. Dave had been descending all day much better than I, but I divebombed the hill, zooming through the first sweeping curves. Approaching the 3rd one, a steep switchback, I realized I was going too fast. I felt the back wheel skid and I just sorta freaked. I understood based on speed that I was going to cut across the switchback, and my good grace would not find a car coming up the hill. Alas. At that point, the SUV ascending looked like it was going to hit me or I was going to hit it in the side. Somehow, whether he sped up or slowed down, I got around him, and I slowed into the gravel on the side. No harm, no foul. No tarmac, no blood, no boo-boos. Just alot of frustration for being irresponsible- STUPID- and loosing control like that. It happens, but I'm still frustrated with myself; I could've negotiated the descent much better and not created such drama. And thanks to that driver. Whether he/she really did anything, he/she didn't hit me, and that's good.

From there we rolled down St. Joe's Rd., different Catholic church, and into Sellersberg, capping off a 61-miler that I'll put right now into my top-5 list of favorite rides. It was just fabulous. Hope everybody hit the road today.

4 comments:

Christopher Johnson said...

I enjoy reading ride reports that are gushing with satisfaction and gratitude. Sometimes I return from rides feeling like that sounded (save the dangerous part) and no one can relate.

But we, your readers, CAN relate to that.

Come to think, I have a few near misses that help me relate to that other part too.

Happy you made it out safely.

A Midnight Rider said...

I had to settle for my usualy work commute on Sunday. Eleven each way with me be pretty much the only one on the road at 7AM.

On the up side, I got paid well for working and I also got to see US/Brazil.

Apertome said...

Wow, sounds like an amazing ride! Your photos are particularly good this time around, too.

About your near wipeout, we all make mistakes. Glad you were able to recover safely, that's a good skill to have!

Anonymous said...

St. joe is so fun to go down, up is another story. I remember pedaling in squares.
-Drew

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