Weekend S24O

Last week, Tim suggested a weekend overnight bike camping trip.  He met me at my house on Saturday afternoon, where we took a route through Utica and Charlestown to Clark State Forest.

Loaded ‘bent

I’ve been limited to my recumbent recently due to more back issues.  The cervical (neck) issues continue, and the lumbar (lower back) issue is recent.  Getting older sucks.  On the other hand, riding the recumbent more has gotten me comfortable on it again.  It had been my primary bike from late 2008 until early 2010.  It’ll be my primary bike again.

Luckily the ‘bent has a decent rear rack and can easily haul my camping gear.  I’m currently missing the rear fender – as the old one broke after five years.  The gripshift shifters have started to deteriorate, and need replacing.  They still function, but I get a gooey, rubber-like mess on my hands from them.

We intended on enjoying pizza and beer at Charlestown Pizza company, but we were unaware that it was the weekend of the Founders’ Day celebration in Charlestown, and the pizza place was closed.  We tolerated food from Subway instead.

Just north of Utica, we could see where the planned east end bridge will soon (?!) be constructed.  They’ve cleared trees on both sides of the river.

East end bridge path

As the ride progressed, we considered bailing.  The weather was sketchy.  There was a chance of rain.  It might even storm.  The temperatures were cooler than forecast, and we weren’t dressed for cool temperatures.  Tim was using a bivy rather than a tent.  I had my new-ish tent, and felt that I could handle rain – but I was worried about cold.  We decided to stick to the plan.

In Henryville we bought a little beer (cheap, nasty stuff) and ice.  We poured the ice in a dry bag with the beer containers.  This would get them cold enough for camp.

The campsite was roomy and we mostly had the campground to ourselves.  There were distant sites that were occupied, but nobody close by.  This was our first time at this campground.  It would have been much better without the nearby freeway.  We weren’t going to haul firewood, so we did without a fire.  We sat and drank beer well into the night before going to bed.

Bike camping!

It was warm, as forecast.  It never rained.  I initially slept on top my sleeping bag.  I never put the rainfly on the tent, so I just had a mesh shelter to keep the bugs out.  I woke up about an hour into my sleep because I was cold.  I crawled into the bag where I mostly slept well until 7:00am when I woke to hearing Tim moving around camp.

It was time for coffee and oatmeal on the Esbit stove.  After enjoying breakfast, we packed and headed out.

Southern Indiana scenery

Tim’s original plan had us heading through some hilly terrain on the return trip.  Neither of us was feeling up to it.  So we exited the beautiful country roads and made our way through exurban and suburban sprawl on somewhat busy roads.  One of the roads, that I used to ride all of the time when I lived in southern Indiana, was now under construction.  It made the ride less pleasant.

We wanted to get home.  We dealt with the traffic and lack of good scenery.  Although I didn’t take a picture, we saw the path of the pending downtown bridge also.  There’s a McDonalds and a Waffle House that are now closed and awaiting demolition.  There was a row of empty houses with the windows boarded up.

We rolled into Louisville and celebrated the trip with food from Twig and Leaf before we each headed home.  It was in that final two miles home that I got rained on.

Tim’s write-up is here.

2 thoughts on “Weekend S24O”

  1. That looks like it was a fun trip. I need to get out of the house! I can’t imagine being able to leave my home on a bike and go camping. Most likely I’d be squashed by cars and/or trucks or possibly shot.

  2. Jack,
    Do you really think Louisville Kentucky and southern Indiana are any safer than where you’re at?

    Cycling really isn’t very dangerous. If you ride safely and predictably you’re extremely unlikely to have an issue.

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