The Occasion: I have not had a single overnight bike trip this year…none…zero…nada…you get that? Not one night. That’s horrible. Health issues and recovery complications are mostly to blame, but I was hoping I could get past that and do some time on the bike.
My goal was to take a short, 3-4 day ride to the Blue Ridge Parkway, spend a few days enjoying a leisurely ride, make and sip some fresh coffee alongside Price Lake, find some local craft beer and ride home. My recent riding efforts have sent me home after 3 hours or less seat time so it was a lofty and wishful goal.
This morning I packed up the bike just like I was planning to take the trip, knowing full well I would not likely make it that far. In the end I did much better than anticipated. I didn’t make the Parkway and chose to settle for extended day rides over the next few days, however, I managed to cover 6 hours before any discomfort set in. All in all, I had a great ride with more to come.
The Bike: well, I rode the new one of course! The Triumph Street Scrambler. We’ve covered 1,000 miles together since I brought it home a few weeks ago so I’m getting pretty comfortable with it at this point. I can honestly say I can’t find a single thing I don’t like about it. It is relaxing and enjoyable on nearly any type of road.
The Bluegrass: we have been living in Kentucky for a little over 6 years now. I have barely scratched the surface when it comes to exploring the roads and towns. It is a beautiful state with some wonderful riding and scenery. I passed through many quaint towns today but the one I want to mention is not so small. Lexington, Kentucky was my get off spot today. I probably spent about 45 minutes there just enjoying the vibe (and the beer!). It is the kind of town I could easily call home.
Yes, I know, coming from a Hoosier that is akin to blasphemy! After all, Lexington is home to one of the most hated sports team in the country…the UK Wildcats. I’m not a sports fan so I can overlook that one easily. The town reminds me of Bloomington (my home town) on steroids. Has the same college town feel, lots of great bars, restaurants and breweries but is about twice the size of Bloomington. It is also home to the absolute nicest Whole Foods I have ever been in, and I’ve seen some pretty nice ones. Yeah, sometimes I get excited about grocery stores…so what!
Backroads: I’ve found some pretty nice roads riding the area over the years but today I decided to take advantage of my GPS’ “Motorcycle Roads” setting. You set a destination and it purposely seeks out the twistiest, hilliest roads on your route. It’s not perfect. Sometimes it does dumb things, but it took me on some roads I probably never would have discovered and ridden otherwise.
The most memorable road I was on today was Cornishville Road, a tiny, two lane and sometimes one lane patch of asphalt spread out among the rolling hills, farms and ponds along the way. It was one of those roads you had to devote 100% attention to, otherwise you’d be in a ditch. Unpredictable corners and hills abound on this road but it was great fun. The most interesting thing I saw was a basketball court painted on the asphalt with a goal planted in the ground right against the road. Play at your own risk! I’ve got to go back and get a photo of that.
Along the way I passed many horse farms, barns and beautifully rustic stones fences.
I even came across a working Ferry.
The Bourbon: I’m not really a bourbon guy but it is hard to live here and not feel the impact of the spirit. I was only a couple miles from Woodford at one point but today’s bourbon is Wild Turkey Rare Breed… Wow! That first sip reminds me of the first bite of St. Elmo’s famous shrimp cocktail…really opens up the sinuses!
Wild Turkey sits high on a hillside on the bank of the Kentucky River. It makes for a nice ride.
I guess Jimmy is a rider too!
The Beer:Since my drink of choice is really craft beer, while in Lexington I headed over to West 6th to sip on a Magic Bean Coffee Stout. Delicious!
The great thing about soft luggage is that you can always cram “one more thing” in when the necessity arises…and this was a necessity!
See you on the road tomorrow.