On Friday, July 3rd, 4 of us set out from E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville, KY. For me, it is my normal staging point, as it has a large parking lot, is close to major streets, close to a gas station, and, most importantly, close to my house. I feel that I should be awarded some recompense for leading a ride, so I take that small concession. The whole round trip ride was to be right at 230 miles and take roughly 6 hours to complete. This included 3 stops; Rabbit Hash, Aurora and Madison.
We took off just after 9:30 AM and rode straight (kinda) to Rabbit Hash, located on the Ohio River. We ended up deviating from the route a little bit, taking Lagrange road to US42 and from there to 338 into Rabbit Hash. We got there a little after 11:30 AM. We got a bite to eat, used the facilities and relaxed a bit. For what was a holiday for a lot of people, there were not a ton of bikes out. The weather may have had a hand in that, but on our way there, we ran in to a light sprinkle (more of a mist than anything.)
We lost one rider at Rabbit Hash, who met up with some of his other friends, and they went on to other destinations. The 3 of us went on north to I-275 south of Cincinnati to get across the river into Lawrenceburg, IN. From there, it was a short ride down 56 (Ohio River Scenic Byway) into Aurora, IN and the Great Crescent Brewery. If you have never been, make it a trip, they have some great beers and a good-looking food menu to match. We tried their beer, got a pint to refresh after the BBQ in Rabbit Hash. Unfortunately it was too close to lunch to have gotten more food, or we would have eaten there as well. We talked a bit over the beer and then headed back out again towards the next destination, Madison, IN.
We set out again down 56 towards Madison on the longest leg of the trip. Since one of the guys was from Indiana, he was going to split from the group at Madison and head home from there. Anyway, the trip down was very nice, albeit slow due to some traffic. We had a few miles of sprinkles again, but nothing to worry about. Love my Klim gear. Now, keep in mind, this was the first day of the Madison Regatta, which would go on for the whole weekend with high speed races on the river. There were people everywhere and chairs set up on the streets getting ready for the parade, which would include a number of the boats that would race during the weekend.
We got parked and decided to grab a drink. Well, one of us wanted some burgers from Hinkles’, so we stopped in there. Personally, I was still full from lunch, and it was only about 3:30 PM, so I got a large home-made milk shake. Damn was that good, and needed. We sat there, relaxing for a bit before getting suited up to head out. One left out of Madison towards his home, while the other 2 of us headed south down 421 into KY. We got a few more drops of rain again as we worked our way towards I-71, where the last of the group would split off and take home. I continued down 421 into Eminence to see a few friends and then head on home.
As I got ready to leave Eminence, I decided to zip up the vents on my pants and jacket. The sky looked pretty nasty heading west back into Louisville. I got everything stowed and hit the road headed home. I was 10 minutes into the final leg when it is like all the water in the whole state decided to come down at once. I was confident in my gear and my tires I didn’t worry about finding a hideout. All I had to do was slow down a bit and everything would be fine, and it was. The downpour stopped about 10 minutes later and everything was good to go again.
When I got home and parked, I realized that, while I had closed the vents in the pants, I forgot to zip up the pockets. So, while 99% of me was dry, my hips were wet where the rain got in my pockets on the sides… Live and learn. At least my phone and wallet were stowed away.
The trip was a huge success, and it is one I will want to do again, probably in the fall when the leaves start changing. Below is the final route information we used to get from here to there.