I went out about 7:30 to the Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard 1st Annual “Hub Ride”, starting in Karst Farm Park. It’s about 7 miles from town, I went out 3rd St. and cut south to Karst Farm rather than ride on 2nd St, it really feels like a highway, and the cars move fast. There is really no safe or easy way to ride west, the best bets are Tapp Road and Vernal Pike, two of the most dangerous intersections (for motorists) in Bloomington, and out of the way if you are trying to shop in the shops along the west side of SR 37.
There were plenty of riders and a number took off early to complete the 2 laps making 50 miles. Everything was organized and in order with plenty of great volunteers as usual at a MHC event. I had run over the route on Google Earth and knew there were quite a few hills, and this is the middle of summer. But with the half way stop at Mt. Zion Rd., there was little chance of bonking even in the heat, and I was carrying plenty of water and coffee (and bagels, there was a bunch of good stuff in the registration tent.)
Full Album of Pictures
I ran into Jim Manion, and we partnered up to ride the 25 miles route. Jim’s bike was built for comfort, like mine, and we had comparable paces, so we were able to bike and talk, even on the hills, which were never ending. We first came up Bolin Road hill and took a water break while watching others climb this first of several 100 foot climbs. We rode back over to Rockport Road on Tramway and then rode along Rockport, climbing once or twice more before getting to the big climb of the day. Jim dropped his chain right at the bottom, but I continued to the top and waited. Steve Wallace came up on his recumbent with Linda Roos, one of our MHC board members right behind. Jim then came pedaling up, and we continued climbing on past the intersection of Victor Pike to Harmony Road at 920 feet.
We continued on Harmony Road, and stopped at Mt. Zion Church, where Stephanie had cold water, gatorade and snacks. We continued along Harmony Ridge, and for a mile or three it is newly paved. This made riding down the hill down a real blast, well over 200 feet of drop, smooth and curvy as we descended into the woods.
After coming through the valley and over the hill at May Road, we rode on into the wide Indian Creek valley, and stopped at the Harmony Church on Isom Rd. In the last century Jim had lived next door where there is now a plant nursery, and Eileen and I raised our kids in a little old farm house a few hundred yards up Isom Road. Jim rode over to see his old house and talk to the current owner. I jumped down into the creek, which was amazingly cool even in mid summer, no doubt this is spring fed. The old church at the corner was the site of “Fort Harmony”, an which was at first an agricultural branch of the New Harmony utopian community. The site became a trading center with the Native Americans, and many artifacts have been found in the fields across from the church.
We then moved on and climbed the hills on Isom Road that lead to the blind valley where the scenic Sparks farm can be seen from the hills along the road. A final climb out of the valley led to another speedy down hill on Isom. We took the left on Eller, crossed the highway, and climbed Reese hill a dropped onto Garrison Chapel Road. We too that to Airport, climbed that one last hill, and coasted back to Karst Farm Park and some food and music to finish off the ride.