Mammoth Cave, a bust... - Riding in Circles - CycleBlaze

October 12, 2020

Mammoth Cave, a bust...

Day 12: Caneyville KY to Bowling Green KY (with stop at Mammoth Cave)

Distance: 72 miles

Weather: 62 in am, 80 in afternoon, overcast skies

Well, I managed to get through the night under the gazebo outside the church without being detected.  I woke up at 6 am, packed my mattress, sleeping bag, and odds and ends and was on the road by 7 am. 
I got an early start today because the weather rain was in the forecast in the afternoon.

Dense fog this morning meant I had to use my flashing rear light all morning.
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  The ride to Mammoth Cave was extremely rural.  I only hit 1 gas station and rode roughly 25 miles with no water.  Also as a side note the Kentucky hill people are extremely kind.  Overly so!  They won't pass me on the road until I wave them by.  


I set a new personal best.  39 miles by 11 am put me in Mammoth Cave National Park. 

Entrance sign to Park
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When I reached the entrance sign for Mammoth Cave National Park I didn't realize I still had 9 miles to pedal within the park to reach the visitors center, campground, and tour area for the cave.  The road through the park was beautiful.  I rode along 70E also known as Mammoth Cave Parkway.  The road is newly paved and is basically a long tunnel with woods and fall colors on both sides.

Mammoth cave parkway
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  Unfortunately the tours were all sold out when I arrived.  So, after doing some sightseeing of everything but the cave I decided to head to Bowling Green. 

Vista from roadside in Park
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 Also factoring into that decision was that I was short on food (and didn't want to eat $4 ntl park svc boiled hot dogs), was nearly out of denatured alcohol (my fuel source), and my phone and portable energy source was nearly empty as well.  So, I reluctantly and respectfully left the park and rode 23 miles to Bowling Green.

The ride into the north end of Bowling Green was harrowing.  Kentucky likes to have state roads and highways with little to no shoulder and they put a small rumble strip which takes up the entire shoulder.  This in turn forces the cyclist to ride in the road.  Add to this, the last hour of riding I was racing a storm coming in.

Though, I'm sitting here typing this from the comfort of a couch in my room at the Super 8.  I've already done laundry, showered, shaved, and am charging my electronics.  Tommorow morning I plan to go to a grocery store, Lowes to buy denatured alcohol, a post office to send a few items back home, and if time permits I may check out downtown Bowling Green.

Today's ride: 73 miles (117 km)
Total: 634 miles (1,020 km)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 5
Comment on this entry Comment 5
Jacquie GaudetSad that you didn't get to see Mammoth Cave. The Gouffre de Padirac was, for me, one of the highlights of last year's tour in France.
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2 weeks ago
David AlbertTo Jacquie GaudetYes, indeed it was Jacquie. Another factor however that I didn't mention in my entry was that due to covid19 they were only doing the most basic tours this year. No, crawling around in tight spaces this year. Lol
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2 weeks ago
Marylynn WebsterType your comment here
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2 weeks ago
Marylynn WebsterTo Marylynn WebsterIts fun to read your comments because we were JUST at Mammoth Cave. We did not do the cave tour either but enjoyed a few hikes and learning a bit of the history, the best being about Floyd Collins and his untimely death in 1926. Google it in case you did not hear of him. I think you will find it interesting as we did! I was not biking like you but also noticed the poor road shoulders for bikers....but thought the roads looked like great fun on a bike, so twisty but maybe a bit too hilly.
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2 weeks ago
Rachael AndersonSorry you couldn’t see the cave.
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2 weeks ago