Sunday, April 11, 2010

Mucho Mixed-Terrain!

In honor of today's Paris-Roubaix AND Dave's and my mixed-terrain fest, I'm going to leave mostly a photo montage of our ride, including a rating of each sector, just like they do in PRX. Their ratings are punishment-inspired alone, but my ratings reflect the difficulty, beauty and enjoyment of each of our non-paved sectors. I encourage Dave to chime in if he would like, but suffice to say it was an A+ day on the bike, well, aside the massive 'bonk' (la paraja que tuve) I experienced at mile 48 in a 53m day. Boy, those last 5 miles sure did suck, but the previous were just about perfect.

Our first section of the day was Kavanaugh Ln. (#1), an inconsequential sliver of a road (on googlemaps) that I had ridden back in winter. I may be crazy, but the surface seemed to be newly-graveled, and as such made for heavier, sketchier conditions. For the bumpy ride I give it 2.5 stars, although the ambiance deserves a better score. OK, I convinced myself to increase it to 3 stars because I like the surrounding scenery.

Nice rock wall

Dave nearing SW terminus.

Like the ATV trail seen later, this was a pick-up MT portion, a very brief 1-star section of Webb Ln.(#2). The various maps conflict as to whether it goes through to 421 or not. We tried but only found this gate. There is a chance that a private, gated driveway/road up 1606 is the "real" Webb Ln. pass-through. We used 1606 to bridge to 421 and later roads.

This was the short-but-nice section of Martini Lane (#3), a 3.5-star section. Our pictures are mostly of the upper portion, which entail a straightforward descent. The Lane improved greatly along the lower section with a sweeping bend amidst green pastures and good road. I give the lower portion 4-stars to bring up the overall.

With multiple pics of Dave, I threw in a gratuitous one of myself modeling the first ride of my Swobo wool.

This pic tries to convey the blend of kulture found at the bottom of Martini Ln, with a good surface, barns and green. The right turn onto Sulpher-Bedford also awarded us a nice turn through the valley before the climb up.

At this end of this valley we found both the old and new bridge. Obviously the old one had more character. Interestingly, you can't see the 3 people in this pics who were below the bridge (on the left) doing a fashion shoot. Sort of creepy, if you ask me. The family we saw about to put in a fishing canoe provided a more wholesome image. Also, the far wall provides a nice view of a Confederate flat. I used to teach in Trimble Co., so I'll keep any further comments to myself.

I don't think pictures can do Hardy Creek Rd. (#4) justice. It's a fabulous, 5-star experience, although the meek, 23c-riding roadies should take heed. Neither Dave nor I got a particularly good shot of Hardy Creek Rd.

You approach the gravel portion down a very steep .1m paved section and are immediately thrown into heavy rock and rutted conditions. The surface improves a smidge, but more importantly you are transported into a shadow world of deep shade, forest, and creek. One local rider rates this one of his favorites for wildflower. Great stuff, but I'll have to take it uphill the next time.

Hardy Creek also empties into a nice flat, creek-side portion that lends a resemblance to Eastern KY. This here was a recent creekside project.

Not mixed-terrain, but a nice creek crossing on a low-flung concrete bridge.

Bonus mixed-terrain ATV trail (#5), with 1 star. We saw this path just after the aforementioned creek crossing. We couldn't deny ourselves another section, however brief and rough. It wasn't long, but it was a fun diversion.

Our next section was Georges Creek Rd. (#6), which had a bit of everything, a gradual descent, a stream crossing and a challenging acclivity. I rate Georges Creek Rd. 4.5 stars for a very rideable surface, variety and generally rural nature.

gentle descent on a good surface

Dave with stream crossing. This is actually the second time he did this, but the camera wasn't ready for the first. I crossed it first and found it to be fun and manageable.

Our last section came on Turkey Run Rd. (#7), which left Carroll into Henry and climbed out of the Turkey Run Valley. This was a 2.5-Star section. This road gave us large dogs, large gravel, and a large logging truck relatively early on. It also gave us a relatively large climb. I'm sure it would've been nice as a downhill, but whew!

Another bend on Turkey Run.

Sketchy cabin off Turkey Run

Almost at the top, almost.

Turkey Run Rd. did end with a flourish, first with an aggressive downhill and then through this train tunnel. The .5 star is for this tunnel.

A fine day with 7 mixed-terrain sections. I've perused other area maps and that's a pretty high content for the Louisville, KY area (non-IN). I encourage anybody and everybody to take the map below and try the course out. The only specific road I know we left out was Kidwell Ln. in fat western Trimble. That addition would make for a sufficiently full day in the saddle.


DirtBum said...

That looks like a really fun route! Very scenic. Love riding thru those low-water crossings.

Pondero said...

Looks like you and Dave need to organize a all-terrain race, or at least a nice group outing. Those photos suggest fantastic riding.

Apertome said...

Terrific! I love that you took the time to document, photograph, and rate each section. And the scenery looks stunning. Looks like a tough, but fun, ride.

Bombolino said...

Great ride! But what's creepy about a fashion shoot? That's kulture too, in my booklet..

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