Camping Ride – Day 2

This is part 2 of my camping trip from last weekend.  Part 1 is here.

My sleep at the campground wasn’t bad.  I normally sleep poorly in a tent, but I was tired from the ride.  My bladder woke me at about 8:00am.  I was also quite cold, which was quite a change from when I first tried to sleep the night before.

I changed into fresh shorts and jersey and headed for the pit toilet.  I’m not squeamish about gross bathrooms when camping, but the bugs in this one were quite bad.

I went back to my campsite and struggled to get everything packed up.  I’m lousy at getting a tent rolled up to the proper size, which is quite important when bicycle camping.

When I was married to my first wife, she insisted that she would pack the tent so that I wouldn’t make a mess out of it.  🙂

Once I had the bike packed, I rolled on out, at about 8:30.  I had an immediate need for coffee and a slightly less pressing need for food.  I’m going to have a fire and be able to cook and make coffee for any future camping trips.

I began the ride by backtracking my way down Hwy 62 and 462.  I deviated from my route by taking Feller Rd to Old Forest Rd.  Feller Rd was very scenic and that’s where I stopped to take my first pictures of the day.

The weather forecast didn’t call for rain, but with the cooler temperatures and darkening skies, I wondered if that was going to change.

Also along Feller Rd was this old, yet well taken care of cemetery.

I was really enjoying Feller Rd.  I think I only saw one car the whole time I was on this road.  I had been doing very well both days on enjoying the trip instead of focusing on making the next destination.

The mounting headache and hunger reminded me not to dawdle.  Beginning right before my turn on to Old Forest Rd, the road pitched upward.  I had quite the climb to handle, with grades exceeding 15% in spots.  This was on a loaded touring bike, before I had my morning coffee.  This was the first time I considered heading home on a more direct course.

After making the climb, things were just rolling hills.  It was an enjoyable ride with a little traffic into Corydon.

I found the local hotspot for breakfast, Frederick’s Cafe.  It was busy, loud, and cheap.  The coffee was harsh, but had caffeine.  I ate a huge pancake and some eggs.  The food was much better than the coffee.  I did have a picture of the pancake, but due to a technical mishap (I’m an idiot) it’s been lost.

The square in downtown Corydon is quite nice.

After heading out of Corydon on Corydon Ridge Rd again, I continued until Pfrimmer Chapel Rd.  I took this north and crossed over I-64.

I continued north until Crandall-Lanesville Rd, where I turned east.  The skies had cleared up by now.  It never did rain.

Eventually I ended up on Angel Run Rd.  More rolling hills, and some really cool red dirt made this a neat area.  Is this what a terra-formed Mars would look like?

While taking pictures of red dirt, I heard a train approaching.  So I backtracked to the railroad tracks to get a picture.

I rode through Georgetown.  I didn’t even see a store worth stopping at.  IN-64 was a mess to ride on, even for a few blocks through town.

I eventually found my way north on Kepley Rd.  Although I saw this sign, I never saw the cattle.

Kepley Rd became Carter Rd.  There were no serious climbs, but just rolling hills in a peaceful area.

Carter Rd ended at a T on John Pectol Rd.  The road was closed to the left, which was my intended route.

I’m not one to let a simple barricade stop me, so I went around the pile-o-rocks and continued.  Apparently the road has been closed for some time.  Nature was attempting to reclaim the land.  It was peaceful in an eerie kind of way.

I eventually came to a bridge over Big Indiana Creek.  The bridge is closed with barriers.  I wasn’t going to lift my loaded bike over the barriers, but I was able to lay it down and slide it under.  I got across to the other side, where a car was parked – someone fishing I assume – and grabbed another picture.  The road becomes Buttontown Rd at this point.  There’s a bit more traffic here also.

There’s a cemetery at the intersection of Buttontown Rd and Old Vincennes Rd.  There was a large shade tree near the road, so I stopped for a rest.  I simply laid down in the grass for about 15 minutes before continuing north to Greenville.

Greenville has a small city park.  They had restrooms with running water.  I was thankful for that, but things were dirty enough that I wasn’t going to fill my water bottles.

I headed north out of Greenville on Pekin Rd.  It’s a small climb out of town.  A kid on a BMX bike told me to be careful going up the hill.  I found that hilarious at the time.

I realized I was running low on water and hadn’t really had a good place to get any.  While riding through a rather suburban part of Pekin Rd, a woman was outside in her driveway washing rocks in a wheelbarrow.  I asked to refill my water bottles, and she cheerfully handed over the hose.  I thanked her and moved on.

I don’t think her neighbor is quite as friendly.

I eventually headed toward Voyles Rd.  I’m entering an area I know, a friend of mine lives nearby outside of Borden.  I think that some of my friend’s wife’s ancestors are buried here.

The town of Borden sits down in a valley, but I was still riding the ridge tops.

Louisville has the big bat.  I found the big paper towel tube.  (Yes, I know it’s a water tower).

I rode past my friend’s house, but he wasn’t home.  I had a nice downhill into the town of Borden.  While there I bought some more snacks at a gas station and refilled my water bottles again.  I took my time and enjoyed the break.  I spoke with several people who were coming and going.

Then came the next big climb.  I was leaving to the north-east on Jackson Rd.  I am familiar with this climb, but had never done it with a touring load.  It shoots up to about a 19% grade before falling back a little to about 13%.  I was prepared and already in my little chain ring.

Here’s a view looking back the way I came.  You can’t really see down in the valley where Borden is, but you can see the hills (knobs as they call them here) on the other side.

Shortly after finishing the climb my chain came apart and spooled unto the ground.  This was the second time I wished I’d headed straight home.

I was carrying a chain tool and spare master link, but they weren’t even necessary, as the chain came apart at the existing master link.  I don’t know why, it’s a new chain.  I spent about ten minutes getting it back together and continued on my way.  Riding along the ridge was rather pleasant.

After a couple of twists and turns, Jackson Rd becomes Bartle Knob Rd.  There was an older house to my left, and the view they must have – that was to my right – from their front door is breathtaking.

Before long, I’ve crossed over “the knobs” and it’s a fast downhill on Bartle Knob Rd.  Toward the end, I slowed enough to get a picture of this neat church.

I continued to Blue Lick Rd which took me past the truck stop, under the freeway, and into Memphis.  There was another old church there.

I was getting close to Charlestown now.  I’m familiar with most of these roads.  I had never seen this end of Fox Rd before.  They apparently are saving sign material for roads with short names.  Waste not, want not.

I rolled into Charlestown.  I stopped at my old house to check on it.  I talked to a former neighbor.  Then I headed toward Charlestown Pizza where I enjoyed a small pizza and some beer.

I headed out of town on High Jackson Rd.  The sun was getting lower in the sky.  I’m glad I had the dyno-powered lights on the bike.

That meant I was casting a long shadow.

I rode to Bethany Rd then crossed Hwy 62 – into the grass as Bethany Rd doesn’t continue.  I rode a few dozen feet to Patrol Rd, then down to Waterline Rd, which is all part of the old ammunition plant, but that section has recently been opened to the public as another way to get to Utica.

There are still many signs of what this land once was.  It may be a lightly-traveled road with forest, but it’s got trains, signs, and fences.

I eventually got to Upper River Rd.  This runs right between the Ohio River and some cliffs that used to be a quarry, and have since been turned into a housing development.

I continued through Utica.  My normal route from here would involve Utica Pike all the way through Jeffersonville, but I turned off through some neighborhoods and made my way to Middle Rd.  This was fortunate as there was a Dairy Queen on Middle Rd.

By the time I left Dairy Queen, it was completely dark.  My last stretch of the ride was flat, urban, and dark.  I got across the river and into Louisville late enough to miss most of the Ironman stuff going on.  I did notice that 3rd street appeared to be blocked from downtown to Old Louisville.  I went down 1st instead.  I arrived home about 10:30pm.

Saturday ended up at 43.9 miles.  I had a much more interesting 87.7 miles on Sunday that brought me up to 131.6 miles for the two-day trip.

I did get tired, but I stopped for rest when that happened.  Some of the steep climbs caused knee pain, even in my lowest gear.  I was able to go as slow as necessary because I had no real deadline.  I never imagined I’d be out until 10:30 on a Sunday night after leaving for the ride on a Saturday morning, but I had allowed the entire day, both days.  That allowed a lot of flexibility.  I hate riding fast to make a deadline.

I packed light for a camping trip, but I have lousy camping equipment.  I’d like to be able to carry cooking supplies and not carry any more weight.  I can probably do that if I replace my tent and sleeping bag.  Those are at least 10 years old.

I’ve learned that putting most of the weight on the rear of the bike, and the big, fluffy, light things on the front works best.  I also need a good way to carry more water.  I wasn’t even in the middle of nowhere like on the Big South Fork trip last year, and I still ran out of water.

I totally enjoyed my weekend.  I wish I could do it every weekend, but weekends are when I usually mow the lawn and take care of other household duties.

This was my route for Sunday:

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5 thoughts on “Camping Ride – Day 2”

  1. David, A great write up and great photos I am hoping to try a camping trip on my bike but It wont be this year as its starting to get too cold here now for sleeping in a tent

  2. You got some more wonderful photos, including some excellent views, but you also captured some of the more mundane scenery quite well. That’s a long day of riding, especially with a camping load!

  3. You mentioned the age of the tent at one point as possibly being 10 yrs old. I have to admit that it is at least 22 yrs old! Bought that tent back when I was 19 and still living in FL. On occasion I’d go camping in an Orange grove where the dead-fall from the trees made fantastic bonfires due to the citrus oil trapped in the wood!

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