Today was the invigorating, no, tiring first real road test of the Quickbeam, one taking me 57 miles through the KY countryside. My route-http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=2874247- took me along my old standard from Louisville, though J'town and out along 148 to Southville. I did the exact same path last fall, but on that day I kept due east and the family picked me up in Frankfort. This time I turned in a southerly direction, picking up Pea Ridge Rd still in Shelby Co. I have strange, fond memories of this road b/c I great-aunt Bertha and Ralph lived on it, and when I was a child I remember going on a trip out there- WAY out there- and making up stories of Giant Spiders with my aunt. Great stuff. Today I used 2 wheels to make the same trip. From there I was able to take Waddy Rd./395 through Harrisonville and into Anderson Co. I can say without hyperbole that this portion of 395 was one of the finest cycling roads I've ever been on. It provided me a shaded, gentle run along a creek and in the miles on this I did not encounter one single car of any sort. I had planned to do a bit of mixed-terrain near my turn from 395 to 512, but I "missed" the turn onto Carlton Dr./Lin Moore Rd. To be honest, I didn't exactly miss it, but I'll explain further. While on 395 I started looking a bit for the left turn. At some point I saw what I'll term a goat path, a tractor drive, but it wasn't a "road". The only tip off to tell me that it might have been a "road" was that I saw the silver, shiny back side of the stop sign, but at least there was a stop sign. There was no road sign to speak of. I instead meet up with 512 and onto Corinth Rd., twisty ridge-top path not unlike Pea Ridge, if a bit more secluded. From there I took a right on Hammonds Creek Rd., yet another spectacular bit of country lane. That put me onto KY-44 and into Lawrenceburg and to a stop at Taco Bell for ice water and the last 2m to the park for the game.
Aside from the excellent scenery, weather, low-traffic roads and azure skies, today was also a serious road test for the Quickbeam. I knew that a route with more than 2000ft of climbing (up and down the many creek beds of central KY) would provide a very stiff challenge. Because my ride was divided into 3 somewhat distinct sections, I came away with 3 distinct feels of the quality of the QB. The first section was one of getting out of Louisville, all with the first 12-13 miles or so. On this I felt the general rhythm of that of a single speed. With mostly flat ground, or at worst false flats, it just made me turn the gear. At this point everything was very positive. I did have to walk briefly up one hill on English Station, but I didn't feel too bad about it. Instead of flipping the bike over to take advantage of the smaller ring, I just did the 2min walk up a steep section.
The second portion was in the rural but rolling to flat portions of 148. Having done this section many times, I knew that I wouldn't have any monster climbs, so I, again, just got into a rhythm with the gear. I noticed that the rhythm you develop with a ss is completely different that with a derailer bike. On a derailer bike, you keep a constant pedaling pace and change gears to fit the pace. Shift up, shift down, shift down again, shift up. You rhythm is pretty similar on the downhill as on the uphill, really. On the QB ss, I instead developed a rhythm with the terrain. To keep fresh and to keep turning the gear over, I adjusted my own pedaling rhythm to meet whatever the terrain demanded. Frankly it was fantastic. I have done some town miles on the FrankenTrekSS, but never to this extent as on the QB today. It was outstanding.
The third portion of the ride began with the very steep climb onto Pea Ridge Rd. This began a more classic central KY up-n-down fest, a land with many stream crossings and short up and downhills. At this point, I used the pace as best as I could, but in combination with some leg tiredness, I began to fight the QB instead of riding in concert with it. I noticed 3 or 4 times that I was thinking of gearing down, but then realizing that that wasn't an option. While I didn't encounter any mammoth hills, some quickies that I wouldn't been able to muscle an hour ago now made for serious grunting, and a few times I failed. I walked 5-6 times today, but only once for any real period of time (maybe .3m), but the last 45min found me wishing for gears. That said, I never wished that I *hadn't* ridden the QB. It was the perfect choice for such a day, but it made for a tiring ride. I ended up averaging in the upper-12mph range. Yes, it's slow, but a bit deceiving. I stopped twice (at Southville store and at Taco Bell), and with the ss, I walked several more. On the Bleriot I think I would've made very nice time today, but no complaints. It was a 5-star day out in the KY countryside. It doesn't get any better.
My parents' old farm is in the distance. They've cleared out significant pasture. I didn't recognize it at first.
Corinth Rd. going through the parking lot of Corinth Christian Church. I actually cut through the parking lot to the left out of confustion.