Exploration on the Bike

Sunday's weather offered up an opportunity to explore some new territory on the Cross Check. There was a road that I had snuck a short peek of last year but the ride was ultimately thwarted by snow. I remember thinking that this was a place I needed to go back to. But that day, snow had covered the road and the climbing made it too slip-slidey to go further. Today, though, I conquered those hills and rediscovered the route in a warmer season.

It's a great ride with incredible views. As much climbing as there is, it is totally worth it. I wish I could climb out onto these cliffs and snap a photo, but the few accessible views have many a trespassing sign to the tune of, "You trespass, I'll shoot." So I stand back and take my pics from the road.
Short little waterfall marks my first turn. From here it's up... up... and up.
There's pretty much fresh pavement up the entire climb. And there is horse crap everywhere. I even passed this group of horse-and-buggy commuters. I think the presence of horses is a good sign for cyclists. Cars here must be used to slow moving vehicles.
After gnarly climbs come crazy descents. You can kind of see in the photo above that I was crossing an empty, old, dried up creek bed. The road I had just come down crosses straight through it. I paused to notice that my fresh pavement was gone and water damage was the new theme on the road.
But shortly after I heard and saw this. My map showed that the road ended here and picked up on the other side. I halfway expected to see a crossing like this.
So I ditched the socks and shoes, strapped them to the bike and began my trek across the water. I'm so glad I had the Cross Check for this. The water was almost up to my waist so I carried the bike on my shoulder. The LHT weighs about 140 pounds more than the Cross Check. So this lighter ride felt a bit more comfy during the water crossing.
Footwear goes back on on the other side. The wool socks felt cozy after my chilly dip.
More horse evidence. This was after a fairly brutal climb. It was the only point in the day that I thought, "I may have to get off of this bike and push." But the tiny horse statues pep-talked me through it.
After my creek adventure, it was a pretty smooth ride all the way home. The Cross Check felt awesome, as usual. I'm amazed at how different it and the Long Haul Trucker actually are. Completely different bikes that seem almost identical at a glance. But these hills today felt like I was cruise control. I sailed right up with minimal effort. On the other hand, it feels more squirrelly than it's beefier LHT brother. So when you're hauling any significant weight, the LHT is the way to go.

It was a great ride and it's all outside my back door. I love that I live in Kentucky and I love that it offers such beautiful landscape!

Get out there.

1 comment:

  1. Derrick can you email me some info of said rustic road? Seems like an excuse for a fall adventure.