Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Hicksville Ride

Monday, August 8th, 2011

This weekend, Sarah and I headed to Fort Wayne to visit her family. I wanted to do a bike  ride while we were there, as I often do, when we’re in town. This gives Sarah some quality time with her family, and I get to ride. It works out well.

I rode with Bill Lambert again — this time, we rode with the Three Rivers Velo Sport club. Bill rides with them sometimes, and I rode with them once a few years ago, on the opposite side of Fort Wayne.

This ride started in New Haven, just east of Fort Wayne, took us into Ohio for a stop in the small town of Hicksville. Then back, with part of the return trip along the Maumee River. Here’s a map of our route.

The ride started early, at 8:00 am. At least, that’s early for me. I drove to the ride start and got ready. I arrived a few minutes early, unusual for me. I connected with Bill, and in a few minutes, we were off.

The morning was wonderfully cool. I don’t know what the temperature was, but after weeks on end of 90+-degree days, it felt quite refreshing. Also, there was a bit of fog over the fields.

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A few minutes after we rolled out, I heard a train horn blowing in the distance. Soon the train caught up with us and was moving along on tracks parallel to the road. We picked up the pace a little, as if being pulled along by the train.

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The terrain in northern Indiana is quite different from what I’m used to: it’s quite flat. I enjoy having opportunities to ride in areas with all kinds of terrain, so it’s a nice change of pace. Speaking of pace, we were moving at a good clip, but being in a double-paceline most of the time, I just had to hold on and try to stay with the group. The pace was brisk, but not so fast that I couldn’t hold on. Drafting can do wonders, especially on flat ground.

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As we rode, the sky grew more and more ominous. Eventually, it started raining — lightly at first, but falling harder and harder.

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I’ve done plenty of rainy rides, but usually I’m on the Trucker, which is equipped with fenders. I consider this the “best” way to ride in the rain, but riding in a double paceline in the rain is another experience entirely. There’s something visceral about riding a skinny-tired road bike in the rain, with water and grit flying everywhere, getting drenched to the bone, water getting in your eyes and on your glasses, but still spinning right along. I quite enjoyed it, and the rain cooled me off even more. So refreshing!

It rained for quite a while … maybe 20 miles. It was challenging at times, with brakes not working well in the rain, and not being able to see very well. But we just kept on going.

After a while, we reached Hicksville, OH. At this point I realized that I had been meaning to pay attention when we crossed the state line, but it had completely slipped my mind. After a convenience store stop, we were rolling again.

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At some point, the rain stopped, but it mostly remained cool and overcast. Eventually Bill and I felt that we had had enough of pushing the pace, and we dropped off the back. It was fun to push myself for a while, but really the later part of the ride, once we slowed down, I got to enjoy the scenery, and conversation, more.

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Check out Bill’s snazzy Ohio Randonneurs jersey!

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Crossing the Maumee River

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Amish country

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When we were just a few miles from the end, the sun managed to burn through the clouds, and the air started to warm up immediately. It never got terribly hot, but I sure appreciated the cooler weather earlier in the day.

We rode through New Haven on our way back, and saw folks setting up a tent with a sign that read, “Brew Haven.” Apparently, they were having a craft beer festival. If it had been later in the day, I might have been tempted.

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We finished the metric century around noon. I couldn’t believe how quickly we completed this ride. Drafting a lot, on flat ground, certainly helps. Actually, Bill had ridden to the ride start, and was going to ride home, so he probably finished the day with 85 miles.

I enjoyed this ride immensely. It was different from what I’m used to, but that made it even more fun. Riding in a double paceline in the rain was a blast, the Three Rivers club guys have always been good to ride with, and Bill as well.

5 Responses to “Hicksville Ride”

  1. Pondero Says:

    I guess there’s a lot of good stuff in this post (because that what your posts usually have), but the only thing I can think about is that awesome RAIN! The cloud cover and wet road are about a beautiful as anything I’ve seen in months.

  2. Bill Lambert Says:

    It was great riding with you, as well. I really like the photos you took – I didn’t notice half the stuff you photographed!

  3. Jon Grinder Says:

    Looks like fun. I like riding in the rain, but I hate getting road spray on my face. That’s why I, too, am a fan of fenders on wet rides.

  4. David Crowell Says:

    I think I was in Hicksville once. I lived in Michigan, and took a “road trip” just to get away for a while. I wasn’t a cyclist then. It was night, so I didn’t even see much.

    Another reason to travel by bike… It’s much easier to take pictures!

  5. PaddyAnne Says:

    Wonderful photo’s, wonderful places!

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