Two days in a row with no taxi service. I knew I had a distance window this afternoon so I pulled off a first (or near first) and rode the Bleriot as my commuter rig. I don't have enough luggage for a full commuter experience, so I left some papers to grade at home, planned for lunch out (a burgeoning tradition with teacher friends now that we have a Papalino's and a Qdoba close-by), and packed judiciously. I used the Big Loafer for clothes and tools, including the use of bungees and the top rings for extra clothes. My personals went in the bar bag. The addition of a front Blaze 1W and a rear PB made me good enough.
This afternoon I warmed up pretty quickly and intentionally rode a hard tempo up Algonquin. At some point in the mix I had a strong suspicion that I had a nice tailwind b/c my computer (non-GPS) was reading 18-19mph, which might be a bit brisk for the Bleriot. Or I was just feeling gooood. At Shawnee I took a turn down to the Riverwalk for a change in speed before jumping back onto Northwestern Pkwy. The sight, though, of the 'Path Closed' sign drew my attention. I had tried one other time to guerrilla ride the flooded path but last time was immediately swamped by mud. This time things appeared to be a bit drier. The portions along the golf fence were bushy and rutty but rideable. At some point I almost ran into not one but different different limbs which were hidden by brush. The first I saw quickly enough to stop easily and walk around. The second, though, was lower to the ground and it took a full two-handed power grab to stop. However I landed, it jerked my right shifter a bit, but there were no other visible signs of damage (foreshadowing...)
Once I lowered down off the golf course portion I found lots of dried mud, but it was passable. Other vehicles, I assume 4-wheelers, were taking advantage of the terrain, and I saw one pair of mtbike treads. Progress was slow-going and I had to walk a few times. I even ran into a couple walking, when they inquired from me if the "mud was going to end?". Well, sort of.
It's sort of sobering that this portion of the Riverwalk, by far the most interesting section, was being given back to nature. Wonder if there are any lessons learned for Louisville famed future Louisville Loop. I have no confidence.
After the off-road portion I reconnected with the Riverwalk proper and vacillated between spirited tempos and periods of rest. I snaked through Waterfront Park with thoughts of maybe going all the way to Indian Hills, but turned towards home and OYLC where I was going to ask them about a front end creak I've been experiencing on the Bleriot. They were super-busy so I re-directed towards the Beargrass Trail and Cherokee, where I took in three frisky hills. No, the first, golf course hill I took at a friskly pace. I rested a bit on Hogan's Fountain and Chaufer's Rest was a push. It was a beautiful day for a ride, one which included tempo riding, mixed-terrain riding, urban riding, park riding and neighborhood rolling. What's not to like on a Friday such as that?