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Bike Trip Day 1 of 3


This week, I decided to take a cycling trip from Augusta,KY to Madison,IN. After having breakfast, I left Augusta very nervous. I had never cycled such a distance, and I had never camped alone in the woods. After traveling about 10 miles, I realized that I had forgotten my bicycle lock. Rather than spend unnecessary money further down the road, I turned around and passed the nasty barking houndog, climbed the giant 1 1/2 mile hill, and retrieved the bicycle lock. I reassured myself that the goal of the trip was to learn about bicycle touring…not to cover a set distance in a set time.

About an hour after leaving Augusta for the second time, I was passed by a group of serious bikers. There were probably close to twenty in the group. All dressed in bright colored biker attire. They passed me with such a momentum, I felt like a child on a tricycle. The group was drafting off each other, and the only extra weight they carried was their water bottle, however, they triggered my competitive streak, and I began pushing myself harder…Hoping to keep up with their pace. After about 30 minutes hard cycling, I was relieved to see the last biker in the group take a different course.

I stopped at a recreation park outside mentor, KY. it had a series of bike trails that circled a cluster of baseball/soccer/football fields. I refilled my water bottles, and called my parents to let them know how the trip was going so far. I learned from my father, an experienced biker, that trying to pace with the group was a bad idea or a touring biker. He explained that I would be peddling all day (for days) and it is more important to maintain a comfortable pace than try to achieve any speed goals.

I began to enter Cincinnati metro area. Being Sunday, the traffic was not heavy. While approaching the cluster of bridges that connect Kentucky with Cincinnati, I was surprised at how quickly I covered such a distance. I now know that I can ride my bike into Cincinnati in about 3 hours. I kept my equipment very light with the mindset that most of what I need will be available while traveling. I made my first food stop at a Taco Bell, where I refueled with burritos and quesidillas. I followed the river along rt 8 out of the city until I reached the Anderson ferry. The ferry made me reminisce about our ferry in Augusta that crosses the Ohio…It seemed like a world away, even though I had only been on the road for a few hours.

On the Ohio side, I traveled along hwy 50.
It was not as bicycle friendly as Kentucky’s route 8. Although 50 was a four lane, it was much busier than kentucky’s river road. It also lacked the “share the road” signs that provided a sense of safety. I peddled west, passing a series of factories, until I reached a grocery store, where I bought 3 bananas and 3 cups of yogurt.

Later that day, I crossed the state line, entering Indiana. At that point, I decided that I wanted to stop a few miles before Rising Sun, IN. I followed the signs for the Ohio River’s scenic trail. It took me through old Lawenceburg, a town with some charming architecture, but dwarfed by a sprawling casino boat and factory industry. You would think that a city with so many revenue generating businesses would be able to afford to maintain their roads. Lawreneburg had the worst conditions for a bicycle…lots bumps, glass and potholes.

After traveling through Aurora, IN, I began to look for places to sleep for the night. I had my eyes peeled for something wooded, away from from a private residence, and without a No Tresspassing post. After finding the spot, I carried my bike down a small hill and set up my Hennessey Hammock, a combination tent/hammock. It was hard to make myself comfortable, because it was a hot day, and a humid night. I fell asleep listening to one of my favorite podcasts, woken by the snort of a deer. The woods were pitch black, speckled with firefly lights. A dog barked at me, as i drifted in and out of sleep.

To Be Continued

5 thoughts on “Bike Trip Day 1 of 3

  1. So glad to see you back safe and sound and happy:)

    jane

  2. excellent story, can’t wait to hear how it ends. let me know when you finish.
    Paul

  3. I’m so jealous! Great training by the way. Stay safe see you soon.
    Karen

  4. Marilyn said…
    Ken thanks for sending me your update on your blog. Ron and I have been thinking of you since we saw you last Sunday in Augusta getting ready to take off on your latest adventure.
    I hope the rain has not been a problem for you.
    Will be very interested in reading the next installment.
    By the way if you get back by Friday, we are having an Art Guild Party at our home starting at 6:30.
    Would love to have you and Mike come up and see
    our view of the river.
    Marilyn

  5. Hi all,
    thanks for the kind comments. Since you thought this blog interesting enough to comment, i’ll send you an email when I finish day 2.

    Marilyn, thanks for the invite. I’m sure the party was a good time, but I was obligated to help out at the Beehive Tavern at the same time. However, I would love to see your view sometime…I hear it’s great!

    peace
    ken

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