Jojo was out of town this weekend, so I decided to scout a new route (to me) on the backroads of Brown County. To get to Kent Road quickly, I road on SR 46 east from Bloomingfoods, there is a bit of paved shoulder most of the way there, allowing cars to pass safely. At the hill I waited for a car to pass, then flew down and was on Kent Road in just a few minutes. I averaged 15 mph over six miles, no doubt a record for me! I stopped and took a picture at the confluence of Brummett’s and Salt Creek, it was full, but nowhere near flooding from the recent melting of the snow and ice.
Kent Road is gravel from McGowen to T.C. Steele Rd., and as I had to travel more slowly, I was conscious of the wonderful views of the floodplain, the road runs just south of winding Salt Creek. I stopped for a minute on the T.C. Steele Rd. bridge, then headed west on hilly Schooner Valley Rd. It ends on SR 46, so I had to take a short jog back west to catch Yellowwood Road. I went up over the little hill and into the valley, and on to the old bridges over Salt Creek; here Dubois Ridge, Green Valley, and Yellowwood Roads intersect at the creek. I stopped for a few minutes and listened to the hawks calling me to climb Dubois Ridge, they can be heard at the beginning of the video below.
At the intersection of Green Valley, Yellowwood and Dubois Ridge Roads:
Dubois Ridge is gravel all the way from here to SR 46, about 4.5 miles of forest solitude. The first climb is about 100 ft, so it is not too bad to gain the ridge. But there are number of other climbs, the bottoms are at 561 feet AMSL, while the ridge at the north end of the ridge is over 900 fee, so you climb about 340 feet in height, on gravel. The dreaded Boltinghouse climb is less than 200 feet to put that in perspectiveve.
The roadbed is clay some loose pushed to the sides and middle by cars. This day the road had long stretches of sticky mud, and I left tracks behind especially when I was climbing, and I actually started to spin out on one climb (so I walked.)
Here I am complaining about the goopy mud as I ride through the empty forest.
I stopped at the Tecumseh Trail head, parked my bike, and walked down to the little pond along the ridgetop. As there were pine trees to the south and west, the pond does not get a lot of sun, and so was still frozen, even though it had been 40 degrees for several days. I then rode on to Lanam Ridge Road and headed west towards SR 45.
I hit the highway, and was going along fine when I felt a wobble just as some cows were calling out to me from the fence line ‘Moo-ve overer, Moo-ve over”. I pulled over and found my back tire going flat. I located my trusty pump and went to work, got it pumped up and headed out. I had to stop in another 5 minutes and pump again, then again. I stopped at the Unionville fire station and called Eileen to come and get me at it was sunset and though I had pedaled only 25 miles by the odometer, it felt like a lot more from riding the gravel roads. She showed up quick like a bunny, and I was home before dark.