I signed up for the Tour de Kentucky last winter. This is a ride that starts in Covington at the Roebling Suspension Bridge and ends in Jellico, Tennessee some 210 miles later. The riders gather at 2:30 am and hit the road sometime around 3 or 3:15. The route is on SR 25 with one section on 26 south of Corbin to Williamsburg.
Prior to the ride I was doing a century plus about every weekend starting in April with about six rides exceeding 140 miles and two over 150. I had about 20 of these in by the day of the event. This is probably over-kill but I actually started to enjoy the long rides.
The day of the event I got up at 1:00 am having hit the sack around 8:30 pm. I left my house at 2:00 am and rode through Mt. Lookout Square and then Newport as the bars were emptying. As promised we departed the bridge about 3:15 with about 16 riders.
The first thre and a half hours in the dark were actually fun. Everyone had plenty of lights front and back so even in the darkest stretch south of Florence to Georgetown the riding felt safe although the flashing red tail-lights became a little annoying.
We rode into Lexington around 8:30 and then into Richmond around 10:15 after a stop in Georgetown for food, drinks and much needed bathrooms. In Richmond we took a longer break for some real food, took a 7 mile wrong-way ride out of town and then finally got back on course around noon.
The ride to Berea was full of traffic but the section south to the Renfro Valley and into Daniel Boone National Forest was actually very quiet and scenic. London to Corbin was once again crowded. In Corbin we took 26 to Williamsburg where we got back on 25 into Jellico. With stops in most towns we arrived in Jellico around 6:45 pm.
The days total was 225 miles, about 9000' of climbing with a normalized attage of 199, average hr of just 124. This was the plan---keep everything low.
The following day I rode with Greg Tombragel to Gatlinburg, another 106 miles, where another friend was waiting at the Wimberg chalet with my truck. After some quick showers we got in the truck and drove home. All told, 331 miles in 18:15. Great way to spend a weekend!