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Backroads of Northern Kentucky

4783 Views 15 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Stichill
When they pointed the Hubble Space Telescope at an "empty" spot in space, scientists were stunned to find that there were billions of galaxies in the images they captured.

Using Google Maps on the state of Kentucky is like that. Point Google at an "empty" place anywhere in Kentucky, zoom in, and you will find that it is not empty at will be filled with tiny one-lane country roads. These roads run across and along ridges and dive down into muddy creek bottoms. They are seemingly endless.

I decided to pick a section of map, a box about 12 miles long by 12 miles wide, and make a GPS route to ride as many of the roads within that area as possible. I tried to minimize backtracking but freely let routes cross over one another.

What a hoot! It turned out to be 100 miles that took me about four hours to ride, including a lunch stop at Waffle House in Dry Ridge.

Weather was overcast and humid, temperatures around 46 deg F and occasionally gusty winds. Most of the time my speeds were around 35-45 mph and I spent a lot of time running along creeks, so the wind was only a factor when I popped up briefly onto the ridgetops.

The CBR250R is perfectly designed to ride roads like this. I installed a set of heated grips that Santa brought me, so between them and a heated jacket liner I was comfortable throughout the ride.

Just goes to show how much fun you can have right in your own back yard!

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A lot of those look just like the rural roads here in the south of England. The only difference is that it's much harder here to find a 12 mile square without a town or six in it.
I visited the countryside south of're right there's a lot of similarity. England is much tidier though. Sad to say that there are some pretty junky people living in parts of the backcountry here...dilapidated homes and rubbish everywhere. Although it's common to see these trashed-out places, it's not the majority thankfully.
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Nice pic's... I'm surprised to see that those narrow, one lane roads are paved.
Kentucky has an incredible mileage of paved roads like this, I think I looked it up one time and state-maintained roads about 40,000 miles and county-maintained about 70,000 miles. Every once in a while I run into a gravel road but it's getting more and more rare to find them.
The ancestry around here is Scot, Irish, and English with a small fraction of German.

Be thankful we're not still over there making such a mess! :wink2:
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Yeah, a lot of the creek crossings are very crude. Most can only handle low flows and become submerged after heavy rain. There are signs everywhere saying "Roadway May Be Covered in Water" as you start heading downhill.

Just recently, four people in a sedan tried to cross one of these fords with about 18" of water rushing over night. Their car was swept away and they had to swim to safety. Miraculously all four survived without injury.

The photo above with the pipes is a fairly big waterway; I wouldn't be surprised if there was a bridge there before that washed out and the pipes were a temporary fix that worked better than expected so they left it.

Hey last summer I did all the gravel I could care to in southern Illinois trying to reach a remote hunting cabin for the night. I thought, if this gravel doesn't wreck me, the deer standing in the cornfields every 50 feet surely will!
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I just now got around to looking up this location
Very close to me.
I've been down that way many times over the years. The smaller the road, the better it is.
Yes, the whole area is full of these small roads that are tailor-made for the CBR250R. Look at SE Indiana between Madison and Aurora...I love riding over there too.

Seriously, is that the camera on your phone?
Yep! I have to confess to manipulation on the computer. The raw images from my iPhone 5S are overexposed and lack sufficient contrast.

What I do is open them in Microsoft Office Picture Manager and go into Brightness and Contrast.

I cut the Brightness because this drops the peak white level to correct for the overexposure. If blacks are crushed in the shadows, I increase Midtones. As a last step I will increase Contrast if needed to bring out the crispness. The last step is what will make a picture really "pop".
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Yes, it is a Zero Gravity Sport Touring. I'm 5'5" and it moved the slipstream from my neck to the center of my visor. This was a big improvement because it stopped my helmet from lifting and stopped the direct blast of cold air into my neck and up under the helmet into my face when riding in low temperatures.

It is very thin and somewhat fragile, however. A friend was helping me clean my bike and accidentally cracked it while rubbing on it a little too hard with a microfiber cloth and bug remover. I replaced it with another one, however because it just suits my needs perfectly. I have always been careful when cleaning it and haven't had any issues with breaking it myself.

Installation of any windshield that uses the stock mounting points is a chore on the CBR250R. That's not the fault of this windshield, just how our bikes are designed. You have to disassemble quite a bit of the plastics and front end, including the dashboard, to complete the installation.
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I can understand how you'd miss the roads in the lower Midwest. You could spend a lifetime exploring and still never ride them all.

The Rockies feature beautiful scenery, though. I'd like to ride them someday.
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