Sunday, May 31, 2009

May 2009 S24O Part 1: Prep and getting there

Note: since there's so much photo content, I'm splitting this into two parts. (Part 2)

Sometime last year, I put together a route to get to Hillsdale Lake by bike.

My wife was heading out to see her sister this weekend, so I decided it would be the perfect excuse to go on my first S24O. More has been written about these than I could ever hope to digest, but I decided I'd treat it kind of like a backpacking trip.

Itemized manifest for the journey

2 packs of ramen noodles
2 eggs
Pat of butter
Salt and pepper packets
3 slices of whole-wheat bread folded in half with peanut butter
6 marshmallows for roasting. Just because.
2x 24oz water bottles
32oz water bottle

folding mess kit (almost identical to this one)
plastic knife, spoon, fork
Folding spatula (from this kit, I left the rest at home)
Propane burner
half-empty 16oz propane cylinder (left over from Memorial Day Weekend)
Waterproof matches

chamois (for the ride home)
cargo shorts (so I'm not walking around in chamois all night)
underwear (so I'm not freeballing)
2 pair of socks
Sun/Fishing hat

Gerber Evolution
Mini Mag-Lite
Plus my usual commuter tools:
Park MTB-3
Inner Tube
CO2 Inflater and spare cartridges

Small dome tent with stakes
Medium-weight sleeping bag (the only one I have)

This is how that looks all loaded up:

This one is for PM Summer, who has me thinking more and more about how stupid bike lanes are... especially in Olathe Kansas, where no stretch of bike lane is more than maybe one mile long before coming abruptly to an end and re-starting a ways later. Also, all bike lanes in this area seem to attract trash, glass, or fall to disrepair with pot-holes and huge gaps in road seams.

It's hard to tell here, but this is some chunky chip-seal pavement. On my journey, I would ride on asphalt, chip-seal, gravel, washboard dirt, oil-sealed dirt, oiled gravel, concrete, and even about 1/4 mile on rail bed, which uses large chunk gravel for filler.

An out-of-the way watering hole in Spring Hill

Opposed: Farm Co-Op

Here's the source of the washboard dirt I was telling you about. Woodland Road comes to an abrupt end near southern Spring Hill. I was planning on taking Woodland to 239th St. What did I do? I pushed onward, of course!

I needed both hands firmly at the helm for what came next, so I don't have any photos. What lay beyond those roadblocks was a washboard dirt trail where Woodland used to be, which goes down to a riverbed and looks to be making way for some kind of bridge. I ended up riding about a mile worth of no-man's-land where there wasn't anything actually resembling a trail or a road, and took that over to the rail bed. From there, I rode north again for about 1/4 mile to the torn-up crossing that will eventually connect two parts of 231st street together where they're currently cut off. I took 231st to Victory Road, which is gravel. I really don't mind gravel.

Back when I designed the route, cDude told me that there would be something "interesting" on my route and left it at that. I'd found out that he meant this old railroad bridge that was built in 1922.

If it weren't for that bridge, I'd be kicking myself. I should have taken 231st a bit further to Old KC Road, a fully paved paradise. That's okay, though. I wasn't on this ride to make good time. I just wanted an adventure, and I was getting one!

Old KC Road is mostly downhill going southwest. Combined with the slight northeast breeze, I was finally making some good time again, until it was time to slog the hills on 255th St.

Of course, there's always the wicked descent on the other side that makes the climb worthwhile!

At this point, you can see just a sliver of Hillsdale Lake. I'd arrived!

Continue to part 2


Apertome said...

I'm glad you finally went camping. How did the bike handle with that much weight on it? Did you notice any shimmies or frame/wheel flex?

Noah said...

No, the Twelve was rock-solid the entire time, even on the crappiest surfaces of the adventure. Oddly, I do notice a strange shimmy when it isn't loaded down. I did finally manage to un-true that Mavic Aksium on the rear of the bike, but that happened a few weeks ago. This trip left my bike no worse for the wear, surprisingly even my tires look good. I was expecting some minor cuts and sidewall damage from some of the things I did this weekend.

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