An ambitious (epic) plan was whittled down. In my mind it started out grand and blog-worthy. This morning it seems tame and domesticated. When I say that, I do not mean to whine about my marital status. I'm just pointing out that I have ratcheted my initial scheme back to something that fits the situation.
I planned on meeting Dave in Mount Sterling this morning with my bike for another jaunt to Cave Run. At first the Grand Scheme was to ride from Stanton to Mount Sterling, a mere 17+ miles, but the nature of the roads at the time I would have been riding, combined with the realization that I'd have to venture onto busy, narrow, and curvy roads before sunrise to make it in time, had me amend the plan.
"Would you mind driving me over to Jeffersonville in the morning?" I sweetly asked my lovely wife last night as she sat knitting on the bed. She was agreeable, so the scheme went from "Grand" to "Great." I would ride from Jeffersonville to Mount Sterling, only 8 miles and on a wide road with ample shoulders, and meet Dave. I'd get there just after sun-up and I'd also take my commuting lights.
But then Mandy offered to take me on into Mount Sterling, she'd decided if she was giong as far as Jeffersonville she may as well go on into town to do some needed shopping.
Now, at that point, I could have stuck with my initial amended plan. If I didn't I'd lose the potential 8 miles of riding (toward a SO CLOSE 5,400), but it just seemed to make sense to save the miles for the trail.
Anyway, on to the ride. Met Dave in Mount Sterling and we rolled into the visitor center parking lot around 11am. It was overcast and a little cold. We couldn't see much snow down low, but up on the ridges it was obvious there was some white stuff left over from the other day.
We got geared up and headed across the road where we slipped up a slick start onto wet, but surprisingly rideable leaves.
The initial climb is about a mile long, with a reprieve in the middle, with a steep, narrow crux near the top, and then a short, steep, and rocky crux right at the end of the long climb.
We wallered up and gained the upper ridge. On the first pass out the 3.1 mile section from the paved road to the Sheltowee/Big Limestone split I was somewhat skittish in the frozen mud, wet leaves and snow.
At hte turnaround point we paused for a few minutes, posed some pics for posterity and then headed back. On the return trip I finally started to have my bike legs under me, and I was able to crank up the speed and finally start to relax.
We bombed back, taking an out and back detour on the Lakeview Trail to the top of a big descent, and then dropped back to the car to get some food and to warm our piggies.
At 2pm we headed back up, cleaning more of the climbs and just tearing out the ridge and back for a grand total of 14.5 miles.
Today is the last day of the year. We ran out of time, leaving me with 5,397 miles for 2012. I know...three measly miles. I'm really okay with that. I know I'm not 100% accurate with my tracking, so I may actually be more or less than that realistically. I'm gonna call it 5,400. For all intents and purposes...
That leaves me 200 miles for December and a final monthly average of 450 miles (rounded).
Dave and I had a good day. It was interesting mountain biking in the snow. My kingdom for a fatbike...
It was interesting to return to my roots...and to ride over some of them.
Looking forward to riding the Ridge in optimal conditions. It was lots of fun in poor conditions. Can't imagine what kind of fun it will be when it dries out.