Everyone around here is complaining about the recent revival of full-on winter. I mean, it’s SNOWING IN KENTUCKY! That never really happens. And the truth is it’s not really much of a snow. It’s more like white rain. There’s still mud everywhere, the ground isn’t freezing solidly enough to mountain bike, and the Cannonball remains in storage with its beneficial fenders unused and it’s extra-long chain rusting solid.
It’s just a little over two months until the Mohican and I haven’t ridden more than a dozen miles off pavement since we left Colorado. I’m not completely discrediting my roadie-o riding, but I need some dirt. Not mud. Dirt.
People keep asking me if I’ve ridden at Skullbuster or Veterans Park or Capitol View. No, I haven’t! Capitol View was the only bike park in existence in my pre-Colorado world. I never made it over there before we moved out West, and it’s been too gunked up since my triumphant return. Well, there have reportedly been days when it was in good shape, but I’ve been frolicking in my new job so I’ve not been able to take advantage of those good riding days.
I’ve discovered some old schoolmates and other local frien-quaintences have been into mountain biking for awhile too. Not sure how I never ran across the local cycling scene in years previous, as there are only 12,000 people in Powell County. One guy in particular has a mid-90s era Cannondale he bought in Barbourville when he was in college. He helped a few other locals do the same. So apparently there is a fleet of high quality USA made Cannondale aluminum frames floating around within a day’s ride of me. That’s a happy thought.
I contacted Dave, the original owner of the Cannonball, and he said he bought it at Pedal Power in Lexington. It would have been too ironic if it had also come from the Barbourville shop.
But in talking to these other local mountain bikers I’ve discovered that my own random explorations mirrored theirs. We rode all the same places looking for good riding.
And then there’s Tom, Jeff and Casey, Mandy, and myself. Oh, and the pedaling proprietors of Red River Outdoors. Lately I’ve also seen evidence of other cyclists from the Red River Valley. In the last week I’ve seen two cars with Powell plates and cycling decals. One had a nice Rocky Mounts roof tray too! And can’t forget Joe Bowen…
So right off the top of my head I can count a dozen cyclists. I know there are at least twice that many I’m not thinking of right now. Lookout! Some Pavement’s Edge math is coming your way in just a few (dozen) seconds:
Is that 0.001% of the population? 1/1000th? And maybe twice that I’m not aware of?
Back in 2007 when I was first dabbling in “serious” cycling I rode all over the area and nary saw another “serious” cyclist. Until one day when I saw a couple riding the opposite direction on a main road. I didn’t recognize them and never found out who they were.
Since then cycling has grown, at least in my perception, until now it seems as if there is a small community. With a little effort that community could grow a lot. And all this snow? It’s just watering the seeds.