The Big East Side trip to Indiana and Kentucky


Recently we took a trip East to ride in Indiana and Kentucky.  I wrote a ride report for the mountain bike association and made a video.


Ride Report

New Harmony

We met up with Dave and Bob and started up with a lap on the green trail.  From the gun Dave was off the front and on the gas.  The trail was super smooth and incredibly flowy, it was a dirt bobsled race.  In about 4 minutes the big smile on my face started to fade.  Something wasn’t right.  My stomach was blown up with acid  which was bad enough but it seemed to be affecting my brain.  Hard to explain but I was unable to put any effort into the pedals and any attempt to do so would make me dizzy and I would nearly throw up.

I laid on the picnic table while they all road the blue trail and after a local guy named Tim took off down the blue trail I was feeling good enough to ride.  I was now in crusing mode and feeling good.  I caught up to Tim when he had stopped to blow his nose and kept pushing.  The blue trail was even better then the green trail.  It was similar in design but it had even more elevaton changes and quicker direction changes.  At one point the trail began a sweeping down and had a dirt corkscrew and I was feeling that familiar acid coming up my throat and bang, there I was again getting dizzy and weak again.

THe guys did another loop of the green trail while I laid on a picnic table.  Dave gave me some rolaids which seemed to help.

Scales Lake

The next stop was Scales lake in Boonville.  I had ridden here around 5-6 years ago but there is much more trail now and you can make a complete loop around the park.  Scales is the site of old strip pits and is essentially just a refinement of old dirtbike trails that were already there.  The trails feature lots of G outs where you’ll go down and back up in the blink of an eye.  On the way to Scales I picked up some alka-seltzers and ate some pretzels; I was feeling much better.  Dave and Bob are brothers, and while Dave’s home turf was New Harmony, Bob owned Scales lake.  He set a blistering pace that got us all stretched out.  Before long we were rolling on a big wooden pipe, cruising through a wooden bridge section and launching into the strip pits.  Bob showed us how to ride the big teeter totter and warned us that the trail ended with a scary descent that could be ridden around.  The descent is about 30 feet straight down then 15 feet straight back up.  I had to grab a handful of brake on the way back up to keep my bike on the ground, then i was like, why did I do that?  Eli decided to go back and get some air then Bob did too.  I volunteered to stay back and operate the cameras.

The trail is only 5 miles and it feels like you can ride in about 30 minutes so we did 2 laps.  On lap 2 I went on a flyer and went into anaerobic overload.  I started to feel that familar stomach feeling and headache, dizziness.  I ended up walking alot of the last quarter mile.

Ben Hawes

I laid in the back of the Rover and began to feel better by the time we arrived in Owensboro for the final ride of the day.  Ben Hawes is a new trail here’s the info I could dig up

Formally Ben Hawes State Park. Trail closed following the historic 09 Ice Storm. Bought by the City of Owensboro in the summer of 2010. This trail has been completely redesigned and constructed per IMBA guidelines in a joint effort between KyMBA and the City working with Alex Stewart of Spectrum Trail Designs. Official Park opening April 2012.

The trail system offers something for all skill levels. Including the old original wide open double-track/maintenance roads, a new beginner friendly Green single-track loop and a new more difficult Blue single-track loop. The purpose built, double stack loop crosses the maintenance roads in several locations allowing you to explore many different variations. It has a high fun factor �Flow Trail� influence with plenty of berms, pumps, and great flow.

Again we took off like we’d been fired off out of a canon and I quickly came to realize this was perhaps the sweetest trail I’d ever ridden.  The local guy back at New Harmony was fascinated by my fully rigid bike especially when I told him I rode the Shawnee which seems to have a universal reputation of being rough as hell.  He said that my bike would be perfect for Ben Hawes and that it was a pump track.  Hmmm?  OK sure.  Well the guy was right, There wasn’t a single rock out of place on these trails and they were smoother and harder then the highway we took.

Every bit of elevation change was designed in a way that it was possible to climb without much struggle.  You would go up some, down a just a bit, build speed, go up, then down again just a bit.  about 2.5 miles in I started getting that feeling.  We had got on this trail a little before 4 and I was pretty sure it would be dark at 5.  The trail is seven miles so I got off the pace and just tried to keep moving at a reasonable level.  The last couple of miles were almost surreal.  I wasn’t breathing hard, my legs weren’t the least bit tired, it was just about dark and yet I couldn’t sum up the will to motivate my bike.  At one point I stopped and started puking and a guy with a flat tire pushed his bike up from behind me, he was like, “I was going to ask you for help, but I think you’re in worse shape than me.”

Well anyway, I highly recommend any of these three trails, but especially Ben Hawes, Thanks Dave and Bob for showing us your trails!


About Matt Gholson

Cycling, school teaching, husband.
This entry was posted in Bikes and components, Mountain BIking, Rides, Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Big East Side trip to Indiana and Kentucky

  1. Pingback: Ben Hawes Makes Me Sick | Barn Door Cycling

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