I thought Rafal was being creative in his use of language by describing Mark's 65 mile road and gravel route as a Bacon Ride. It turns out, there was bacon involved, however, suitable alternatives were available for vegetarians.
Rafal, James P. and I met at Aksarben Village around 6am and headed out to the south and the west using a Bikely route created by Mark S. I didn't get a lot of photos. Rafal's pace was quick (for me) and it didn't leave me much time for fussing with the camera. I did get a few shots of the MOPAC Trail near Springfield, then some at Platte River State Park, where we had a buffet style breakfast, and then some photos along the pedestrian bridge that spans the Platte River west of the park. We finished the trip with some suds at Blue Planet Natural Grill before parting ways.
Before the ride, I had thought I would turn back about 20-25 miles into the ride, but Rafal encouraged me on (I can't repeat his words *grin*). Plus, I didn't have the cue sheet, and, frankly, wasn't certain how to get back, so I stuck it out. I'm glad I did. I'm slow climbing the hills, but I think I recovered well enough.
Though Rafal and James were on single speeds, I don't think I would have fared so well on this gravely terrain, so I opted for the Specialized Tricross bike, which, as Brady put it, was "designed to eat gravel."
With 72 miles, including the commute to and from the trail, this is the most that I've ridden in a single day. Including a restroom break and breakfast, we were out for about six hours. My previous record was the Shenandoah trip, where my wife and I were out for 11 hours over 65 miles, albeit, fully loaded down with touring gear on damp limestone.
My legs are a little sore, and I'm tired from staying up too late last night, but I had a real blast, and am looking forward to another long ride with my bike friends again in the future.
Here's a link to the photos in case the slide show doesn't load.
View Platte Gravel 65 mile (Bikely) in a larger map
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