I met up with my Internet buddy Apertome of Ear to the Breeze today for a ride around his turf in Monroe and Brown counties. We started out from the Unionville Elementary School parking lot just after 3:00 with little wind and a brisk 41 degrees.
It could have started better. I was about 10 minutes late arriving to the starting point. Then, when we left I noticed that I had forgotten my helmet about 3 blocks into the ride. To top it off, my shoelace came undone and got caught around the crank arm. Finally, I got my act together and we took off.
Now, I had no idea where I was most of the time. Luckily, my riding partner had a route in mind. We circled around Lake Lemon, and we saw many lake homes, wooded hideaways, and family farms. I only remember a couple of the road names we saw: Tunnel Road and SR45. Another road we didn’t take was Bolting House Road, as I was told it was particularly steep.
It’s interesting how different the terrain can be after traveling just a couple of hours south of West Lafayette. Brown County is very hilly, and instead of rolling past corn and soybean fields, we saw hills and valleys with lots of trees and pastures. I’m definitely not used to the kind of hills we rode. There were two where I was standing up while in the granny gear – a new experience for me. (I had to walk up part of the worst one, but ‘Ap’ waited until I was back in the saddle before taking a picture.) We saw some markings on the pavement from last month’s Hilly Hundred ride. Now that I’ve tried part of the route, I may consider riding that event next year.
The last half hour or so saw darkness descend on the area. We fired up the blinkies and headlights before we jumped back onto SR45 for the final leg of the trip. Most of the drivers were patient and gave us plenty of room. We got back to the school a little before 6:00.
I was going to say that I worked hard to get this cool shot of us at the school in natural light at dusk, but actually I just fat fingered the flash setting while trying to use the self timer. Regardless, it looks kind of neat. (It must have been comical watching me try to tilt the camera up using a piece of mulch!)
Thanks to Apertome for a great ride and great conversation. Plus, he was patient and didn’t complain as I plodded up the hills and gingerly rode back down the other side. (I get the impression that his pace is a little faster than mine, but he didn’t complain.) I recommend to any rider that they give the Bloomington area a try someday.
Miles Ridden: 31.1
(Since Apertome rode to and from the school, his total probably neared 50 miles)
UPDATE: Here’s another recap of the ride