Saturday, June 29

Laurel Lake

Recently I had the opportunity to mountain bike at Laurel Lake.  More specifically I rode the Sheltowee Trace south from KY 192 to the south end of Holly Bay Campground and closed the loop on paved 1193.  I rode 8 miles total, and more than half was on really nice singletrack.

The trail was in really good condition despite recent rains further north.  It was obvious it had rained the night before, but I have no idea how much recent precip they'd gotten in that area.  I took a big chance dragging my MTB all that way.  But what the heck, I was in the neighborhood!



I would classify the trail as generally easy.  For the most part it contours a few dozen feet above the lake pool.  From 192 there is a decent loss of elevation.  It's not terribly technical, but could be a moderate climb back out.  A few of the coves/hollers involved a short descent followed by a short climb.  

There was very little in the way of surprises.  At the end of my ride I encountered a faux rock garden.  What I mean is that I rode over a single rock obstacle (bumpity-bump) pedaled a few dozen strokes and then over another obstacle (bumpity-bump) and so forth.  There were some straightforward bridges, a few flat rock stream crossings, and two log obstacles with obvious detours.  It's apparent that this section of trail gets some mountain biker love.

As typical, as I started down the trail I was beset with trials and tribulations.  I put my contact lenses in after reaching the trailhead, but they wouldn't focus.  While riding the first section along 192 I couldn't see anything but a green and brown blur.  Therefore I didn't see the bug that was flying straight toward my gullet.  My coughing fit combined with near blindness should have caused a catastrophic crash, but I guess my recent experience with sensory deprived mountain biking has broadened my skillz base.

Just before crossing the paved road (Cox?) I managed to get my eyes aligned and the bug washed down where my body could begin converting it to pedaling energy.  That's when the fun really began.


By the time I reached the campground and felt the need to slow in case a kid, or dog, or kid with dog, or drunken fisherman/camper were to dart in front of me.  There were some blind curves along the campground. And by then I felt like I'd been going for a long time.  There was internal pressure to turn back toward the car.  No, I didn't bother to check the time, I just felt it was time.  When I returned to the car I discovered I'd not been out as long as I'd thought.  It seemed like more than an hour, but it was just shy.

It was a good ride.  It's too bad it's so far from my house, or alternately, that I live so far away.  I want to get back down there and explore more of the Sheltowee Trace and other MTBing opportunities in the more southerly portions of the state.

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