It's looking like I'll be doing a loop down into central Kentucky on Saturday. I'm planning to head east out of Louisville pretty early on the DR650 and keep a somewhat leisurly pace on secondary roads. If I'm not mistaken, the maximum speed limits along this route will be 55mph and the backroads and tracks will have the usual outbursts of water crossings, gravel, and dirt, but nothing too ridiculous. Anyone interested in riding along or meeting up along the way needs to give a shout.
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Here's some pics from previous rides in this area, just to give a general impression of what I'm looking for:
I’m always drawn to the lonely places. There’s a comfort to be found in quiet solitude that once realized, it’s near impossible to dismiss. When riding through areas like these, I’ll sometimes shut the bike off and sit there, listening to the random tinks of the cooling exhaust. There’s usually little else beyond the wind playing through the grasses and the various insects murmuring among themselves. See that puddle in the next photo? I've ridden 100 miles to hit that puddle and the few others scattered along this stretch of gravel. The state's long-term plan to pave every road, lane, driveway, and goat path has severely limited the dual sporting opportunities, and may help explain the cruiser and crotch rocket infestations found hereabouts.
The gravel drive on the left? That's where my great-grandmother lived. No pics of the dwelling, as it collapsed years ago. I lived there off and on as a youngster, and learned everything needed to be considered a card-carrying Appalachian-American. We didn't have running water or indoor plumbing, and "Mammy" did all her cooking on a wood-fired kitchen stove. We never had fewer than five large coon hounds living under the front porch and there were holes in that old shack you could throw a housecat through without messing up its fur. Looking back, it's a wonder I survived to adulthood.
The midsection of Kentucky isn’t very high on anyone’s must-ride list, I don’t think. It’s a mostly non-descript place, sorely lacking in altitude, high-gradient waterways, or much in the way of splendor. It has a smell about it in the summertime, a distant hint of decaying vegetation and stagnant water. Seems like most of the creatures that inhabit this place reflect the same static nature. Generally, nothing appears hurried except the mice and a few species of insect. I was born here back in the early 1960’s and while the area has changed pretty dramatically since then, many aspects have resisted the onslaught of time. Regardless, the ravages of time impart their own abstract beauty.