2003 WKBT Photo Gallery

The Western Kentucky Bike Tour (WKBT) is a five-day bike tour of the Jackson Purchase Region of far western Kentucky in late September. The ride starts and ends at Madisonville and makes a big loop around the Jackson Purchase region. It's really just a chance for a bunch of guys to get together for a good time, and to occupy our time, we hop on our bikes and ride from here to there and back again just for laughs.
The cast of characters could be called the Dees and Associates: Dan Clark, Danny Trunnell, Dickie Swift, Donnie Mayton and Duc Do, and Earl Crowe, Rick Holeman and Alan Hook.
The ride report will be posted when it's good and ready!

 
  Before departure, the crew poses for a photo op at Chez Holeman in Madisonville. From left: Duc Do, Earl Crowe, Danny Trunnell, "Suffering" Dan Clark, Donnie "Madawg" Mayton, Dickie Swift and Rick "the Trail Boss" Holeman. Alan Hook would join us on the second morning. It's also the start of a journey for Builder Bob. Rick will carry Builder Bob all over the Jackson Purchase region as a pseudo-mascot of our trip. Duc comes to the ride prepared with the proper libation for the end-of-ride refreshments. This one is appropriate for the occasion: Tire Biter Ale from Flying Dog Brewery. <i>Photo by Rick Holeman. Copyright 2003 Rick Holeman. All rights reserved.</i> Worrying about high gas prices? Not these two recumbent riders! Rick and Donnie, rolling along on root-beer power, southbound on US 41 on the way out of Madisonville on a spectacular fall morning. The tiny municipal building in tiny St. Charles, a wide spot in the road on US 62 in southern Hopkins County. The small towns of western Kentucky that dot our route make for interesting visits on one's bike, if only you can locate them.  
 

 
  After going off to explore off-route territory near Crofton in Christian County, Duc catches up with the rest of the group at the store stop in Cerulean, a small crossroads in northeastern Trigg County. Dickie, of Livermore in McLean County, comes over to ride the WKBT for the first time, after hearing so much about it from the original group who wax poetically about the 2002 ride. Donnie and Earl enjoy a beautiful sunny afternoon on a quiet country road in Trigg County, not long after the store stop in Cerulean. Dan and Rick on the way to lunch at the Cracker Barrel near Cadiz. The day's ride is more than half over and it's time for a mid-ride repast. Approaching the Land Between the Lakes near the end of the first day's ride, "Suffering" Dan doesn't appear to suffer too much as he's framed in the SAG vehicle window. <i>Photo by Rick Holeman. Copyright 2003 Rick Holeman. All rights reserved.</i>  
 

 
  Having traversed the Land Between the Lakes, Dickie, Danny and Earl wait for the rest of the group to cross Kentucky Lake together just before the end of the day's ride in Aurora. The beautiful Kentucky Lake stretches out of sight to the south in the late afternoon sunshine. Danny, Rick, Dan, Donnie, Earl and Dickie are ready to tackle the last mile across Kentucky Lake to the overnight stay on this first night: Ken Oak Resort in Aurora in the southern tip of Marshall County. Rick leaves specific instructions for Duc -- in addition to the customary <i>Dan Henry</i> -- near the end of the first day's ride. He apparently doesn't want to hear the same bellyaching as on the previous year's ride, when Duc got lost at the end of a long day and wandered through Kenlake State Park looking vainly for the campground. Earl, Dickie and Alan head south from Aurora into Calloway County early on the second morning. Alan drives down from his home outside Paducah this morning to join our group for the remainder of the tour.  
 

 
  With the laid-back ease of a fellow resting in his easy chair, Danny cruises along behind Donnie shortly after breakfast in Aurora on the second morning of the tour. The trio of upright bike riders (Earl, Alan and Dickie) lead Dan on his recumbent on an undulating road of Calloway County toward Shiloh, where the SAG vehicle awaits the next shift's driver. A gaggle of bikes, both uprights and recumbents, roll through the little burg of Almo in Calloway County on the morning of the second day. Alan rides through the village of Almo Heights on Duc's wheel, with Earl a bit farther back. Earl and Duc enjoy a break in front of Mt. Hebron Church outside Backusburg at the western edge of Calloway County.  
 

 
  The group (minus picture-taking Rick) gather for a break at the SAG vehicle near Backusburg on a glorious fall morning. From left: Dickie, Dan, Duc, Alan, Earl, Donnie, and Danny. Alan cruises through the little town of Cuba in southern Graves County. Later in the day, the route takes us through Moscow in Hickman County. Danny, who comes from Livermore in McLean County, climbs a hill on his Rans V-Rex recumbent on the way to Crutchfield in Fulton County. "Madawg" Donnie on his long-wheelbase Rans Velocity Squared recumbent. Donnie has toured extensively on his bike throughout the US since he was "forced" into retirement some years ago. Rick and Dan climb up a hill on the beautiful road between Water Valley in Graves County and Crutchfield in Fulton County.  
 

 
  Hanging out and waiting at Columbus-Belmont State Park while SAG driver Danny is making circles in the Hickman County countryside, slightly confounded as to how to find the rest of the riders or the park. The fabulous river view at the campground at Columbus-Belmont State Park. The campground stretches right to the edge of the bluff overlooking the meandering Mississippi River 200-some feet below. All eyes are on the dinners Duc orders at Groghan's BBQ in Clinton: a pork platter <i>and</i> a ribs platter, with all the fixings. The dessert of a slice of chess pie is still to be served up. The whole gang poses for a group picture with the Mississippi River backdrop at Columbus-Belmont State Park before setting out for the third day's ride. A challenge must have been thrown out first thing in the morning ("The last one to breakfast is a little girl!"). Earl, Dan, and Dickie hang in a 20-something-mph paceline pulled by Donnie on the way to Arlington for breakfast on the morning we leave Columbus-Belmont State Park.  
 

 
  As the saying goes, "Life's too short, eat dessert first." Or better yet, have it for breakfast! Duc is all smile eyeing a fluffy coconut cream pie as first course for breakfast at Luke's Restaurant in Arlington. Duc leans into the turn at Hopewell Road east of Arlington with Alan not far behind. The sugar buzz from breakfast is kicking in! <i>Photo by Rick Holeman. Copyright 2003 Rick Holeman. All rights reserved.</i> Donnie and Dan prepare to turn off the main road onto one that is more cycling-friendly in the middle of Carlisle County. <i>Photo by Rick Holeman. Copyright 2003 Rick Holeman. All rights reserved.</i> Alan pushes ahead of the group on Hopewell Road shortly after breakfast in Arlington. Dickie and Earl enjoy the morning ride in beautiful sunshine in the heart of Carlisle County.  
 

 
  A morning of wandering the eastern half of Carlisle County brings Duc to St. Charles Catholic Church, a handsome church on a hill near Kirbyton. A <a href='http://www.kentuckyawake.org/plantswildlife/lifehistory.cfm?ID=138'>western cottonmouth</a> (water moccasin) on KY 121 at the Carlisle-Ballard county line. Alas, as often happens to animals that venture onto the road, this snake is mortally wounded by a passing vehicle just before it is photographed here. Builder Bob takes a wind-blown endo off the New York sign in Ballard County. Unlike its more famous namesake, New York, Ky., is an unremarkable crossroads, save for this tiny sign on KY 286. Here's a sight few people -- even lifelong Kentuckians -- realize that is in Kentucky: a cypress swamp in the river floodplain in far western Ballard County. It is difficult to tell where land ends and swamp begins. Nobody owns up to transforming Dickie's bike into a very aero "funny" bike while he is off taking his shower at the end of the day's ride. <i>Photo by Rick Holeman. Copyright 2003 Rick Holeman. All rights reserved.</i>  
 

 
  We make camp for the night amongst the motorhomes at Fern Lake Campground outside Paducah. <i>Photo by Rick Holeman. Copyright 2003 Rick Holeman. All rights reserved.</i> Settling in at Fern Lake Campground outside Paducah at the end of a long day, Duc hoists a Mountain Dew, a good chaser for an end-of-ride Sam Adams Summer Ale. Dickie plans to carbo-load at the Pasta House in Paducah, not with pasta, but with this tray of sumptuous desserts. (We promise not to tell his wife!) Not getting much sympathy from his cycling companions, Dan plies the ever-smiling Ronald McDonald with tales of unending suffering. Dickie cleans up his tent after a line of wicked thunderstorms hit us in the middle of the previous night. Lake-front camping turns to swampy camping on the poorly-drained patch of ground.  
 

 
  Away from the watchful eyes of his wife, Dickie goes all out gastronomically on vacation. Here he's set to enjoy a little bit of pancakes with strawberries and half a can of whipped cream at Cracker Barrel. After a stormy night, a morning of beautiful sunshine sees the riders leave Paducah by way of US 60. Danny is telling Alan, "Thirty-nine ninety-five! I could've stayed dry last night," referring to the going rates for motels lining US 60 on our way out of town. The storm the night before left all of us soaked to varying degrees, but it hit Danny the hardest -- he was trying to sleep amidst the puddles in his tent. Snapping his camera at the rolling group all the while moving at 18 mph, the photographer is about to run out of pavement and into the raised median. Alan, Dan, and Duc proceed down the road toward Massac in front of picture-taking Rick on his recumbent. <i>Photo by Rick Holeman. Copyright 2003 Rick Holeman. All rights reserved.</i>  
 

 
  The riders make their way up a slight grade on the way to Massac on the outskirt of Paducah. Before heading into the hills of Livingston County to round out his day's ride, Duc checks in with Rick the Trail Boss for camping arrangements for the end of the day at Land Between the Lakes. Alan, Danny, and Dan sit back for the cruise on the sailboat. <i>Photo by Rick Holeman. Copyright 2003 Rick Holeman. All rights reserved.</i> Earl (center) and Dickie relax on the sailboat while Captain Donnie takes the helm for a cruise down Kentucky Lake. <i>Photo by Rick Holeman. Copyright 2003 Rick Holeman. All rights reserved.</i> The cruise down Kentucky Lake in Donnie's sailboat is threatened by a late afternoon thunderstorm. <i>Photo by Rick Holeman. Copyright 2003 Rick Holeman. All rights reserved.</i>  
 

 
  The remnant of a quick-moving line of thunderstorms passes over Kentucky Lake at sunset. Earlier, the same storm pounded the sailboat while Donnie took the landlubbers for an evening cruise on Kentucky Lake. A brilliant sunrise over the canal that connects the lakes brings promises of great weather again. We even have tailwind for most of the day on this last day of riding. A group photo before the last day's ride. Missing is Alan, who packs up his panniers and heads down the Trace this morning to retrieve his vehicle, which he left in Aurora four days earlier. Danny and Dickie leave the Land Between the Lakes on US 62 and are about to cross over the Cumberland River into Lyon County. Dan and Earl ride into the sunshine on an unseasonally cool morning on the way to Kuttawa.  
 

 
  Rick, Earl, and Dickie ride along the Lake Barkley lakeshore on the way to old town Kuttawa on the last morning of the tour. Lake Barkley makes a nice backdrop for this bike by the lakeshore. Hidden behind the tree to the left is the state penitentiary at Eddyville. A quick stop in the remote part of northern Lyon County has the riders enjoying the sunshine under a spectacular blue sky. The 'bents riders -- Donnie, Danny and Rick -- line up to climb out of the creek bottom on this road in southwest Crittenden County. Earl, of Philpot in Daviess County, showing the form that earns him the "Hammer" moniker, cruises back into Hopkins County on KY 70.  
 

 
  Duc crosses KY 109 at Rabbit Ridge, a mere 20 miles from Madisonville and the end of another excellent WKBT. Rick, Duc, and Dickie hang out that the SAG vehicle at the crossroads that is Rabbit Ridge. A picture of incongruity in rural Kentucky. Dan and Donnie spot this rundown structure with a satellite dish near the swampy area of western Hopkins County. The end of the ride! With promises of returning for the third edition of the WKBT in 2004, we pose for another group picture before heading back to real life. "You have no idea how much I suffer," laments Dan, plaintively and often. It's not until we learn that he gets his suffering in bulk, as in this box of "A Whole Lot of Suffering" that we become believers. Yet, still, we have no idea how <i>much</i> Dan suffers.  
 


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All images Copyright ©2003 Duc M. Do (unless otherwise noted). All rights reserved.