Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Riding around Lake Lemon — backwards

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

Last night, I did the ride around Lake Lemon “backwards” that I’ve been planning. No, I didn’t get a fixed-gear bike and ride it in reverse (although this guy on YouTube did). I simply rode around the lake in the opposite direction from what I’ve done in the past. I modified the route slightly, in addition to changing its direction, to put me on Shilo Road for a stretch. Here is the Bikely route.

It was a windy evening, which slowed me down quite a bit, although it helped me in some parts of the ride. Still, wind almost always seem to result in a net loss of speed, and a more difficult ride.

I’m glad I rode on Shilo Road, because that was one of my favorite parts of the ride. As I mentioned before, it’s a very windy, rough road. Before then, I had only ridden it in the opposite direction, which has you climbing pretty much the whole way. This way, it’s mostly downhill, and it’s a real challenge avoiding potholes and rough pavement and flying around sharp turns. It’s more like mountain biking, in a way — you have to try to pick the best line to make it through the rubble. In fact, I’m a little concerned that if I keep doing this, I’ll knock my wheels out of true. My mountain bike might be better, or at least some fatter tires — but that extra challenge is part of the fun.

Shilo Road
Shilo Road

Another great thing about Shilo Road is that it’s very narrow and has pretty dense tree cover. It’s nice and cool back there, and there’s very little traffic. I really got in the zone, and finding the best line became easier. I took the curves faster than last time, and had fun sprinting up some small climbs.

Anderson Road was pretty tame in this direction, but it’s always a pleasant ride. North Shore was quite a bit different going this way. I think there was more climbing than in the other direction, or at least, you can’t use momentum to help you through as much. Also, it’s a longer, more gradual climb, as opposed to going the other way, where you have several steeper climbs. I’m not sure yet which way is easier, or which is more fun.

North Shore Drive
North Shore Drive

It’s pretty interesting how different riding the same route in reverse can be. It can result in some unexpected challenges, and some parts that seem like they would be hard turn out to be fairly easy.

State Road 45  Railing

View from State Road 45
This section of State Road 45 was easier than I expected. It goes up a pretty good hill, but it’s not steep, and you can spin up fairly easily.

The wind really made my ride more difficult as I rode west on South Shore Drive. This is a very straight section of road that goes through some fields and stuff, and of course, I was headed into the wind the whole time. I saw a herd of cattle and some cattails. I also snapped a decent photo of some corn as I whizzed by.

South Shore Drive  Whizzing past endless corn

Cattails Cows

Later, South Shore goes right over the lake on a causeway. You’re out in the open, and there’s nothing to shield you from the wind.  I didn’t take any photos of this part this time, but there are some in this older post. I had a tough climb up to Tunnel Road on North Shore, and then rode home on 45. The ride was about 35 miles. I really need to get some more rides in this week — I’ve been slacking lately (although in all fairness, the rain hasn’t helped). I really want to ride out to Mahalasville or something similar soon, after driving through there with Sarah on Sunday.

I’m also thinking about sometime trying a “sub 24-hour overnight” (S24O) bicycle camping trip. Basically, you load up your bike with everything you need to camp for one night, ride to your destination, sleep there, and ride back the next day.  An account of such a trip on Kent’s Bike Blog is inspiring to me, and this explanation from Rivendell is useful, as well. I have no idea if/when I’d do this, but it’s something that I’d really like to try.

3 Responses to “Riding around Lake Lemon — backwards”

  1. Noah Says:

    Sorry to hijack, but if you thought the Outlook was cool, check this out. It’s a more evolved and cleaner setup. With caffeine, of course. I don’t know if you re-check your comments and that was on a really old post, so I figured I’d drop you a line here.

  2. furiousBall Says:

    That’s a cool concept, I need to reverse some of my rides too.

  3. Marty Says:

    It’s amazing how much your area reminds me of where I grew up – Shilo Road could be any number of roads that I used to ride on when I was younger. I remember riding them, hoping you saw that potholes in time and hoping to GOD that no one was going to come around the corner as you swerved to avoid the chunk of road that had crumbed away.

    Thanks for the memories…

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