Last Sunday Greg and I went to Loveland and then out the other side of it, heading east. I had gone exploring for food one day out this direction (there's not much in Loveland for lunch) and thought, "wouldn't this be a nice place to ride my bike?". After traveling a few moments from Loveland, you are suddenly in the country. AND, the road lines disappear! One theory I have concerning road bike safety is that cars are much more willing to pass you with a lot of room between you and them when they don't have those pesky lines trying to keep them on the right side of the road. Also means the road doesn't have as much traffic.
So we parked at a church and started riding. For some reason, the "country" is synonymous with "flat" to me – probably because of where I grew up. Quite wrong in this area. I don't think we ever traveled on any 0% grades. It was hills all the way. Some were even quite large hills with fun descents and some hard climbs. Would have been good to train out here for Caesar's Creek. I had wanted to do 19 miles (in honor of my 19 mile Ride-of-Error the previous weekend) but after all the hills, we ended with 14.5 and felt great.
The Loveland bike trail is awesome, but going flat and straight in the woods gets old. I'm happy to have found an alternative place to ride on roads. And we saw 6 other cyclists (3 pairs) while we were out! So hopefully that means people in the area are used to seeing bikes on the road.
We saw a lot of cool houses and it was a gorgeous, sunny day. A coyote ran out in front of us toward the end of the ride. Came out of nowhere (well, came out of the corn field) and skipped across the road, watching us warily as it headed through the next field. Look out, chickens!