Tuesday, April 8

Like Strava Users in the Night

On Saturday I returned home after my glorious cargo bike ascent of Cobhill.  I dutifully uploaded my Strava track in a timely fashion.  Others, however, did not.

Yesterday morning I found a strange thing: a multi-rider leaderboard for Cobhill.  What?!?!

There were two riders that did it on Saturday…the same day I did.  Jefe also rode sort of the same loop that day.  He continued past Watson Ridge and traversed the Patsey gorge and then dropped into South Fork, swung out and came up the Cat Creek side of High Rock to return home.  I cut back to Furnace over Watson Ridge and surfed the rollers back to town on 213 before running an errand in town.  Dual purpose cargo bike: ascend sick steep Cumberland Plateau climbs and carry shopping fare home.

As I was text/telling Jefero about the weird “encounter” a third Stravathlete appeared in the leaderboard.  THREE!  That meant a total of five cyclists rode Furnace, the Tipton Ridge Descent, Cobhill, and Wet Puppy Ridge!  FIVE!  That’s a tie for the previous most cyclo-congested day on Cobhill when Mandy, Casey, Jeff, Mark and I all rode Cobhill back in the summer.  INSANE!!!

But HERE is the mind-boggling proof!!!

Jeff said my cousin Parnell told him he saw the peloton of three cyclists descending Cat Creek.  Parnell is a sometimes cyclist himself, most notable for having ridden with Joe Bowen some on his second 14,000 mile cross-country bike ride and being mentioned in Joe’s book Real Winners Don’t Quit.

Jeff and I both agree it is crazy that we didn’t somehow see those guys ourselves.  We only rode together for the first couple of miles from Stanton, and then Jeff went on while I sailed the Xtracycle out and about over ridges and deep into chasms in the earth.  I lingered at the top and bottom of Cobhill for a total of 15-20 minutes. 

I looked a little deeper into the matter.  The other three cyclists are from Michigan and Illinois.  They did about half of the same loop I did, and three-quarters or better of the loop Jeff did and opposite Jeff’s direction for a few miles as well!

He was freaked out because he had never ridden that exact loop before and they chose the same day to do basically the same loop.

I was freaked out because they must have been on cargo bikes too, because I still retain KOM on Cobhill and some of the ridgetop segments between Furnace and Cobhill.  At my cargo-bike pace! 

Green was my first clean ascent
Red was on the Xtracycle

It was a busy cycling weekend on my section of the Cumberland Plateau.  The CTL bikepacked out to Hatton Ridge on Saturday to meet with some friends for a little bouldering.  Then he traversed the epic Powder Mill Trail and continued to Tunnel Ridge Road to camp Saturday night.  He said “hello, city limits” Sunday and had clocked about 50 miles on the bike and 15 hiking.

Jeff and I rode along-with-but-separate-from the three out-of-town visitors for a total of 220 or so combined miles on Saturday.  Mandy and Casey rode Sunday for a combined century.  And while they were riding I went hiking/photographing and saw a touring cyclist on the back roads of Powell County while the ladies saw another touring cyclist in the Gorge proper. 

A Powell County motorist showing you how it's done

That doesn’t sound like a lot, but all that cycling activity was centered in a county of about 12,000 souls.  And that’s just the cycling activity we know about!

It’s going to be a busy week for me, and the Redbud is coming up fast.  If I don’t post daily please accept my apologies and be aware that I’m going to turn the Pavement’s Edge world upside down beginning the Monday after the Redbud.


After sending one of the visiting cyclists a message via Strava he responded and said they started from Stanton around 1:00 pm which is when I was cruising back into town.  I still don't know how I didn't see them.

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