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Old 04-19-2014, 05:09 PM   #1
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CannonRide - Big Bikes on the Kentucky Adventure Tour (KAT)

Just finished up nine days of riding fun that included an Iron Butt and a fantastic ride on the Kentucky Adventure Tour (KAT). First and foremost I want to thank inmate Jeff@TheQuadShop for putting this ride together. It was about 900 miles of non-stop fun.

I'll share some pictures, video, and information here that hopefully will help other riders plan a trip of their own. I strongly endorse this path as a very worthwhile ride for big bikes or small. Jeff has some great riding in this thing!

Since we were riding big bikes, we skipped the alternate hero routes. We found plenty of challenges on the main route though.

The route tours southeast Kentucky and spills over into neighboring states. It takes in beautiful mountainous terrain.



My friend Critic rode his KTM Baja 990.



I rode my Yamaha Super Tenere.



Both bikes were a bit big and heavy for some of the more rugged sections of the path. They were certainly a hoot on the twisty pavement which makes up much of the route. No matter what bike you choose, there will be a compromise between the paved and the rugged. My DRZ would have been an excellent choice for the off-pavement sections.

We had a little unexpected snow that shut us down for a day.



The water crossings and creek paths were fine. We had good water levels. We did hear a news report of a watercourse near the area that went up 16 feet in just a few hours on the day we got the snow and rain. Something to keep in mind.



Some of these surfaces get pretty slick when they are wet and muddy. Seems like the best approach is to ride this during dry weather.



Best to keep those tire pressures up. Lots of rocks to pound your rims.



Some sample riding. The steepness doesn't show. Lots of loose rocks and erosion to deal with in some areas.



Thanks to my pal Critic for joining me for most of the KAT!
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Old 04-19-2014, 05:23 PM   #2
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Looking forward to another great ride report. Subscribed.
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Old 04-19-2014, 05:27 PM   #3
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In of course !
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Old 04-19-2014, 05:34 PM   #4
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I've been looking for some new rides this side of the Mississippi. I'm in!
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Old 04-19-2014, 05:47 PM   #5
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Good to see you riding in the Commonwealth Bryan.

Looking forward to this.
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Old 04-19-2014, 07:23 PM   #6
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Looking great!
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Old 04-19-2014, 08:22 PM   #7
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Day 1 Red River Gorge Scenic Byway

The Red River Gorge Scenic Byway isn't part of the GPX that Jeff provided, but it adjoins the KAT right about where we planned to start. I included it in this trip because it is 40 miles of fun riding and interesting stuff. We arrived in the area later in the day so this was a perfect way to pass the time until we hit the KAT first thing in the morning.

It starts in Stanton and ends on the KAT at Slade.



(As a side note, I am including the KAT GPX track as a grey colored background track as I post my own track and the maps in this thread. This is to eliminate any confusion as to what is reported here that may not have been part of the KAT file. I left the "hard" hero sections as red tracks in the background. We did not ride the red tracks.)

As we pulled out of Stanton we came upon this combination drive-in movie theater and car wash that is still in operation. My bet is that many of the readers here have never experienced a movie at a drive-in.



Projection house and snack bar.



Kind of a lumpy looking screen.



You would get the sound through these speakers that you hung on your car window. This modern facility also has a low power AM transmitter so you can get the sound through your car radio. Back in Wisconsin, the speaker poles also had corded heaters you could put in your car during cold weather.



The Nada Tunnel is one of the first interesting features of this loop.



Back in the early 1900s, a logging outfit from West Virginia got hold of 2,500 acres of land to log in this area. The outfit was named the Dana Lumber Company. The town and tunnel got the name "Nada" as a variation of Dana.



The one-lane tunnel is 900' long, 13' high, and 12' wide. It was built for a train to pass through. This outfit already owned a standard gauge engine and rails so they built for that size instead of the usual narrow-gauge that was used in these situations. Narrow gauge can make tighter turns and costs a bit less.



They built the tunnel during the period December 1910 through September 1911. By 1912 trains ran through it. They used dynamite, steam drills, and hand tools to build the tunnel. A man and a dog were killed when a guy tried to thaw frozen dynamite a little too close to a fire.



One can't help but wonder how they logged this rugged terrain. Even today, looking at an active logging site in this rugged region is interesting. Back then they used horses, mules, and oxen to drag logs to streams. From there they used splash dams to float logs to a rail head or the Red River. Logging and milling ran up until about 1921 when things shut down. In 1934 the federal government got the land for part of a National Forest.





Soon after the railroad shut down, cars and trucks were using the tunnel as they are today.



Here is a little footage of a ride through the tunnel and on the road that winds around on the other side of the tunnel. Fun riding!

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Old 04-19-2014, 08:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TOTim View Post
Looking forward to another great ride report. Subscribed.
Thanks Tim! Hope you enjoy the report as much as we did the ride.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DockingPilot View Post

In of course !
Hi Frank! You and your posse would have a blast on this one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bomose View Post
I've been looking for some new rides this side of the Mississippi. I'm in!
I had a really nice time on this ride and heartily recommend it for others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbabc View Post
Good to see you riding in the Commonwealth Bryan.

Looking forward to this.
I really like the area. I was stationed down that way and this trip reminded me of many of the things I enjoyed back then. I have to admit that even though the dialect and expressions were familiar, I had to listen more closely as people spoke - especially in the more rural areas. Hope you enjoy the report!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmckeown88 View Post
Looking great!
Thanks for following along!
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Old 04-19-2014, 10:37 PM   #9
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Old 04-19-2014, 11:32 PM   #10
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Another Cannonshot RR!

N!
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Old 04-20-2014, 05:19 AM   #11
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More...we need more!
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Old 04-20-2014, 07:20 AM   #12
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Looking forward to some updates.
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Old 04-20-2014, 07:24 AM   #13
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Can't wait to get another set of wheels to ride this!
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Old 04-20-2014, 11:00 AM   #14
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Looks to be another great RR. And in my neighborhood!
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Old 04-20-2014, 11:06 AM   #15
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Looks pretty awesome Cannon!
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