Dave was finally back in town, and with a window before the start of school, we embarked on a hot and humid 63-er on Sunday. I arrived early with the Bleriot, and he on the LHT and we headed NE using a portion of his CliftyFalls route on Tunnel Mill Rd., which after a steep climb early on planes out to a delightful bit of flattish IN country riding.
Old stone gate with barely visible hinge
mixed Morning Glory
We stopped briefly in New Washington to refill although only into the 2nd hour of the trip. While only 9ish, it was already humid and sunny, heading for a hot one. I elected to go ahead and buy and extra bottle for the Big Loafer. A good decision it was. Not long after New Washington stop we found ourselves beginning a nice bit of mixed terrain on S Country Rd. 850W, which by the way was travelling due north/south (not W). This portion lasts about 2m, and although brief, for me it made my day. Gravel in our area is rare, so one must drink it up for all it's worth.
The opening chapter of gravel, Dave looking good here on the LHT.
A more rolling view of 850W or S.Sharon Hill Rd.
Towards the latter stages with a little different colour and light.
There seem to be a variety of little turn-offs in this area, giving me the notion of exploring the many nooks and crannies in lieu of making a larger loop. In this general area, we decided to exit the cue sheet and take advantage of an unknown gravel stretch, this later found labelled as W Co.Rd. 650. It took an extreme right and helped us arrive at W New Bethel Rd, which would provide us a nice westward reconnection with our cuesheet.
Beginning W Co.Rd. 650
Down a small slope on either S900W or a continuation of 650W. Confused? I'd love to find an IN road site like KY has with its Division of Planning website.
New Bethel Rd. with its church traffic led us into Lexington, which apparently had a 4-wheeler party happening, but no pics. After a ceremonial lap around the town square, we consulted the map (again) to verify cue sheet directions with random map names that we certainly find in both KY and IN. Do other states have so many random road names that don't correspond on map sources?
Lexington town square
Updated Lexington house
As we made our way westward from Lexington the heat began to take its toll a bit, although a dark rain cloud did help occlude some of the brightest rays. E Kinderhook provided some cloud cover, shade and the meeting of a small, little friend, somehow spied by Dave on downhill at reasonable speed. At some point on Kinderhook, I would say we were mildly awry (not lost, but also not sure) but eventually our way into Underwood where we had stopped on the RCCS ride last April.
Small ride friend
Bigger ride friend just west of Underwood
As soon as we stopped, Dave knew that I had to have yet another picture of grass. I love my meadows!
Once in Underwood, we procured some water, choco milk, snacks and facilities. At this point the heat was getting to both of us. I would like to plug Nuun tablet at this point. I started using them on the 3rd bottle and the seemed to keep me a little fresher than I had expected to be. Please file this nugget for later (**). Dave was rather hot, so we mutually agreed to shorten our trip through Clark State Forest, as we would meet a very large climb or two and I, at least, wanted to finish the ride positive and not miserable. We head back towards Charlestown, resting a few times in the shade, but ultimately finishing with 51 miles (my, the Bleriot computer is really off now. It was registering 56m.) and 2 sections of mixed terrain, just what my black soul needed. And to top it off, Dave and Kristy offered me an excellent home-cooked lunch, one which I couldn't refuse! My thanks to both of them for their generosity.
**I read about Nuun tablets on Kent's blog in his discussion of his Great Divide effort. They're sugar-free, non-sweetened electrolyte tablets, ones which easily dissolve in a water bottle. There are several flavors, sometimes sold in mixed flavor packets, but I began with the lemon-lime. They provide this bizarre mild flavor while in your mouth, but have almost no after-taste. I used one for bottles 3 and 4 and I found myself feeling relatively fresh. Perhaps I ate well or just hydrated adequately, but I found them building confidence in the 93F, humid conditions.
**While the ride was good, I proceeded to have a really horrible Sunday afternoon, evening and Monday morning. I had another Afib sometime late afternoon. Even after taking a pill it didn't really stop and I ended up taking another pill around bedtime; basically my heart spent 10hrs or so jumping around. While it had stopped by the next morning, I was completely wiped out and anxious that it might start again. I attribute it to four factors in no particular order: 1. tough effort in the heat, 2. heavybooze Saturday night, 3. heavy booze Thursday night, 4. lbs. I'm very heavy right now- which is probably THE contributing factor to my Afib. Add to that 2 excessive booze events and some heat and, Presto!, Afib.