Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Zoo Story

I began to plot a long-running existential analysis of my ride Sunday, one involving The Zoo Story by Edward Albee while ruminating on the duality of existence. You know, Life and Death. Yin/Yang. Black/White. etc.  Instead I think I'll just show these pics of a challenging day in the saddle in central Kentucky. It was a good ride, and my longest since November's GravelGrovel. Thanks should go to the good wife for allowing me to mesh a family trip to her mother's with this all-afternoon endeavor.

In our first display, we have a gaggle, no, a coven, no, a bunch of wild turkeys 

 New pavement along Peacock Rd. Hey! Another animal!

Bridge of questionable repute.

 Seemingly more reliable bridge, built more recently than googlestreetview suggests.

A favorite home lying along Stoner Creek. 

Animal #3, this time a most friendly farm dog. He snuck up on me when I was climbing out of the creek valley and I heard his nails. There's an outside chance he couldn't bark, because he mouth yapped a bit but sans sound. Very friendly! 

Another view through the hedge row. A little piece of England in the middle of the Bluegrass. 

 My buddy's dog compatriot over a wooden railroad bridge. He seemed more cautious. His friend, though, my buddy, followed me for at least another mile or more. Hope he made it home.

 Victorian with roof detail.

The next image I've moved to the bottom of this post because it is/was a bit gruesome, but allow me to explain why I'm posting it. If you read this regularly, you know that I'm fond of blue herons and the like. I would take pictures of bears, but we don't have them readily available. I appreciate their majesty and their place on our greater system. I have a favorite, 'ol Blue, which I try to see as I ride Beargrass Trail. Along Larue Rd. on the ride I saw a Heron flying across my path when, suddenly, he feel to the ground. Most likely he hit a power line and got tangled up, or even shocked. He felt right next to a fence and got tangled up a bit in it, so I tried to free his wing. He also landed with his beak in the ground like a tent stake, but managed to extricate himself. I have an overwhelming sense that he was about to die and there was nothing I could do. Yin/Yang. Light/Dark. The boundless friendliness of Farm Dog in contrast with this misfortune of nature of the Heron. It is what it is.


This was one of the nicer buildings in Ruddel's Mill. Sort of joking, sort of not.

The next batch is of the Colville Covered Bridge, one of 2 I passed in the ride. It wasn't my intention to make it a "covered bridge" day, but why not. And Colville was along a nice path of Bluegrass riding.




I felt good at this point around mile 20, but I also realized that it was a tough day with lots of rollers and occasional wind coming from the SE, hitting me as a 3/4 headwind. Although grey and a bit misty, I focused more on getting the job down and riding on. I was about to cross into territory I had ridden before, but it all still felt quite new. Tough, but new.

Headquarters, of what I'm not sure.

Rolling into Barterville. It looks as beat up as the last time through here.

Animal story sans pic: I was rolling along Buffalo Trace Rd. when I first heard and then saw a young man on a 4-wheeler. More impressively he was piloting while holding at least 3 or 4 leads with horses on them, with another loose horse following. I @##%^ stopped right there. I knew horses to be skittish, and these seemed particularly weathered. As he drove by he said a couple had gotten out and then the rest did and he was trying to get them home somehow. The dirty face and dark circles suggested that he wasn't having fun. I haven't run across a loose horse roaming up the road before.

Looking west from the ridgetop.

Old 68, running down into the river valley. It's closed at the bottom, so only a handful of cars use it.

The old bridge, first blocked by a guardrail and now by the local flora.

The modern Blueridge set-up along the old bridge, with the Licking River and the new bridge in view.

I was tired by this point and making slow time, so at the river I changed tack. Instead of heading east for a bit more mileage and new roads and I turned northish along roads I had traveled before, using the GPS one time to check my route. The rollers kept coming and I even walked a bit along the 18% pitches of Alhambra Rd., scene of a loosened spoke on the Bleriot a while ago. I *always* have issues around this area.

Below we have Johnson Creek Covered Bridge. I have another picture of it somewhere in rough shape. It's a good bit nicer now.

More animals, fighting cocks, which are very common in this area. I couldn't get a pic of the shitty dogs which chased me away from this house.

About as close as the sun got to coming out. Try as it might, it never broke through, leaving the day a chilly upper-40s instead of the forecasted 55F.

Farm road. Fence. Barn. Mud.

The last animals, in this case Holsteins owned by my father-in-law. My route change had me going past his house and into town to my mother-in-law's new residence. These milk cows were pretty chill at first, and then hauled ass down the hill. 


I finished the day mostly in the dark, and as luck would have it, it began to rain on me within 2 miles of the destination. Finishing tired, cold and wet seems sort of sad, but this morning I can say that it was well worth it.



My Blue Heron friend, clinging to the fence with his talons. Poor guy. He deserved better.

5 comments:

David Crowell said...

Wow, it looks like a great ride.

Did you see the heron take a dive, or just run across him later?

The Blueridge is looking good. I like the updates.

Tex69 said...

To the contrary, I think I surprised him into the wire which knocked him out of the sky. I'm not responsible, but I feel so a bit.

And, yes, the BR, is pretty dialed in. Can't complain.

Patrick said...

Give us a feeling of how you liked this ride solo as opposed to with the usual suspect(s). Were you more interested in the sites and sounds than usual, or since you were solo, did you feel you had to push the pace, to the extent that fitness allowed....

Kentucky Philosopher said...

I was just up that way yesterday for my daughters indoor track meet. Mason County has a nice facility. Looks like an amazing place to ride.

Tex69 said...

@KYPhilo, I think only our sprinters go to the Mason meet. As for the area, it will certainly kick your booty. *Very* hilly, although not mountainous.

@PJ, different group from solo. Only real observation. I'd like to lead a group ride out of Blue Licks SP. Some interesting gravel outta there.

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