2nd Annual Bourbon and Tobacco Tour – April 13, 2019

To help us with planning, please click here to register.

Saturday, April 13:

We will meet at the east side of LBL on US-68/KY-80, just west of the bridge over Lake Barkley.  Parking is on the north side of the highway, and there is plenty of parking available.  I will have some repair/adjustment tools, grease, chain lube, floor pump, work stand, and some spare tubes and patches.  Hopefully no major repairs will be needed before, during, or after the ride but we’ll be prepared for the usual (and some of the unexpected).  We’ll leave from the parking area around 10am.

There is no cost for these rides.  If you want to chip in a little for the Saturday post-ride cookout, that would be appreciated, but it’s neither expected nor required.  There is a nice surprise planned for the midpoint of Saturday’s ride.

The route:

The route is entirely within the LBL.  This loop starts and ends at the east entrance to LBL, and is a little less than 40 miles, with about 4 miles of well-compacted gravel.  The gravel should be fine for 23mm tires, but I will ride this section next spring and will alter the route if it looks at all iffy.  As of now, there are a small number of actual turns in this route, 8 by my count, in the entire ride, so there should be no issues with navigation or getting lost.  I will give my cell number to riders, should assistance be needed during the ride.

 

 

Click to Download Cue Sheet

Moonshine:

If folks are interested, we’ll head over to Casey Jones Distillery near Hopkinsville to sample some genuine Kentucky moonshine.  We can take a tour, or just try some samples.  I need to know if y’all would like a tour so I can let them know, OK?

Post-ride cookout:

We are planning a cookout after the ride.  LBL does not allow alcohol, and the Barkley Lodge pavilion is reserved.  We’ll just have it at my house.  It’s easier anyway as I can just leave everything is the fridge/freezer at home and not have to haul it to the Lodge.  If you’re local, just bring something to share.

Sunday, April 14 – ride the trails:

If folks are interested, we’ll take some fatter-tired bikes out for some trail riding on Sunday.  There’s a lot to choose from, the map links below will give you an idea of the variety available to us.

We’ll figure out when and where to meet during the cookout and I’ll update the information here.  Most likely will be one of two places.  Either at the LBL North Visitor Center, or the LBL Golden Pond Visitor Center.

LBL Hike and Bike Trails

LBL Maps – click the Trails tab.

I didn’t know there were 500 miles of trails and 200 miles of roads in LBL. It is great to have this area so close to home.  Not all of the trails are available for bicycling, so check the website while you scout a potential route.

Temperatures to expect:

The average high temperature in April is 66 degrees, so good riding temps, but plan on 10-15 degrees plus or minus from that.

Lodging:

Here are some options for lodging and some suggestions for restaurants in the area.

Kenlake State Resort Park Reservations

Lake Barkley Lodge reservations

Both are reasonably priced and are just a few minutes from our starting place.  Kenlake and Lake Barkley both have restaurants too.  For those folks arriving Friday, I have a place in mind for dinner.

Bike Shop:

Bikes and Moore in Hopkinsville is a shop that I’ve been to several times, and I couldn’t find a complaint if I tried.  Good folks and they’ll be happy to help you out, should you need more than a tweak or two.

Questions:

Contact me if you have any questions, I’ll do my best to help.

Some sponsors have graciously agreed to help out.  I have no right to expect anything and I’m immensely grateful for their support.

Chain-L – the best chain lube available

 

 

 

PRIZES – Yes, we have prizes too.  They won’t take you out of the amateur ranks, if you’re concerned about that – but they are good ones that will definitely see some use.

Prize #1 – for the rider traveling the farthest to attend the ride.

Prize #2 – for the oldest participating rider.

Prize #3 – for the youngest participating rider.

Prize #4 – for the best C&V bike, as voted on by the participating riders.

Prize #5 – for the Lantern Rouge on Saturday’s ride.

Please watch your speed while driving in LBL, it’s federal land, so speeding tickets are expensive – as Agent K said “the rangers do not have a sense of humor they’re aware of.”

2019 rides – should be a fun summer

I’ve been looking at a calendar and conversing with some fellow C&V enthusiasts (inmates) about meeting up at some rides next spring, summer, and fall.

First, in April, will be the 2nd annual Bourbon and Tobacco Tour.  I’ve worked out a couple of different routes and we’ll decide which one to ride after seeing the road conditions next spring.  If folks are interested, we’ll ride trails on Sunday, making a full weekend of riding.

In May is Storming of Thunder Ridge in Lynchburg, Virginia, which is a very popular ride and a challenging century.  I’ve not done this ride before, but several other C&V personalities have.  Registered for this one.  I’m hoping to have the Masi ready for this ride.

July is the Ride Across Indiana (RAIN) that goes from Terre Haute to Richmond in a single day.  165 miles, mainly on US-40.  That will be my longest day on a bike by far.  Logistics are an issue when you ride from point A to point B instead of point A looping back to point A.  The ride organizers have provided several choices to help with this.

September is the Centenario Coppi, a C&V ride to celebrate the 100th birthday of Fausto Coppi, one of the legends of pro cycling.  A bike show is part of this weekend, so lots of bike porn to see and a C&V ride too.  What’s not to like?  Registered for this one.

October is the Hilly Hundred century, in and around Bloomington, IN.  Unusually, this ride is split into two days of riding over Saturday and Sunday.  All reports say this is a very well organized ride.

Also planning to ride with steelbikeguy for a donut at Tanner’s Orchard sometime in October.

This is a tentative set of rides.  Life happens, so changes are possible.

Tanner’s C&V Ride in Chillicothe, IL

Went up to Chillicothe, IL for a ride out to Tanner’s Orchard for an apple cider doughnut.  You may reasonably question the sanity of driving 6 hours and then riding 20 miles for a doughnut, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

We got to Chillicothe around 9pm Friday night, checked into the hotel and went in search of food.  Had a pizza at Monical’s just before they closed, which tasted pretty good.  Fuel, you know, for tomorrow’s ride.

Met some nice guys riding classic steel bikes along the banks of the Illinois River in Chillicothe on a brisk Saturday morning, temperatures were in the low 50s.  I brought my Lemond Alpe d’Huez, with a tubular wheelset installed and it rode very nicely.  There’s not many miles on this bike after the restoration was finished, but it was like reconnecting with an old friend.  No introduction needed, no getting-to-know-you questions, just “what are we waiting for?  Let’s go.”

I enjoy the classic bikes more than the carbon wonder-bikes, because they have a air of elegance and quality about them that easily belies the number of miles or years they’ve been around.  They have experience.  Riding with C&V folks is fun too – I don’t think I’ve ever met a cyclist on a classic bike that didn’t end with “great bike, enjoy the ride.”

The doughnuts lived up to their billing, but it seemed colder when we left the orchard than when we got there.  Oh, well – we’ll warm up again soon enough.  We took a different route back to Chillicothe, and the descent down to the valley from the bluff was great fun – I got up to 37 mph on the descent.  Not a lot for some riders, but still fun.  Drivers were considerate, and we were only honked at once, which might be a record.

Many thanks to Steve (steelbikeguy on BF) for organizing this ride.  We’ll be back next year.

Misaligned Minds ride in Paducah, Kentucky

We chose to do the metric century, called that because it’s 100 kilometers in length, about 62 miles.  Rolling hills, nothing too serious.  The start point, at Bob Noble Park in Paducah, is about an hour from my house, so we had a little drive to get there.  Picking up our registration packet was simple enough, and then we got the bikes ready to go.  Aired up the tires, checked to be sure we had what we needed, and headed out.

I left my phone at home (grrr) but it turns out you don’t actually need a phone to ride.  It would have been nice to get some photos during the ride, but oh well – we came to ride.

The riders in my group are from the midwest – Evansville (Rob), Florence (John), Cadiz (me), and Memphis (Bob).  We all rode bikes that are 20+ years old, in the cycling vernacular they are Classic and Vintage (C&V), just like their riders.  The carbon, plastic, go-fast bikes are certainly capable but we all enjoy the fun of maintaining and riding older bikes.  They have a charm and quality that we all find enjoyable – and spending the day riding a classic steel bike is fun.

The rest stops were very well done.  Ice cold water and Gatorade, good selection of snacks, and really nice folks manning the stops.  Every one of the four rest stops was as good as the previous one, something that has not always been true at other rides.  The route marking was good but there were some old marks that were plainly visible and that caused two of our group to follow a previous route.  We met up with them later.  Drivers were courteous too, most of them moving completely into the far lane when passing us.  We rode side by side, but moved into a single file when we saw a car approaching.

The SAG vehicles (Support And Gear) were out and about, and even brought us a bottle of water when we were between stops.  It was warm out and that was appreciated.

While cresting hills, drivers waited behind us and passed after they could see the oncoming lane was clear – and this happened several times.  A sincere thank you to the drivers for their courtesy today.  No one that passed us seemed irritated that we may have delayed them a few seconds, no angry car horns, no drivers yelling, just a nice ride on a Saturday.  It really doesn’t get much better than that.

Chain Reaction Cycling Club in Paducah, Kentucky puts this ride together, and to my mind, this was the way a ride should be done.  From the smiles at the end of the ride, they were more than successful.  We’ll definitely be back next year.

2018 Bourbon and Tobacco Tour – in the historical documents

The weather for Saturday’s ride was basically perfect.  Temperatures topped out in the low 70s, with light winds.  The winds out of the east picked up later in the day, which didn’t help as the final few miles had a long climb, into the wind.

This ride kicked my butt.  The time I’ve spent behind my desk working didn’t actually contribute to my riding fitness.  Hmmm.  A 55 mile ride in (relatively) flat Illinois is much easier than a 55 mile ride in the Kentucky hills.  Clearly I have some work to do.

It was great to meet some BikeForums members in the flesh and on the bike, and the cookout afterwards was fun as well.

Some things to take away from the ride:

1. My 1989 Cannondale ST600 performed very well, no issues at all – not bad for a 29 year old bike.

2. The Compass tires were everything they were advertised to be, a nice smooth ride and good traction.  I ran 60F/65R tire pressures.

3. The Selle Anatomica saddle is very comfortable (for me).

4. I need to be in better shape.  I have a shape, the problem is that it’s rounder than it should be.

5. Drafting behind Adam and Jamie would have been a smart choice.

6. Ex-Pres and PilotFishBob are very patient riding companions.

7. Apparently everyone that owns a boat was pulling it on a trailer today, but with a single exception, we were given plenty of room while we were being passed.  We were riding single-file for the most part, and moved to single-file when we saw a vehicle approaching from the rear.

Will definitely do this again next year, and since the new bridge across Lake Barkley should be finished by then, the route will be different than this year’s route.  Might even go south into Tennessee and back.

Thanks again to the kind and generous sponsors that provided prizes for our ride – Road ID and Chain-L chain lube.

Bourbon and Tobacco Tour – the final details

I need to check the gps file for the upcoming Bourbon and Tobacco Tour.  Gotta make sure the route is clean (no unnecessary turns) and correct.  I also need to add the sprint points to the cue sheet.  I’ve made a list of the things I need to bring to the ride, I’ll go over it to be sure I haven’t missed anything and we should be ready to ride.  Hopefully the weather will cooperate, I can’t do anything about it but good weather would be really nice for the ride.

I’m back from driving the route and the gps file is good.  I added the sprint points to the cue sheet.  That part of the ride is ready to go.  Now, if I only had a finished bike to use.  Decisions, decisions…

Inaugural Tobacco and Bourbon Tour – April 21-22, 2018 – getting closer

The Inaugural Tour is getting closer, three weeks from today.  I have the prizes from the generous sponsors, and the cookout after Saturday’s ride will be at my house.  Logistically it’s simpler to leave the food in the fridge at home than hauling it from home to a pavilion.  In this case, simpler is better.

Several folks have confirmed that they’re going to be here, and a couple are definite maybe’s.  I hope they turn up, it should be a nice ride.

I will take as many photos as time allows, and will post them here and on the BikeForums site as well.

The plan is to drive the route one more time beforehand, using the Garmin 705 for navigation to be sure the gps route is complete and correct.  I need to select the sprint points and update the cue sheet with their locations so I’ll do that while checking the gps route.

Sunday’s trail/gravel ride is a bit of a wildcard, no real routes are in place.  We’ll just leave from the North Visitor Center and see where we wind up.

Can’t wait.

Inaugural Tobacco and Bourbon Tour – UPDATE – other things to do

I just found out that the American Quilter’s Society is having their Spring show in Paducah, KY April 18-21, 2018. If your spouse has any interest in quilting, or just would enjoy seeing some amazing craft work, my wife says it is not to be missed.

She will be at the Quilt Museum, so I guess that means she won’t be helping with SAG support.  I’ll be on the bike on Saturday, but having options for spouses/SOs is always a good thing.

Information on Quilt Week is available here.

Inaugural Tobacco and Bourbon Tour – April 21-22, 2018

Saturday, April 21 – We will meet at the Golden Pond Visitor Center at 9am for a meet and greet.  There isn’t a lot of room to park here, so please try to park away from the Visitor Center doors if possible.  A buddy inspection of the bikes will start at 9:30am – we’ll draw names.  I’m pretty confident that our bikes will be in top shape, so this is a great opportunity to meet other riders and their bikes.  I will have some repair/adjustment tools, chain lube, floor pump, and some spare tubes and patches.  Hopefully no major repairs will be needed before (or after, for that matter) the ride.  The plan is to head out around 10am.

I’ve mapped a route that is all paved. We can’t safely ride across the 68/80 bridge over Lake Barkley as the bike/walk lane isn’t finished. The new bridge over Kentucky Lake has a dedicated bike/walk lane so I updated the route to use that bridge. This route starts and ends at the Golden Pond Visitor Center, is about 54 miles with 2300 feet of climbing along the way. About halfway, we are in Grand Rivers, where there are a couple of places for drinks and snacks.  You can see them from the Trace.

We are planning a cookout after today’s ride.  LBL does not allow alcohol, and the Barkley Lodge pavilion is reserved.  We’ll just have it at my house.  It’s easier that way as I can just leave everything is the fridge/freezer at home and not have to haul it to the Lodge.

RideWithGPS route

Cue Sheet

If folks are up for it, on the way through Aurora we could stop at the LBL Moonshine distillery to sample some ‘shine. Might have to rename this to the Moonshine and Tobacco Tour, though.

LBL Moonshine Distillery

Sunday, April 22 – We will meet at the North Visitor center at 9am.  The buddy inspection will start by 9:30am. There are nice singletrack routes in LBL (Land Between the Lakes) too, for those of you that enjoy that kind of riding.  Several trails branch off the Canal Loop Trail, some more challenging than others.  Fire roads split off all along the Trace, so there are plenty to choose from.  Unlike yesterday, there isn’t a planned route – just use the maps and have a good ride.  We’ll plan to meet back at the North Visitor center somewhere around 2pm.

LBL Hike and Bike Trails

LBL Maps – scroll down to the Trail Maps section.

I didn’t know there were 500 miles of trails and 200 miles of roads in LBL. It is great to have this area so close to home.  Not all of the trails are available for bicycling, so check the website while you scout a potential route.

The average high temperature in April is 66 degrees, so good riding temps, but plan on 10-15 degrees plus or minus from that.

Here are some options for lodging and some suggestions for restaurants in the area.

Kenlake State Resort Park Reservations

Lake Barkley Lodge reservations

Both are reasonably priced and are just a few minutes from our starting place.  Kenlake and Lake Barkley both have restaurants too.

Murray has good restaurants, and Paducah to the north has excellent dining choices. One of our personal favorites is Mellow Mushroom in Paducah. Great pizza, and my wife loves the bruschetta.  EDIT:  We ate at the Mellow Mushroom on Monday, February 12th, after looking at houses, and she had the calzone.  The verdict was “thumbs up”.

For breakfast, we’ve been to Hungry Bear Pancake and BBQ House in Murray, and Martha’s Restaurant also. In Paducah, Gold Rush Cafe is one of the best, and Etcetera Coffeehouse is superb. Red’s Donut Shop is not to be missed either for that matter.

Lowertown in Paducah, especially along Jefferson street, has some beautiful homes built in the early 1900s. We’re actually planning to move to Paducah as soon as our Lake Barkley home sells. Etcetera Coffeehouse is in Lowertown, as is Gold Rush Cafe.

If you need bike parts while you’re here, you can head up to Bike World in Paducah, on Joe Clifton road.  They’ll be happy to help you out.

Contact me if you have any questions, I’ll do my best to help.

Some sponsors have graciously agreed to help out.  I have no right to expect anything and I’m immensely grateful for their support.

Chain-L – the best chain lube available

 

 

 

Road ID – a great accessory

 

PRIZES – Yes, we have prizes too.  They won’t take you out of the amateur ranks, if you’re concerned about that – but they are good ones that will definitely see some use.

Prize #1 – for the rider traveling the farthest to attend the ride.

Prize #2 – for the oldest participating rider.

Prize #3 – for the youngest participating rider.

Prize #4 and 5 – for the first rider to cross the sprint points (there are two) on Saturday’s ride.

Prize #6 – for the best C&V bike, as voted on by the participating riders.

Prize #7 – for the Lantern Rouge on Saturday’s ride.

These two prizes are at FBinNY’s request (the Chain-L guy):

Special #1 – The bike with the most lived in look, meaning the bike that looks like the owner is a rider, not a bike freak.  You lose points for obsessive maintenance, but also for outright neglect.  The ideal is a bike that shows it’s age, and has the battle scars of a long and happy life.

Special #2 – Oldest good bike still in service. This is about buying and riding a good bike, rather than a new bike every year or two.  I offer this because my bikes average over 20 years and 20k+ miles, with the “new” bike dating from 2001, so that’s the kind of thing I want to prize.

Watch your speed while driving in LBL, it’s federal land, so speeding tickets are expensive.