One reason I am cycling the RAAM route is that it is heavily documented with an electronic GPS file I follow on my Garmin bike computer as well as printable cue sheets with detailed directions and maps with elevation profiles. I keep the day’s cue sheet and elevation profile on my bike dashboard, or my “desk,” as my brother, Dave, called it.
The RAAM cue sheet has a folksy overall description for each segment with more details by mileage. It mentioned the White River crossing just before Bloomfield.
After the river, the cue sheet’s detailed line for Bloomfield IN says, “The country gets decidedly more lumpy.” Indeed, there were several hills with pitches up to 7% and I encountered one that went up to 11% for a moment.
The RAAM route developer threw in a most interesting “lumpy” segment on State Road 43 through the little town of Solsberry. The town is right at the top of a hill, and the railroad was built up there to find high and dry ground instead of using creek beds. This involved building a long and tall viaduct between Tulip IN and Solsberry IN, the largest of its kind in the US and third largest in the world.
SR 43 was a windy road with thrilling descents and tough “lumps.” I captured some of the ride down from Solsberry on a video of SR 43.
While granny gearing my way up one of the “lumps,” I noticed a car patiently waiting behind me. When I was finally at the top and found a little clearing, I pulled off the road. A young couple in the car smiled broadly. He gave me a thumbs up and she gave me a V for victory. That totally made my day. Instead of considering me an impediment, they recognized, appreciated, and applauded my effort!
Honestly, a few reasonable lumps on a ride make it more interesting, and a few reasonable lumps in life make life more interesting.
Start location: Sullivan IN
End location: Bloomington IN
Distance: 68.3 miles
Cumulative distance: 2304.9 miles
Elevation gain: 3044.6 (definitely some “lumps” on this segment)
Strava track: https://www.strava.com/activities/735619406