Too bad I went 61 (map adjusted for privacy) and last weekend for 53. Actually, not too bad. I had an A day on the bike today, riding with Apertome in Bloomington, IN. It seems, though, that the last 2 mixed-terrain rides I've done, today's and the one from last week, have rendered me daffy after about mile 45. It's obvious that I need a bit more fitness and a bit less weight. We covered 61 miles today, with half (probably) on the gravel of Hoosier Nat'l Forest and Yellowwood State Forest. The climbing got to me after a while and I really suffered those last 15 miles, but boy were those miles from 9-39 something to behold. Apertome took lots of pics, so I have a feeling some will show in the days to come, but the area around north Lake Monroe and the North Fork State Wildlife Refuge was something to revisit, being a mixture of gravel roads and dirt paths across earthen dams in the wetlands. Pictures will do it greater justice.
And then we met E. Rogers Rd. It was almost a joke. ridewithgps gives a high % of 23.5, on gravel, loose gravel, going on for a while. A joke. My lower legs started cramping from walking up the damn thing. It was great!
E Rogers Rd., @ 20%+ on loose gravel. A joke!
We enjoyed more riding in HNF before bridging to YSF. By this time my legs were feeling the effort, but YSF had many nice roads, including wildflowers and creek crossings. I particularly enjoyed the dive down Salmeron Rd. into another creek bottom. I was shocked to find that the climb out of Lake Lemon on Shuffle Creek Rd. listed brief sections in the upper teens! No wonder I felt like such shit! At this point is was survival. After some appreciated water and cookies at Apertome's friend's house. we put our heads down and made our way down 45 and some sketchy traffic into Bloomington for some neighborhood traffic home. At this point I was cross-eyed, or at least dead-legged. I publicly thank Apertome for being patient with me those last 15 and for taking me through town at a leisurely pace. I know he had better legs, but he was a most amiable host, as was his fine bride.
I know for sure I'm revisiting HNF again. As difficult as it was, I want to spend another day exploring the many nooks and crannies of that area. More pics to come, both via me and Apertome.