Saturday, June 29, 2013

Skyline Metric

What can I say? Something got in my noggin, mostly likely some inspiration from @lithodale and all of his mileage shenanigans, but I awoke early (after a bad night's sleep) and reeled off a solo metric, 100k, of southern Indiana bliss yesterday morning. The ride felt like three or four distinct stages, the first two of which were some of the best riding I've experienced in a while.

As I crossed the bridge I noticed it being pretty windy, but I turned east for the roll along Utica Pike and could barely feel the pedals. Tailwind! I made very good time in to Utica and then felt very comfy up Waterline Rd. (where I saw a red-headed woodpecker and several goldfinches). I assumed the run along Bethany Rd. would be more into the NW wind, but aside the rollers I still felt really good along Bethany/Stoney Point. Again, figuring my turn onto Brick Church would bring headwinds, instead I found a tree-covered road along the Singing Fork creek with just enough profile to make it interesting. I don't ever remember being on that road, but I really liked it. I turned south into Sellersburg for a stop right at the mid-point and felt great, pulling in with a 16mph average. Stage 1 completed.




If Stage 1 was bliss, stage 2 was my comeuppance. What I thought was a NW wind was more like a SW one, into which I dragged myself along various St. Joe roads. My combo of barbq chips (salt, you know) and choco milk wasn't sitting well. Then  I came upon the redone St. Joe/Dug Knob climb, which unfortunately isn't even a mile long. It contains plenty of steep, though, and that is where my fancy bike loses out. I'm "ample" and I need me some small gears to climb and the fancy Campy just doesn't have enough smallage for fatties. And so I toiled. Stage 2 with one of the slowest climbs up St. Joe ever was in the bag, huffing and puffing.

The I took a left and began Skyline Drive, which follows the contour of the knob ride in S.IN just to the north of the 'Ville. I had heard about it but don't think I ever rode it in its entirety, but yesterday I did. I found blue skies and enough legs to enjoy the ebb and flow of such a great cycling road. It moves away from the knob edge to do the little half-mile climb up Christian/S.Skyline- I still had some legs there- and then dived down Spickert Knob. @Lithodale intimated that Spickert was quite the descent, and it certainly was. I wish I knew the road better. At this point I was getting sort of tired and sort of butt tired, so I gingerly picked my way through New Albany until I found Lithodale's place of employment where I stopped for a water break and chatted him up for a minute or two. Stage 3 was completed. Successful, but I was tired.


Stage 4 was the anticlimactic "transpo" stage through N'albany and Clarksville before crossing the river and in to home. I had different notions of stopping for coffee, for a snack, or even to get my bars re-wrapped, as the Brooks leather was moving on the left side of my bar. Instead I somewhat meekly picked my way down the busy traffic of B'town and into home. My slowest "laps" by far- aside the world's slowest climb- were my last 8 miles on the transpo portion. I was toast and later in the afternoon felt it even more. I laid around like a zombie, to be honest. I think I like rolling along at fat-man-on-rbw pace better, but it was great to get out and push the envelope a bit. And anybody living in the 'Ville should try this course out as a metric. Absolutely fabulous from miles 10-45. As good as it gets in the area.

1 comment:

A Midnight Rider said...

Very groovy ride. And 14+ average speed no less. That's not bad for a blogger. Not bad at all.

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