On Sunday, I decided to ride with some people from the Bloomington Bicycle Club. They were planning to ride the 80-mile ride Cordry-Sweetwater Lakes route, so I thought I’d tag along and see how it went. I figured it would be good training for the upcoming Ride Across INdiana (RAIN) ride, which I signed up for (all the way across Indiana from west to east — 160 miles — in one day).
I guess I didn’t realize what I was getting into. At first it seemed fine; the pace was faster than I’m used to, but doable. Really, I did pretty well for about the first 40 miles. At that point, I started slowing down, but they showed no signs of letting up. I managed to hang on, by a thread, until about mile 50 or so. At that point I dropped back considerably. By the time I reached the lunch stop in Nashville at mile 60, I was way behind.
I could have made it the 20-30 miles home, but I was really suffering. It was really hot, and I knew I couldn’t sustain their pace. I decided to pull the plug, and called my wife to come pick me up. I could have limped home at my own pace, but that didn’t sound too appealing.
So, I rode 60 miles for the day. Still respectable. The kicker is, my average speed was nearly 17 mph! This is VERY fast for me, especially for a long ride with plenty of hills. Here’s a map.
The BBC riders were very kind and welcoming, but philosophically, we couldn’t have been more different. I like to stop frequently, take photos, check out the scenery, etc. They just like to ride, stopping as little as possible. We only stopped twice in the 60 miles before lunch. By the way, I’m not complaining; it was illuminating to try a different style of riding. And, it felt good to push myself more than usual.
I think next time I’ll try one of their Saturday rides. Apparently these have more riders and break up into faster/slower groups. Hopefully I can find some other riders who are more my pace.
On our way out of Bloomington, we took Kerr Creek Road down from State Road 46 — a first for me. This is a fantastic downhill with some twists and turns. The valley was cool, but very humid. My mirror fogged up as soon as we reached the bottom of the hill.
We had to cross this under-construction area very carefully.
For a while, it looked like rain was imminent. It never materialized.
Once we got past this point, the roads were new to me.
The sun came back out …
The lakes were just beautiful.
The route got flatter for a while …
I started losing ground …
I would love to spend more time out in the Cordry/Sweetwater Lakes area. I spotted some gravel roads out of the corner of my eye as we flew through here. In particular, those would be worth exploring sometime.