Thus begins our Dayton Brewvet. For this ride, we rolled out to Jefferson County, Indiana to join Swallow Bicycle Works Adventure Ride, which covered 50 plus miles of gravel and paved roads. So there was lots of dusty fun to be had. Emphasis on the dusty.
We were on the road by 6:30 am to make it down to Indiana for the 9:00 am start. Nothing says dedication like intentionally getting up at 5:30 am on a Sunday. At least to this guy. Maybe you’re different. I doubt it, but I’m at least willing to pretend.
Anyway, once we met up with everyone at Camp Meeting Ground and got ready to go, we rolled out. Riding on gravel roads is fun, although it can be a bit dicey at times. The weird aspect of several of today’s roads were that they had not yet been packed down: you could see the imprint left in the gravel and dirt by the bike tires, which is not something you normally experience. This also meant that much of the gravel was extra-loose. Still, that’s the nature of the game.
The overall route was 52.5 miles; Strava said I did 53.2 miles. I’ll attribute the extra seven-tenths of a mile to the swerving back and forth across the road I did during a couple of the steeper climbs, and not to the fact that my phone sucks. You know, for a change of pace. Most of the 2800 feet of climbing was gradual, but there were two steep climbs that did include some suffering, although it was mostly of the kind that, as my father would describe it, builds character. Not that I was contemplating my father’s words of wisdom at the time: I was too busy sweating and grinding.
There was one actual creek crossing on the ride—you know, through the rocks and water—along with several creek crossings across cement levees. We saw a fair amount of wildlife, including two turtles (which were rescued from the road by one gallant rider), a toad, a deer running through the soybean field, and a turkey. Plus many, many dogs, some more barky than others. And a turkey. Undoubtedly there was more that I missed. We did not, however, get to meet Holly, one of the advertised highlights of the ride, but that was the one minor disappointment in a day full of fun.
Once we got back to the Camp Meeting Ground—and it was an actual old-school outdoors camp meeting ground with religious paraphernalia and the likes—everyone dug into snacks and beer. Elli and I partook in Founders All Day IPA. Light, bright, and easy-drinking. After a little under four hours of riding, it really hit the spot. After our long day of adventuring, we still made it back home to Dayton with enough time to longue and watch pre-recorded World Cup action. Thanks to Tom and Sarah at Swallow Bicycle Works for planning such awesome bicycling fun!
Oh, and just so everyone knows, I was the jackass who got the flat.