My wife and I dropped off the kids at my mom’s house Friday morning and hit the road for Georgetown, Kentucky, our second year on what has become a “can’t miss” road trip in our cycling season.
We were meeting our usual Horsey Hundred friends Diane and Adam, Mike and Chuck. This year, Matt and his wife, Barb came down.
For the Saturday ride Matt, Mike and my wife did the 100k because Mike’s hamstring was bugging him. My wife had to be talked into the 100k, she’d intended on doing the 40-something mile route while Matt was more than happy with 100k…
The ride starts in Georgetown, goes through Frankfort (as you can see) and loops back around past the Jim Beam distillery (heh again) before heading back to Georgetown. Not before hitting several mountain passes, however. While the climbs weren’t huge or long enough to be all that tough, I’d say roughly 2% of the hundred two miles is on actual, real, flat ground. The rest you’re either going up or down. It is not an easy century. It is exceptionally beautiful, fun, fast (at times – we hit 45+ mph many times) and takes place on the best road surfaces I’ve ever had the pleasure of riding. We ended up completing the course in 5h:40m but the last two miles were slowed by all of the other routes converging and a huge amount of cycling traffic… We had an 18.2 mph average as we passed 100 miles on the nose.
The $70 entry fee covers dinner after the big ride and they put on a decent spread that included some of the best noodle salad (heh) I’ve ever eaten, some bullshit quinoa slop that I skipped for obvious reasons, pulled BBQ chicken sammiches, stir fry and an excellent salad bar. We ate well and rehydrated.
Later, we all went out for a late afternoon snack and got together again that evening for ice cream at Culver’s. Falling asleep that night was easy, even in the hotel bed.
Then came the Sunday ride. We were all together for that, except Matt and Barb who chose to ride later and shorter than the 53 mile route we chose.
We rolled out at 7:15 am. The Sunday route is a lot easier as far as climbing goes and Diane and Adam took it a little slower. The pace was perfect for an enjoyable Sunday ride. I was even able to snap a few photos between hills.
Truthfully I was amazed at how soon we were done. Just under three hours and they were among the most enjoyable 50 miles I’ve ever ridden. Plenty of hills, lots of tight, fast corners that required technical cornering skills and a perfect pace. Just five tenths of a mile per hour slowly than Saturday’s century. I was actually bummed that it was all over.
Road trips are, undeniably, one of the coolest aspects of cycling and something that every cyclist should try, provided you have the friends in the first place. There’s just something amazingly special about sharing effort over a lot of miles with a tight group of friends, then refueling with them, sharing stories and laughs about the day’s ride.