The other day I saw a post on the Book of Face for “Kentucky’s Ride to the Summit,” a road bike ride in October to the summit of the state high point: Black Mountain. It’s only $30 to register, but I also know I can just go ride Black Mountain on my own.
Of course, Dear Readers, you know what this means. That’s right: scheme.
I, now, do not only want to ride my bike to the highest point of my home state, but I want to ride my bike to the highest point of my home state FROM MY HOME!
Incorporating a couple of other ride opportunities I’d like to do in the future and abiding by my “always travel a new road when possible” philosophy on life means 300 miles round trip. The shortest possible out and back route would be about 245 miles. I think it’s worth the extra 55 miles to pick up a traverse mouth-to-source of the Redbird River and a crossing of Pine Mountain via the Little Shepherd Trail. The return trip home would be shorter than the trip down to the top of the state though.
While I think this would be a fantastic Leadville training opportunity (Miles! Miles! Miles!) I won’t have the vacation time until well after Leadville to take an extra two days to combine with a weekend and have the appropriate amount of time.
When I did my Guanella Pass tour in 2011 my family was in Kentucky (ironically) and I was alone in Colorado. I had the time; I had the opportunity. How could I pass up that chance? And it was a phenomenal trip. In three days I rode 106 miles and gained a gazillion feet and managed to travel from my house to the summit of a 13er utilizing human power alone.
So Kentucky’s Black Mountain is no 13er…I get that. But it’s the fact that I’m shooting for the highest point I can get to—a bona fide mountain—that’s relevant. At some point in my life I’d also like to ride a few other summits in the east. Spruce Knob, Mount Mitchell, Mount Washington, and a few other lesser summits, plus a few summits that could be ridden near and hiked to their pinnacles…are all on my life list.