Today was one of those days that come along only a few times a year. The weather was cool in the morning but not so cool to require anything other then arm warmers. The sun was shining bright, but it never got hot. There was no wind, but maybe a slight cooling breeze as it began to warm up. Everyone was feeling good, there were no mechanicals, no flat tires, Ken’s bike was even shifting well. The route had a great mix of flat, rolling and challenging hills, traffic was nearly non existent. In short it was a perfect day.
My friend Terry planned out this ride, he loves to plan out great rides in the hilliest parts of Southern Illinois. Terry, Ken, Mom, Dad and I met at Eddyville and did a ride I am now affectionately calling “The Baycity Roller.” We made a short trip down route 145 then took oil and chip side roads to Baycity. Somehow it seemed like the first 15 miles were all downhill. We lost about 300 feet
but it was all rolling so we were able to maintain momentum for most of the climbs. We rested at the Baycity General Store, which lays a claim to fame for appearing shortly in the movie US Marshals.
The trip back to Eddyville is all on super smooth highway which are nearly deserted. You roll along the lowlands near the Ohio and enjoy scenic views of Blue Herrings, and anglersworking Bay Creek. Eventually you’re back into the hills and doing some massive rollers near Golconda. We took a scenic stop at this beautiful river town where the River to River relay comes through each year.
The Eddyville blacktop was our final challenge and Sulfur Springs pass, sometimes called Flick hill is guaranteed to raise everyone’s heart rate. It’s about 300 feet of climbing in about a half mile for a 12% average grade. Besides that there are three other tough climbs on the road and some downhills that can easily be compared to roller coasters.
The ride was a tiny bit under 50 miles with 3500 feet of climbing and left me feeling a little tired but with more then enough energy to go camping afterwards, but how much energy does it take to go camping?