Tour de Mad Dog - Salt River Ford

The twelveth stage of the 2004 Tour de Mad Dog series is a memorable century for the obstacles the riders encounter in crossing the high waters of the Salt River in its headwater region of Anderson County.
Starting from Floyd's Fork Park in eastern Jefferson County, the ride heads east through Shelby County and into Anderson County, almost reaching the outskirt of Lawrenceburg before turning around and heading back west. In Anderson County, the riders are to dismount and ford across the Salt River on Rice Road. This turns out to be an impossible task given the dangerously swift current and high water due to heavy precipitation in the watershed a couple of days earlier. A second crossing of the river on Drydock Road turns out to be an unexpected ford, as the swollen Salt River swamps the low bridge, but still allows passage by carefully walking across the flooded culvert.
For a recap of the ride and some Mad Dog perspective, read Tim Chilton's Mad Dog Chronicles, an account of the ride posted on the KyCycList mailing list.

  Melissa Hall and Don Feeney are at the head of a large group of Mad Dog riders eastbound on KY 148 toward Finchville and Southville on the Salt River Ford century. Although the Carriss Store is closed for the day (it's Sunday), the store in Southville still makes for a nice place to rest and drink a soda out of the machine. Larry Preble leans his Lightning recumbent hard into the turn to come into the store stop in Southville, in the southeastern corner of Shelby County. Three card-carrying Mad Dogs (Mike Pitt, Carl Davis, and Steve Sexton, by dint of their white custom Mad Dog jerseys) are among the second charge that comes to the Southville store for a short break.  

  Bernice Martin and Jim Tretter, two of the older, er, more chronologically-enhanced stalwarts of the Louisville Bicycle Club, rest in the shade of the barn in Southville The lead group of Alan Darby, Tim Chilton, Walter Lay (and Tracy Barnes behind him on the tandem), and Don Feeney take up the lane on the narrow, undulating Benson Road in Anderson County, a real <i>Runge road</i> if there ever was one. Alan Darby ponders the deep and swift-moving Salt River at the swamped ford on Rice Road in Anderson County. It's an easy decision to make in not attempting this crossing, rather it's time to reverse course up the hill for a detour. Alan Darby, Don Feeney, Dave Bennett, and Tim Chilton wait at the top of the hill for the rest of the riders to regroup after aborting the river ford on Rice Road. Carl Davis, Mike Kamenish, and Steve Sexton all turned back by the flooded Salt River ford on Rice Road in Anderson County.  

  Melissa Hall, Dave King, Mike Pitt, and an unidentified rider return to the ridgetop from the aborted river crossing in the valley below. The ridgetop on Bondsville-Fox Creek Road becomes an impromptu gathering of a gaggle of cyclists deciding how to detour around the flooded ford of the Salt River. The proprietor of the Mountjoy Market in Anderson County finds his slow Sunday business suddenly picked up by a swarm of more than three dozen cyclists storming his store for lunch. The Mad Dog riders cram into the Mountjoy Market near Lawrenceburg in Anderson County for lunch and a break from the ride. Head Mad Dog (and Yellow Jersey leader) Tim Chilton carbo-loads with a turkey and tomato sandwich at the lunch stop at Mountjoy Market in Anderson County.  

  Jim Tretter readies his bike before leaving the Mountjoy Market. Another prophetic sign obliquely portends of weird, watery things to come. Dick Krakowski, with shoes off and bike on shoulder, is among the first cyclists to brave wading across the swift currents of the Salt River on the low bridge on Drydock Road. Jim Tretter, Don Feeney, Tim Chilton, and Melissa Hall (partially hidden behind Tim) make their way across the Salt River on the flooded culvert on Drydock Road. Larry Preble pushes his Lightning recumbent across the flooded low bridge over the Salt River. Ray Brown follows behind Larry but doesn't want his bike wet. Melissa Hall shows the elation of successfully crossing the high waters of the Salt River at the Drydock Road culvert.  

  Mike Pitt (left) and Bill Pustow (second from left) and others, with bikes aloft, gingerly walk around the driftwood and across the swift-running Salt River at the flooded low culvert on Drydock Road in Anderson County. Tim Chilton (in yellow) stands ready to lend a steadying hand to other riders as they carry their bikes across the Salt River on the flooded low bridge on Dry Dock Road. With Cory Sturgeon following behind her, Susan Howell gets a a ride captain's perk: a free pass across the Salt River while her bike is already ferried across the river by a chivalrous Dick Krakowski. Ride Captain Susan Howell gets a helping hand while crossing the flooded Salt River at the low culvert crossing on Drydock Road in Anderson County. An attempt to ford the river on Rice Road earlier in the ride was abandoned due to the dangerously fast current and deep waters. Mike Kamenish (left) helps Ron Dobbs carrying his tandem across the flooded culvert while Jeff White (right) makes sure Vicky Dobbs doesn't slip off the culvert and into the churning Salt River.  

  Among the last to make it across the high waters are Ellen Mueller (in yellow jersey, being aided by a fellow rider) while her bike is being carried by Dick Krakowski, and the tandem team of Walter Lay and Tracy Barnes, being guided by Ray Brown and Tim Chilton. Tracy Barnes and Walter Lay carry their Cannondale tandem across the high waters of the Salt River. The river is running several feet above normal height for this time of year due to a three-inch rain in the watershed a couple of days earlier. Jim Tretter powers up one of the numerous hills on KY 395 on the return from the Salt River crossing adventure. Behind him is Larry Preble on his recumbent. Larry Preble cruises up one of the hills on KY 395 in Anderson County on his recumbent, with Bill Pustow just coming into view at the bottom of the climb. Alan Darby, Don Feeney and Tim Chilton ride along on KY 148 just a dozen or so miles from the end of an excellent adventure that is the Salt River Ford century.  

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