“Where The Heck Are We?” – My Most Challenging Ride Yet

Three of us braved the gravel roads of rural southern Indiana.  The weather was great, the scenery was beautiful, and the hills were challenging.

First off, a gravel downhill run can be quite dangerous on road tires.  There were several times it was difficult to keep the speed under control without skidding.  Tim had the right idea with his wide knobbies.

I started the ride off with a less-than-auspicious start.  I used all four of my spare tubes within the first seven miles.  I had two rear flats and one front flat.  I also managed to break a valve stem during one of the tube changes.  Luckily, I had no other flats after that.

Tim was having a bad day for climbing and struggled up the last few hills, but climb them he did.  “L” is a relatively new rider, and took advantage of riding in the truck for the worst climb.  I was actually doing well on the climbs.  I enjoyed the sense of accomplishment once reaching the top, but I can’t say that the actual climbing wasn’t brutal.

As Tim says in his post, we shortened the ride to 50 miles to avoid more gravel, and a potential flat.  I will be looking into buying some better tires for the next ride.

This wasn’t my longest ride, but it was the most grueling.  Our average speed was pretty pathetic.  The gravel slowed us down, the hills slowed us down, and the flat tires slowed us down.  I did take one minor fall while coming to a stop due to my own inattention, but I wasn’t hurt, just embarrassed.

The scenery was quite nice.  I wasn’t taking any of the pictures.  My fiance, Kristy, and my daughter, Dawn were following in my truck, and took the pictures in this post.

Quiet wooded roads were common

Quiet wooded roads were common

DSCF3250

My daughter Dawn standing at the boat launch at Alton

DSCF3252

Ohio River traffic

Riding through Leavenworth

There was a bar in Leavenworth, but it's not open on Sunday

DSCF3266

Buzz Off!

DSCF3273

A short steep climb on loose gravel - difficult with 700x35C tires

DSCF3276

Scenery like this and nearly no traffic made for a very peaceful ride

DSCF3282

Climbing up away from the river was hard work, but made scenes like this possible

DSCF3289

I really was having a better time than the facial expression seems to imply

DSCF3290

That's better!

DSCF3293

Dawn being cute

DSCF3295

Tim's got the no-hands thing down - I'm lucky to keep the bike upright using one hand

DSCF3299

This bridge was quite dangerous, yet I like it - I don't see anything weighing 12 tons making it across though

DSCF3305

Some of the ride had nice shady areas

DSCF3312

Other areas were in full sunlight - some sunburn did occur

DSCF3321

I don't think anyone uses this barn anymore

DSCF3330

Staying visible - Tim with his triangle, "L" with her pink jersey, and me with my tail light

DSCF3331

Downhill!

DSCF3339

This sad-eyed dog chased us briefly, but mostly ignored the truck

DSCF3342

Slogging uphill through the gravel

DSCF3345

Oh yeah, don't I look happy

DSCF3346

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can

DSCF3357

Nearing the end

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to “Where The Heck Are We?” – My Most Challenging Ride Yet

  1. Apertome says:

    Somehow I didn’t see this post at all. It’s really cool to see shots of everyone riding, which is difficult to do if everyone is on a bike. They sure got some great shots! You can see how you’re suffering on some of the hills, but having fun also.

    I ride lots of gravel on 700x37C tires, with a little bit of tread. They work well on all but the loosest gravel, and roll fast on the road as well.

    Was the HNF gravel loose and chunky?

  2. tex69 says:

    Like Apertome, I didn’t see this update until later today. These are some great shots and it shows that a “new” perspective can make for some nice, extemporaneous moments. Nice work!

    And we’ll be back on some variation of those roads. I’m ready to return. I don’t know if the legs are.

  3. I’ll be ready to return to those roads also. The new tires will be installed. They are just a tad bit wider, but should be more durable.

    Climbing the hills toward the end of the ride really became a mental thing. It was a matter of just keeping my head down, and keep the pedals going around.

Comments are closed.