Hilly Saturday

I took a couple of vacation days so that I could have a four-day weekend.  I need to get housework and yardwork done, yet I also want time to ride my bike.

I spent Friday running errands and doing housework.  I was determined to get a good ride in on Saturday.

I didn’t get up early on Saturday.  Once I was up, I spent a lot of time nursing a cup of coffee.  I finally decided to ride the LBC ride out of Crestwood at 3:30.  It’s a hilly 25-mile ride.  The challenge?  It’s over 20 miles away, and I didn’t want to drive.  If I’m going to live without a car, I should get used to it now.

There was a chance of rain, and the sky often looked as if it would rain.  The LBC will often cancel for rain.  I decided to ride to Crestwood, and risk having the ride cancelled, as I would still have the round-trip to Crestwood either way.  It never did rain.

I decided to take a rather direct route.  I headed out Brownsboro Rd until I was “outside” the Gene Snyder Freeway (I-265).  I then cut down Chamberlain Ln to Westport Rd.  Next time I’ll take Westport directly.  The 4.5 miles of Brownsboro between the Watterson (I-264) and the Snyder was quite unpleasant.

Closed restaurant along Brownsboro Rd
Closed restaurant along Brownsboro Rd
Westport Rd wasn’t bad.  It eventually took me to Rollington Rd, which is a peaceful low-traffic road.

A break along Rollington Rd
A break along Rollington Rd
Rollington Rd dumped me back out onto Ballardsville Rd, or Hwy 22.  This was the worst stretch of road I’ve ridden yet.  Many cars passed way too closely.

After a few miles, I came into Crestwood and to Bluegrass Bicycle where the ride starts.  I arrived early, so I spent some time looking around the shop.

Tom was there, but wasn’t riding.  That meant I would be the only recumbent rider.  I met James, who would be the ride captain.  That means James gets to stay back with the slowest rider.  I’m often the slowest rider on this ride, but sometimes a rider will show up who is even slower.  That didn’t happen this time.

The ride starts with a nice downhill, so I had a strong start.  Once I had to fight gravity, I fell toward the back of the pack.  James took my lack of climbing ability with good grace.  He’d pull ahead on the climbs, waiting for me on the long climbs.  I’d race him on the descents, sometimes winning.  Then we’d attack another hill at 30mph, but my speed would drop off much quicker than his once we really started up the hill.

When I first fell back toward the back of the pack, there was a woman keeping about the same pace.  She seemed quite fit, and was a runner.  She was struggling to keep up.  James noticed her tires were low.  We pulled over and inflated them to the proper pressure (with my pump – no need to waste co2).  She left us behind once she wasn’t held back by squishy tires.

I struggled on, and as I neared the end of the ride, I was really going slow uphill.  At the final climb, I finally had to get off and walk.  That was embarrassing.  I’ve ridden that hill before.

We arrived back at Bluegrass Bicycle and I contemplated my options.

  • Ride back to Louisville and find food
  • Get food in Crestwood
  • Call my wife for a ride home

I was quite tempted to call my wife, but I really wanted to continue riding.  I had a different route planned to get home, so at least I wouldn’t have to face the same stretch of Hwy 22 again.

I opted for the Mexican restaurant there in Crestwood.  I had one glass of beer (Dos Equis XX), four or five glasses of water, and a large burrito.  I felt much more prepared for the ride back to Louisville, if a bit sloshy from too much liquid in my stomach.

I headed north on Hwy 146, then north-east on Glenarm Rd.  Glenarm Rd was a quiet rural road.

Glenarm Rd crossing I-71
Glenarm Rd crossing I-71
Then I ran across a rather odd collection of animals.

Young goats
Young goats
They were guarded by dogs.

Dogs, goats, and a llama?
Dogs, goats, and a llama?
I took Glenarm Rd to Old Zaring Rd, then to Covered Bridge Rd, which I had ridden on during the 100k populaire.  It seemed to have more traffic this time.

Calm stretch of Covered Bridge Rd
Calm stretch of Covered Bridge Rd
By this time, it was getting to be evening.

Evening clouds
Evening clouds
This is the obligitory timed shot with the camera sitting on a fence post.

Ugh - I don't like pictures of myself
Ugh – I don’t like pictures of myself
Covered Bridge Rd took me to US 42.  It’s 4-lane highway, so I took the right lane.  I didn’t have any close passes, but several drivers let me know of their displeasure that I was on their road.  Luckily, I was on US 42 for less than a mile before turning on River Rd.

Almost sunset
Almost sunset
River Rd is another somewhat-busy two-lane road.  I tried to keep to the right.  I didn’t have nearly the problem with drivers as I had earlier in the day on Hwy 22.

Almost home
Almost home
I continued downtown and had another beer (Bluegrass Brewing Company APA) and several more glasses of water.  Then it was a short ride in the dark (I have lights) home.  I slept well.

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3 thoughts on “Hilly Saturday”

  1. I think it was a great way to spend a weekend/vacation day, all day on the bike with some nice libations and the time to do it. Good show!

  2. Nice photos — it’s great that you are getting out for long rides again. I look forward to riding with you again in a couple weeks!

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