Experimental music, photography, and adventures

An actual bike ride: around Lake Lemon “backwards”

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

For the first time in quite a while, I got to go on a real bicycle ride on Sunday. By “real” I mean a longer recreational ride — riding purely for the sake of riding. I’ve been commuting, but that had been the extent of my riding for the past couple of weeks.

I headed out to ride around Lake Lemon but decided en route to do it “backwards” (clockwise). I usually go counterclockwise, but I felt something different was in order. This also allowed me to ride Shilo Road in the fun direction, one of my favorite roads in this area. It was a warm day, in the upper 30s or lower 40s when I started, and it warmed to about 48 degrees. The roads were clear, but there was still some snow and ice in the surrounding areas, which made for some nice scenery.

Frozen waterfall on Mt Gilead Rd.

I noticed Mitch Rice, another local cyclist/blogger, post an almost identical photo from one of his rides. During my ride, the ice on the creek was melting and water was gurgling as it flowed beneath the ice, making it feel like a spring thaw.

Barn and creek
Barn near a partially-frozen creek
Soon I was moving again and made the climb up Mt. Gilead. I expected it to be harder than usual given my steadily declining fitness, but I did well. I took 45 over to Tunnel Road and descended on Shilo, having a lot of fun with it. Traction was good except for a few places that had too much sand on the road.

Shilo Rd.
Shilo Road

I stopped for some more photos by Beanblossom Creek.

Beanblossom Creek
Beanblossom Creek

Me, with my bicycle

I took Anderson Lane over to North Shore Drive. I’ve always considered this to be the harder way to go around Lake Lemon but during this section I started wondering if that was really true as it was pretty easy. Soon, though, I reached Northshore and realized I was definitely right in my thinking. There’s just a ton of climbing in this direction — long, sustained climbs, whereas in the other direction there are a few short, steep climbs. The climbing pays off with some nice views, though.

North Shore Dr.
View from North Shore Dr.

My bicycle near Lake Lemon
My bicycle near Lake Lemon


The climbs had me breathing pretty heavily at a few points. I’m looking forward to warmer weather and longer daylight so I can get back in shape. On the other hand I stopped a little more frequently than usual on this ride and took advantage of those stops to take extra photos. A reasonable tradeoff. And once you get through the first half or so of North Shore going in this direction, the rest is easier.

Train tracks II
Railroad tracks

On my way back to South Shore on 45, I saw a frozen area of water where it appeared people had been driving. I found this rather surprising and half expected to see a place where the ice broke and somebody fell in — but I guess the ice was thicker than I thought, because it seemed to have held.

Cars drove on the ice
Car tracks on the ice

State Road 45
Climb on State Road 45

As I rode across the lake on South Shore, I enjoyed looking around and seeing the partially-frozen lake. I’ve ridden here many times before but it was quite different this time. I felt particularly lucky that I got to see it in this state while it wasn’t terribly cold outside.

Lake Lemon III
Riding across Lake Lemon

Lake Lemon II
On my left

Lake Lemon
On my right

After that I had the tough climb up South Shore back to Tunnel Road, although I climbed better than I expected this time around. I really took my time getting back from this point and enjoyed more leisurely riding through the countryside. A great ride, especially for January, totaling over 35 miles.

3 Responses to “An actual bike ride: around Lake Lemon “backwards””

  1. Doug Says:

    When you ride backwards do you use a mirror to see where you’re going or just look over you shoulder? 🙂

    I enjoy your picture posts of the bicycle rides (and hikes) you go on. Keep doing them. I really like the mix of wooded areas mixed with farms and some decent climbing. Looks like a nice area to go out for a Sunday ride.

  2. John Says:

    Those were not from vehicles. Those were “ice circles”, made by Martians.

    Either that or it was the holy ghost on an ATV.

  3. Tim Says:

    Great pics and nice scenary to boot.

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