Saturday Adventure

Fountain at Waterfront Park
Fountain at Waterfront Park
I met Michael (last year?) at a car-free happy hour.  I think I’ve only ridden with him a couple of times before today.

He suggested in an email that we meet for a Riverwalk/Louisville Loop this morning.  He lives in my part of town, so he suggested meeting at Sunergos at 9:00am.

I left home a little early to run by the ATM, then arrived at Sunergos to get a cup of coffee (and a bacon donut from Nords).  I was riding the single-speed and not carrying panniers.

Michael arrived as I was drinking my coffee.  He was riding a nice looking Jamis Aurora.  After finishing we headed north to downtown and on to the Riverwalk.

Once we neared Shawnee Golf course, but were still on the open portion of the Riverwalk, we detoured off of the path and followed a overgrown trail into the woods.  The woods we were in is listed as Portland Wharf Park.

This route quickly became mountain-bike-like with fallen trees, leaves, mud, and rough spots.  Riding road bikes made this interesting, but the view was quite nice.

Morning Light
Morning Light
The trail eventually led us back to the Riverwalk, but it was still almost like a mountain bike trail due to mud, leaves, and branches.

Michael and his Jamis Aurora
Michael and his Jamis Aurora
Hmmm…. we both had handlebar bags.

The Single-Speed and I
The Single-Speed and I
Yes, the commuter rig is playing in the trees.

Peeking around the tree
Peeking around the tree
We eventually came to a large barrier crossing the Riverwalk along with a sign marking it as closed.  I know Tim has gone through there recently, and Michael was game, so we crossed the barrier and continued.

There was enough mud to clog up between tire and fender.  Several times I had to stop and use a stick to clear the mud.  Michael had less of an issue as he didn’t have a front fender.

Fallen civilization?
Fallen civilization?
The worst part was right along the fence of the golf course.  We actually started walking our bikes on the golf course side of the fence, but turned around and went back to the trail after seeing people on the course.

We eventually made it through the worst of it, and out the other side, back to an open section of Riverwalk, where I cleaned the mud out again.

Dangerous!
Dangerous!
We wound our way through Shawnee Park and unto Southwestern Parkway.  This eventually becomes Algonquin Parkway and gives access to the Louisville Loop path.

I do find it odd that the best separated cycling facilities in town are in the west end.  Too bad they’re all designed for recreation rather than transportation.

Louisville Loop path
Louisville Loop path
This short stretch of path then dumps you out on Campground Road, which has a bike lane debris-filled gutter.  We took Campground Road to Lee’s Lane and continued into the Lee’s Lane Superfund Site.

We deviated from our course and rode through the now cleaned up site.  It is open to the public and has a trail into the woods.  We rode until we were near the river and the going got a bit tough.  We were able to see the casino in Indiana peeking through the trees.

From a trail near Lee's Lane
From a trail near Lee’s Lane
This was a dead-end for us.  We took a moment to rest and take pictures.

Late morning sunlight
Late morning sunlight
Michael was unsuccessfully trying to find a good spot to get a picture of the casino.

Resting bikes & Michael
Resting bikes & Michael
After backtracking and going down a different bike path (there are more bike paths out here than what show on the map!), we took another one down toward the river.  I wish I would have gotten a picture.  It was a short ride on a smooth paved path to a paved lookout area over the river.  We were only about 500 feet from our earlier turn-around, but the elevation was higher.

So, we got back on the Louisville Loop heading south.  This was a nice stretch with guard rails!?

Guard rails seem like overkill
Guard rails seem like overkill
There was also a nicely built bridge over Mill Creek.

Bridge over Mill Creek
Bridge over Mill Creek
For such a small creek, it sat in a large valley.

Mill Creek
Mill Creek
The path took us parallel to Cane Run Road, and past the Cane Run power plant… coal of course.

Turning coal into electricity and pollution
Turning coal into electricity and pollution
There was a huge amount of coal ash nearby.  What isn’t in the picture is the houses across the street.  The coal ash has been in the news recently due to concerns by nearby residents.

Coal ash hill in front of coal ash mountain
Coal ash hill in front of coal ash mountain
We continued and followed the Louisville Loop to the end.  It has an end because it’s not finished.  It ends at the Farnsley-Moremen Landing.  We rested there before turning around and heading back (mostly) the way we came.

View of the Ohio River from Farnsley-Moremen Landing
View of the Ohio River from Farnsley-Moremen Landing
We stopped at Nana’s Country Restaurant on Cane Run Road.  I had pancakes, sausage, and coffee.  Stopping was Michael’s idea, but I’m glad he suggested it.

The place is a very “country” restaurant as you would expect.  I didn’t expect fake palm trees outside though.

Colorful but tacky
Colorful but tacky
We continued backwards along our earlier route, except the “diversions” until we got to Broadway, just south of Shawnee Park.  We headed east toward downtown.  We followed Broadway all the way to First Street.  I wouldn’t normally ride on Broadway much, but it wasn’t bad on a early-afternoon Saturday.

We arrived back in Germantown, and went our separate ways.  I had 52.5 miles.

The idea for this ride was Michael’s.  I wish I could take credit.  It was a great ride.  It had enough bizarre terrain to be challenging.  We seldom had to ride in traffic, and when we did it was pleasant.  We weren’t in a hurry, but still rode over 50 miles.  We took little side-trips down unknown paths.  It was the kind of ride that RCCS was formed for, but yet it wasn’t an RCCS ride.  It was just two guys riding around.

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