Saturday, February 9

Dog Census

I sat in the road at Furnace waiting on Jeff. The sun was nice. I could hear birds chirping in the chill air, and, in the distance, dogs barking. I contemplated doing a census of the dogs in Powell County. I could create a GIS shapefile and populated it with attributes like "Aggressive" or "Vicious", "Fast" or "Slow." My dog census would be beneficial primarily to cyclists. I don't know that there's much the knowledge would help, but I like classifying knowledge and sharing it. It's the GIS geek in me.

I'd climbed up Furnace Mountain and ran the dog gauntlet to meet Jeff to loop out and give Cobhill a go. Go dog go!

Cobhill. Such an innocuous name. I sat on the cold pavement in the sun wondering now many dogs per mile (DPM) live along 213. I didn't think about Cobhill. I was only slightly suffering from PDSD (post-dogmatic stress disorder). I had most recently been welcomed into Estill County by a particularly vicious (aspiring to be anyway) collie. I was so jumpy by the time I reached Furnace I'd jump on the pedals if a bird flitted through my peripheral vision.

I've not come up with a good nickname for the Allez before today. Sitting in the sun at Furnace I looked at the bike where it leaned against a road sign and said: "I dub thee 'Dogrunner.'"

Jeff showed and we headed out toward our destiny...ation for the day.

Cobhill is 0.8 miles with 560 ft of gain. It has an average of 13+%. I'm pretty sure there are sections that exceed 20%.

At the bottom I stopped to knead some warm(er) blood into my toes. Then we headed into the sky.
I rode more than halfway before I blew up. Jeff went on. I rode for a bit and then got off the bike a second time. Then I got back on and cranked ever so slowly to the top where I collapsed in the driveway of an abandoned old ridgetop homestead.

As we rode out toward Cobhill Jeff said all you want to do after riding it is "puppy pedal" home. Yeah, at the top of the climb I knew exactly what he meant. I was ready to be done, but I had about 15 miles to go to return to my car.

Back through the dog gauntlet, back down Furnace (might not have been the smartest thing to warm up for Cobhill on the 0.75 mile, 600 foot Furnace climb) and back to the car.

In the end of the morning I'd ridden 31 miles and had wracked my quads into submission. I'd already planned an even more heinous training riding involving two more steep climbs. But that's a story for another day.

Looking down Cobhill


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