Wednesday, June 10, 2009


This is but one pic from Doug's pictorial review of the Hiawatha Cyclery League Tour, aka "Gentlemen's Tour". I'm just generally very, very jealous. While I know folks do some touring in KY, including some overnighters hosted by the LBC, these trips in WI and MN are assisted by the great facilities they seem to have there. During their trip they used part(s) of the Root River Trail (60m), Cannon Valley Trial (19m), and Great River State Trail (24m). KY doesn't have any amenities of such nature; the longest "trail" I know of in KY is actually the Riverwalk here in Louisville, and it doesn't lead to any camping facilities. In fishing around for more info on the KYRtT site, I did find some nice pics of members scouting abandoned railway access between Lexington and Ashland, the enigmatic 'Big Sandy project. My point, of course, is that it's a bit more feasible for the MN crew to put together these picturesque trips when they have trails and virgin gravel at their disposal. We don't. Whaa!

That said, it's more the effort and the mindset than the facilties. "Where there is a will, there is a way."


Jim Thill said...

We did spend some time on trails, of which WI and MN have many miles, but the vast majority of our 280-ish miles were on public roads.

Contrary to popular belief, the drivers of pickup trucks and other vehicles on rural roads tend to be exceedingly polite. We had no unpleasant encounters with motorists during our 6 days of riding. I think there is a semi-universal appeal to riding loaded bikes on rural roads, and even non-cyclists can sort of relate to the adventure, and tend to be more than accommodating.

LvilleTex said...

Fair enough, Jim. From what I can see, though, your neck of the woods has many nice, open farm roads as well. Certainly certain parts of KY do too, but we don't have the combination of country, parks, and trails that you do in MN and WI. It makes for a nice combo...until winter hits.

Doug said...

I didn't give proper credit to the the taker of that picture. It was taken by Jim Thill. All the pictures on my post about the trip were taken by me except three. You happened to pick the nicest one and it wasn't taken by me.

Apertome said...

First of all: I, too, am jealous of their tour. It looks like an incredible trip.

However, I'm going to have to call shenanigans here. You have posted photos and writeups of some very picturesque rides through KY and southern Indiana, many involving mixed terrain. I'm sure there are more.

And while I don't know about the KY side of things, I do know that in Southern Indiana, you've got Clark State Forest within reach, Jackson-Washington state forest not too far from there, vast swatches of Hoosier National Forest, and various other state parks and state forests. That area seems ripe for touring to me! Trails are nice, but really unnecessary when you have plenty of quiet country roads to ride on, many of them gravel.

So, I think you're making excuses. I do it too. In this area, my excuse is that I really can't imagine hauling a loaded bike through the mountains. But I'm sure that I *could* do a tour, if I did some more training and actually planned one.

FS Bridgestone RB-1-DONATED

*Donated to a young bike-hungry friend. Good luck!* And to acquaint yourself with the Cult of the RB-1: