How often do you get to reference a "5 Man Electrical Band" song?
Most of my 2009 riding has been back roads, double and single track trails. I have tried to do most of my rides within my county. We are ate up with gravel, dirt and hills so I figured I owed it to myself to explore the hood.
Anyway, I was looking at a close satellite view of an area called Pine Hills (part of the Shawnee National Forest) and I noticed a road that connected one of our rural county roads with the main drive through the Pine Hills area, but in my 51 years of living here, I have never traveled this road and knowing the basic terrain of both these areas, I knew this had to be a beautiful ride. The rode measured on the map about 6 miles long and according to the topo, gained about 600 ft in one climb.
So, I decided a few days ago that if the weather held after Turkey day I was going to ride this road. This afternoon, I drove to the area and set out to ride this ride. My first obstacle was a creek crossing. Got my feet soaked when the bottom of the gravel dropped out and the bike just stopped. I picked the bike up and finished the crossing (brrr!) Within about 1/4 mile, I encountered the first of several "NO TRESPASSING" signs. Hmmmm! Common sense and normal responsibility said to turn back, but the "Columbus" in me said "Go for it!". I lifted the bike over the gate and took off. (No lectures please. I know I was breaking the rules, but it was a calculated risk and it worked out). I was treated to one of the longest, steepest climbs of my so far biking career. Three creek crossings. An old forest service fire tower. 12 miles of tight gravel roads with huge drop-offs on both sides. And finally a cold Bell's Brewery "Best Brown Ale".
Below are some pictures with some descriptions of the ride. I am so happy that I did the wrong thing. Not right to go through life and miss the good stuff.
Link to all the pics: Click Here
The First Creek Crossing and Wet Feet
The first of several of the "Signs" along the way.
Some friends I mt along the way.
Another Creek Crossing
When I started the climb I was surprised as the picture below was actually this climb X5. When I would get to the top it would level out for a few feet and then head up again. This happened over and over. I had to rest three times. It is much steeper then the picture shows.
At the summit and back on Federal Land
And Finally. back at the truck and the final reward for being a rebel.