I brought home the Scrambler in mid-summer 2016. Still fitted with street tires, Not long after I found myself staring down a mud field I dared not cross for fear of dumping the bike in the mud or getting stuck on a subsequent obstacle and having the cross the mud field a second time. That was my first excursion up Spaas Creek Road, an off-road adventure I vowed to conquer, and the beginning of my “Adventure Fever” in eastern Kentucky.
Unbeknownst to me at the time, Spaas Creek is actually one of the most northern trails on the Kentucky Adventure Tour (KAT). For those unfamiliar, the KAT is a 900+ mile dual-sport route around Kentucky. The majority of the route is unpaved, including optional “hard” sections. The KAT also dips briefly into West Virginia, Virginia, and Tennesse.
Over the last two years I’ve spent more and more time riding portions of the KAT, but I’ve still not finished the entire loop. Considering the swell of attendees to Red River Scramble, combined with my own interest in the KAT, I sat down with KAT founder, Jeff Stoess, to talk about the route in greater detail.
Jeff is a Kentucky native, born and raised just outside Louisville where he still lives today. In his youth, Jeff spent time racing cross-country hare scrambles all over the U.S. A few years back Jeff decided to tackle the Trans America Trail on an XR600. When the trip was over, he pondered the challenges of riding the route and then getting his bike back home. After going through the hassle, he thought perhaps east coast riders would benefit from a local route; a more challenging route that makes a loop and can be run in either direction.
Needless to say, a great deal of work went into putting together the KAT. With that, the route is also very fluid, as Jeff likes to remove pavement in lieu of additional dirt tracks whenever possible. Jeff maintains a GPX file that includes points of interest, hazards, and recommended food and lodging locations. Jeff and I obviously went in-depth on all of those topics. To catch my entire Jeff, head over to my recent YouTube “video”.
Note: I recorded our interview, and then “dubbed” footage of the my recent trips along the northern sections of the KAT (with the help of my buddy Bill DeVore). If you’re at the office or working around the house, just listen to the video. If you’re interested in the terrain conditions, take a peek at the video while you’re following along, whatever works.
More on the Kentucky Adventure Tour: