Packman's Cornerby , VP Communications
Pottershop — the hill that bedevils those who do the Old Kentucky Home Tour century — is, at 250 feet, not the highest nor, at 13.7%, the steepest hill in the region. But coming 93 miles into the ride, it finds most riders already a bit ragged and in the mood for getting into Bardstown for rest and refreshment. But there is no rest for the riders just yet on this wicked course.
My last ride with the club was the OKHT in 1998. I left home just as it was starting to get light to ride 22 miles across town to Eastern High School. After signing in, I noticed an elderly gentleman seated near the table and I decided to talk to him. I don't remember who it was (maybe someone remembers and could send me an email) but he was going to do one of the short rides on a mountain bike. He was taken by my titanium Litespeed Vortex bike and top-of-the-line lightweight components that weighed only 17 pounds. I asked if he'd like to take it around the lot. He said he didn't have shoes to clip in but pointing to my flat purple-anodized pedals, I said I didn't either. So he got to see what riding a top racing bike was like.
A few minutes later, I was on the road passing through the throngs, intent on reaching Pottershop before anyone else. Eventually I had to ask at SAG stops how many had been through. At the last stop before Pottershop, I finally caught the only three other riders to get there before me. They had started an hour earlier than I had. We rode together to the hill.
Once at the top of Pottershop, I took a red cape, a red dustpan carved into a pitchfork and red horns out of my backpack and put them on, sticking the horns into my helmet. And then I waited. It was 1:45 p.m.
Fifteen minutes later, a group from the racing team came up. They were the first to hear, "Go to Hill! Go to Hill!" But they weren't the last. For three hours I greeted everyone as the Pottershop Devil. It was great fun — for me — as I rode halfway down to meet each group, maniacally waving my "pitchfork" and "chasing" them up.
Afterward, I rode 44 miles home before dusk for a 160-mile day. The next morning, I rode back to Bardstown from PRP for the second OKHT leg.
Copyright ©2007 Louisville Wheelmen. All rights reserved.
contact the for question and/or comment about this page.
web posted: 21 Sep 2007
last updated: 24 Sep 2007