Cross-posted from my Riding Lunch blog
I had a work “wellness” program to attend in the morning so I dropped the kiddos of at my folks the night before. I knocked out a little office work and then headed home. Left in the rare situation of having no one home and nothing pressing I ignored the chores I could have done and set out early to pad my mileage for the day. Knowing where I was trying to end up I headed off to Cherokee park to make a loop and then head toward the Bluegrass Trail. The day was overcast and a little windy. I was hoping the weather would hold but alas, it did not. I passed two older fellows on MtB’s who were spinning the third ring up Cochran Hill on bikes that were just caked with mud. They probably rolled their eyes at me passing them standing and cranking the big ring as I passed and nodded hello. As I came into Germantown headed towards U of L the wind had cranked it up and the first few drops fell. I stopped into Sunergos for a coffee and a copy of Dirtrag Magazine courtesy of On Your Left with 12 miles for the day.
After a few minutes the usual suspects arrived and we were joined by a new guy – Rick. By now it was pretty clear that it was gonna be a wet one. We gave it a few minutes, decided the rain had scared the people away and set off. The first leg of the journey marked something new for me – transit across the 2nd Street bridge on the roadway. I generally wimp out and use the sidewalk for safety reasons. Since it was Saturday and we were in a group with an experienced crosser I gave it a go. Here is a picture right before we crossed:
We traced our way through Southern Indiana into New Albany on the roads I know so well. We stopped so I could adjust my soaked cue sheet and took two quick pictures:
Our arrival at Rich-O’s was a welcome stop and we were pretty well soaked through. The service was as expected very nice but on the slow side. I had IPA 1 of 3, Tex had a sampler, Dave and Rick had a stout – all made by the NABC. A kind, dapper chap took a picture of us before we left:
As we left to return to Louisville the rain kept it coming. We were completely wet and I was especially cold in the hands and feet. They were to remain cold for the rest of the ride. Outside of that wonderful wool undergarments kept me warm. Our arrival at the BBC coincided with the last 6 minutes of the U of L game which they won handily and made me happy to see. We choose this stop to eat and we were ready. Some food and drink had us ready to get back on the road. I had an IPA and a bowl of chili which I think may be the perfect meal for bicycle riding in freezing rain, snow, and driving winds. I had stopped taking pictures at this point as everything was completely wet and I sequestered my camera in a dry bag inside one of Tim’s panniers.
A short trip up Broadway and through Cherokee Park put us into the Highlands and our last beer stop – Cumberland Brews. The pub was pretty crowded but we secured a table right in the front corner of the room which let us avoid locking down the bikes. Dave shared some habanaro salsa and we had another round of beers. We had decided to abandon the return to Sunergos as no one really needed to go back and our houses/drop off points were on the way. We had been out for a pretty good amount of time and were pretty much ready to hang it up.
One of the most interesting things to me was seeing once again that people gather at local pubs for leisurely times and hanging out. My current family situation does not lend easily to do so. I miss it for sure, although these days if given the time and opportunity I would probably ride my bike instead!
Although I missed the first RCCS ride I would think of this one as a success. We rode as planned regardless of the weather. We stayed together for the ride and had numerous stops and libations to boot. I really enjoyed riding with these gentlemen and look forward to doing so again.