2018 Bourbon and Tobacco Tour – in the history books

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.