The day started out cold (between 25 and 30 degrees) and breezy (not a clue as to wind speed) and RCK and I decided to do a shorter ride than usual for a Saturday morning. We decided to take the rail trail from Monroe to Monticello. It was to be the first time for us to ride the trail north out of town. The trail surface is new, just finished this fall, but was quite firm due to the temperature. The trail was frozen solid. The ride to Monticello was cold but not unpleasant. It was nice to be doing a flat ride for a change. Todays ride would prove to be the longest rail trail ride either of us had ever done. Flat rides sure make you work more than you would expect. There are no hills to pedal up, of course, but there are also no hills to coast down. Makes for a different kind of riding.
The cafe in Monticello had a really tasty walnut pie and the coffee is not bad either. While finishing off our second cups of coffee, we decided that Monticello would not be our turnarond point. We decided to continue on north to the tunnel and maybe beyond. As it turned out we went all the way to Belleville. But first, the tunnel. I'm not sure how long the tunnel is. Maybe two tenths of a mile. The tunnel curves enough that you cannot see the light at the other end until you get about half way through. Not having planned to ride this far, neither of us were prepared to light the way through the tunnel. It was not like true cave darkness but it was pretty dark. I only ran into the wall a couple of times. I'm not sure about RCK. Once we emerged from the tunnel we continued riding to Belleville and then headed back home. The return trip through the tunnel was illuminated for us by some hikers with flashlights. The rest of the ride had the wind at our backs. Nice, but no coasting.
I'm looking forward to doing this ride again. Warmer next time would be nice but not necessary. I'm also looking forward to doing the trail with Mrs. Skipper on the tandem we bought for Christmas. Warmer will be necessary for that one.
Hey RCK, good ride. Thanks.