Back On The Horse…

Well, my hip’s not 100% but I got really tired of waiting and Saturday I decided it was time to get back on the road. I’m no worse for doing so but my performance is definitely suffering… can’t be aggressive on those uphill grades. So since Mom had the weekend off, I went 28 Sat., 32 Sun. and 28 again Monday. Although yesterday I was starting to feel as comfortable as usual, on the first 2 rides back I had a really uneasy feeling of vulnerability… like certain situations might arise that I would not be physically capable of dealing with. I mean I still have my cat-like reflexes and my super powerful bursting capability but they are attached to a bum hip. Anyway, filed under the heading of “More Unwise Activities”, I started thinking that I would take my camera along for the ride and do a 28 mile Louisville travelogue. This really wasn’t a great idea as I put the camera in the little pouch under my seat that usually holds a spare tire and an allen key and for the first couple miles where most of the traffic is I decided I didn’t want any pics of that anyway and left the camera in the pouch. Of course the bumps in many sections got me worrying that the camera was bouncing around in there non-stop and it was going to get damaged. So I took it out and realized that I couldn’t really take shots left-handed which meant riding with my left hand only on the bike and my right hand free. This is not ideal because the left brake is the front brake and using it alone going too fast could result in another accident. Anyway, this slowed my pace and I basically worried about dropping or banging the camera for the whole first half of the ride. So I put together these pics and numbered them because I figured putting them up individually would be simply too much (click to enlarge)…

So here’s a key if you get a hankerin’…

1 – Seneca Park

2 – Seneca Park

3 – Cherokee Park

4 – That rotten intersection that takes forever to navigate before the bike path starts.

5 – Bike path along Beargrass Creek

6 – After a mile or so it empties out onto more roads with traffic lights but both of the lights on this stretch are crossing one-way streets which means the wait is much less.

7 – Speedometer with temperature at 93 degrees

8 – Back on the bike path approaching downtown.

9 – Slugger Field is on the left and this is the bronze my friend Ray (from Club 53) made of Paul Hornung

10 – Closer to the Ohio, this is a Marvin Finn sculpture garden.

11 – Squirting water by Waterfront Park

12 – Waterfront Park

13 – Down by the Ohio River where the riverboats dock.

14 – The Spirit Of Jefferson (The Belle Of Louisville was out on the river somewhere.

15 – Under I-64.

16 – Back on the bike path next to the river. Under the right side of that bridge is “The Falls Of The Ohio” fossil beds with Devonian era marine fossils.

17 – Bike path, passing old railroad bridge.

18 – Bike path along railroad tracks, most days there are trains parked along here.

19 – Two empty coal barges, I thought it looked like they were racing.

20 – Empty barges.

21 – On this section of the path, every mile or so there will be a series of granite blocks embedded into the path with different terminology referring to something about the river. This one is from the section about the different crafts that were on the river. There’s some about fish, riverboat lingo, local native tribes, flood levels, etc. There’s quite a bit of etymology that is largely unknown except to riverboat enthusiasts and historians.

22 – Here’s a full coal barge… got to make our electricity.

23 – This is the McAlpine Lock to get barges past the falls of the Ohio.

24 – Back under I-64.

25 – Parked train up on an old trestle.

26 – Another shot of the train on the trestle with the bridge that spans the river in the background.

27 – Back under I-64.

28 – Here’s the “Bike Path Closed Ahead – Do Not Enter” sign.

29 – Here’s the “closed” bike path.

30 – More of the “closed” bike path.

31 – Here’s why the bike path is “closed”, probably more for liability worries than anything.

32 – Another pool of standing water. There are several of these but there are well-worn paths in the dirt around the edges.

So I wanted to put this picture by itself because it reminds me of my childhood. Look at all that iron oxide… yeah…

OK, here’s the last picture because after you navigate the “closed” bike path you come to this barricade…

So now, you should stop reading if you don’t like long posts… aw hell, if you read this far you might as well go to the end. Anyway this barricade is impassable on the bike. To the left is a golf course and that tall black fence is to keep golf balls from raining down on your noggin while you pedal by. On the right and not in the photo is a drop off into the Ohio River, it’s not steep but you can’t ride a bike around. So I’ve been coming up to this sign for weeks now and my curiosity is peaked for two reasons… one, I just got done riding through the “closed” path but this one is really “closed” (I don’t get the difference) and two, the DANGER signs. I kept thinking, what could the danger possible be. So I packed the camera back into the pouch and hoisted my bicycle over the barricade and crawled under and that’s why I don’t have anymore pictures. So I’m riding along tentatively because I wasn’t sure where and what the danger would be… maybe tigers lived in this section, or maybe anacondas that could squish a bicycle into a little ball, or more likely a large flooded area that was invisible until you were up to your neck in water. The right side of the asphalt path was a bit eroded in sections and I started thinking that must be it. But then up ahead I see two people in the path huddled around a 5 gallon bucket and a black satchel. I immediately thought that they were foraging, maybe for purslane or morels, and then I thought, it must not be dangerous for people on foot and then I thought maybe they were the danger. As I neared them I could make out, even though their backs were to me that it was and old woman (actually later I realized that she was probably my age) and a young man who was taller than the woman by a good foot. I wasn’t staring at them and was riding along at a good clip (plus my vision isn’t so hot) and when I got up on them, I glanced over to see the man/boy?’s bare ass and it looked like the old lady that was my age was pulling them down. I decided I didn’t want to know what this was all about so I sped up a bit and passed them. As I passed I glanced to see if they were embarrassed (not em bare assed) or defiant or whatever and the man had a diaper on and the woman seemed to be adjusting it. At that point I figured my blog post was going to be longer than I planned. Surprisingly I got to the other barricade and the area inside the barricades was less than a mile or so it seemed. At this barricade there was a path in the dirt to get around and I took that. I met two women who told me the route went on for another 35 miles and I thought what a shame it was to have about 60 continuous miles interrupted in the middle by an impassable mile. The rest of the ride was relatively uneventful except for a butterfly hit me right in the eye. And after I turned around and headed back, I saw the old woman and boy who had moved on from the closed section. The boy seemed to be around 16 or so and I can only guess the situation save that he was at the very least incontinent. So I went back around the barricade and headed home and I came upon the 5 gallon bucket and satchel sitting right where the two of them had been and I slowed down to see what it was. No purslane, no dandelions, no wild onions… rocks, all the same kind, you know the yellow ochre colored stones that have a relatively shiny finish (I like them too, although I don’t forage for them) and they were all about the same size, a little bit bigger than a golf ball. I have no idea how they were going to carry a 5 gallon bucket of rocks, it had to be heavy, of course maybe it wasn’t theirs and they just happened to stop for a diaper adjustment next to them. So there you have it, a typical urban bike ride… hope you made it to the end.

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5 Responses to “Back On The Horse…”

  1. Tracey Says:

    Made it to the end! I have learned to come here first so I don’t have to rush 🙂
    You are a rebel aren’t you!

  2. kyle Says:

    glad to hear that your back up and around…these long posts go great with my coffee during my lazy down week…next week its back to work, I may have to read you at night if these lengthy posts keep up!

  3. ron Says:

    When you first mentioned the woman and man I thought, okay so there is a slum town or leper colony or gang hideout over there. Ha. Oh well. I liked seeing the pics around your ride. Good on you for getting out there. I feel like such a slug these days. I’m off to see my doc for a checkup today, I’m sure he’s gonna recommend that I exercise more (more being at least something).

  4. naomi Says:

    Good for you – I’m still kinda shy of traffic and it’s been 13 years (but then, one of the last times I tried to ride it was really hot, a car was coming, I put a push on and my foot fell off – in front of the car). I kept thinking I’d get back on a bike, but as more time passes, I seem more hesitant. Thanks for inspiration – I might try again, but then I’m also thinking kayak; no cars on the bayou.

  5. Mishmash Says:

    Very awesome indeed…my old KY home. Are you gonna go riding in that famous cemetery and show us some of those pics or are you skeered?

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