Sunday, June 16, 2013

Vitamin G IN style

Suffice to say I haven't been on a gravel ride in a good while. The impetus for our many vitamin G sojourns has dried up a bit; life is busy for 1-hour drives just to ride bikes. That said, PJ and I plotted to use our Father's Day to get an interesting ride in. Asher and Dave also plotted to jump in on the action. Their original plan might have included riding up there for the pre-ride, much like they did for the Populaire a couple weeks ago. Eventually they decided to drive as well, but morning of they had to bail due to lingering pain and suffering, or something like that.

We got an early start at 7.30 so PJ could get back in time for dad lunch, using known roads generally to the north of New Washington, IN. Our early roll was hampered by a grumpy belly on my part, but eventually we hit some gravel with a really nice run along W Arbuckle and after a pit stop things improved. Shortly after we found the infamous S.Hutchinson Rd.. Unfortunately, two things worked against us, first the mud pit in which Dave had previously sunk, and then the tall grass, which we later realized had offered the many summer ticks a free ride onto our legs. We each pulled off 5 or more; hopefully none found warmer climates.


Arbuckle Rd, maybe the best of the lot.

Going north on S. Hutchinson Rd., always an interesting highlight.

After the tick cleaning we hit a 5-mile stretch of flat, misty riding where Pat ground out a solid gear and I struggled between cogs. Pat it is his element pounding out a cog on the flats and I'm a weak pansy.  Our flat leg dumped us onto the rather steep descent of W Ten Cent Rd, where we found a very nice view of the Ohio River valley, a highlight, but I think the climb *up* would be very challenging.


We then were on somewhat familiar roads along S River Bottom Rd. where we found splashy humid conditions and something of a headwind. Pat had no clue that Lee Bottom Flying Field was down on the river plain, and I had no idea they had a website. Impressive. The river bottom road transitioned to gravel towards the southern end and we then hit the climb which is listed as W Saluda Hill. PJ ground up. I ground to a halt, where I had to walk to catch my breath.  That said, Saluda Hill is one of the nicer runs in the area, paved or textured.

Once out of the valley we directed our way back to our starting point, leaving out Taylor Rd. gravel due to my failing rhythm. I have no explanation. The last third of the ride was a bit tough for me, what with a tiny headwind to help, but none-the-less it was a very pleasant mild summer day of country riding.

Pat in the distance as I lagged with flagging form.

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