Sunday, October 21, 2012

Kokosing Gap -- Knox County, Ohio

Today was a fantastic day on the bike. The schedule was wide open and with no place to be I headed south and east to Knox County, Ohio.  Oh no more leaf pictures! Oh yes, I never tire of autumn splendor on display.  The peak is well past and and a lot of leaves are on the ground but what color is left has shifted to the coppers and golds.  Put a little sunlight to it and a blue sky in the background and I can't think of anywhere I'd rather be than kicked back on my recumbent just taking it all in.
I get a bit sentimental at this time of year because soon the fields and woods will be brown and dead.  The days will be short and darkness will mostly have fallen by the time I get out of work in the afternoons.  When I was younger ten or fifteen years ago I would spend an afternoon on the bike and always feel like I was missing something or could be using my time for something better. I don't feel that way anymore.  I cherish every chance I get to be out on the bike.  I guess that's just part of the process of getting older.  Pastimes and interests get distilled down to what really matters and that's where we invest our precious time.
Today I planned to ride the Kokosing Gap Trail starting at the western end in Mt. Vernon and travel the full 14 miles to Danville and continue east from there.  As I cruised down the trail I noticed a big clump of cyclists ahead and as they got closer I noticed the low height. Lo and behold it was a recumbent caravan!  I reached behind my head and grabbed my camera managing to take a few shots as they passed by.

When I reached the end of the rail trail I headed east towards a small village called Brinkhaven.  The shot above shows me cruising along Highway 62 at 25 mph.  Knox County is home to a large Amish and Mennonite community.  Their homes and farmsteads are easy to pick out. The houses are always painted sharply white and well kept. 
This farm was on the corner of 62 and a county road so I had to circle around and take a picture.  I rode up the dirt road a bit and when I was more or less even with the front of the house one of the upstairs windows slid open and a loud voice called out "Nice ride!"  These people are no-nonsense folk and they know a good machine when they see it.
At Brinkhaven Highway 62 crosses over the Kokosing River and here I explored this quiet country lane that wound its way up out of the valley.  This stretch was especially magical with golden deciduous trees on the left and a narrow band of pines on the right.  At the twenty mile mark I took a break for a mid ride snack before turning around and heading back to Mt Vernon.

Kokosing Gap - Danville - Brinkhaven
Bike:  HP Velotechnik Street Machine
Distance:  40.31 miles
Ride Time:  3:15:35
Average Speed:  12.3 mph
Max Speed:  27.4 mph


  1. Seems like the recumbent gang you passed were all fond of fairings. I've noticed that you don't use one. Any thoughts on the benefits versus drawbacks?

  2. It is just my opinion because I've got no practical experience with fairings but for cold weather riding I think the fairing would be nice. A slight reduction in drag may also be realized more so at higher speeds.

    On the downside I've heard that fairings and shells like on velocars can magnify drive train noise. That's probably just a matter of personal preference but I hate drivetrain noise.

    If you notice the recumbents pictured are all long wheel base designs with the cranks low and behind the front wheel. This design is particularly well suited to mounting a fairing. My bike being a short wheel base with a boom extending the cranks out past the front wheel along with the lack of handlebars way up would make it hard to mount a fairing. Maybe there is something out there that would fit my model but I've never looked into it. Also when I am mounting and dismounting my machine I swing a leg around up and over the cranks. Having a big bubble shape up there would make it much more difficult getting on and off the bike.

    Added weight and expense is another drawback. These fairings aren't cheap.

  3. I was thinking more of the wind resistance aspect, but from my days in Chicago, I recall the chilly wind on my runs being something I had to learn to adjust to. It was something new to me to figure that I needed to layer my outfits with a warming layer under a wind resistance layer. I hand't even thought of what the fairing would do noise wise either. Thanks, Mike!

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. Oops! Sorry Anon did Not mean to delete your post! Thanks for checking out the blog, -RCT