Returning home from Louisville after Masters Nationals, I found the latest Outside magazine waiting in the mail stack. Louisville is on their “top 20 towns in America” list. So … was it?
First night there, eating dinner and seeing all the beautiful southern s (all seemingly ) walk by, I told my teammate Ray that my son should have visited colleges down here. Not that I was really looking. I was just thinking of my son, honestly.
The mayor apparently is a cyclist. I’m guessing that played a role in Louisville hosting Nationals. What if Cleveland’s mayor was a cyclist? What if the President was a cyclist. Oh, wait, never mind.
The riding seemed good — I found some quiet roads to ride on, and the drivers were courteous with one exception. A guy pulling a boat intentionally ran me off the road (that runs along the Ohio River) and into the grass. I know it was intentional because he first almost pulled out and hit me, and was visibly annoyed that he had to wait. They are everywhere.
The Ohio River, which runs through town and separates Kentucky and Indiana, is bigger and more pleasing than I would have expected. A couple of nights I took a chair and sat near the river and read as the sun went down and the jet skiers blasted around (they are everywhere too).
The downtown area seemed new and clean — big enough but not too big. Louisville Slugger stadium (home of the Bats) is in the downtown area, and is a great place to watch baseball. Moving out from downtown, the neighborhoods seemed quiet and leafy, without the sense of sprawl that I noticed in Columbus the previous week.
Overall I noticed a sense of friendliness and politeness that’s mostly missing here at home. The receptionist at the hotel went on about all the things she recommended I do in Louisville. A guy gave me a free ticket to the baseball game. Drivers waved me on in front of them at stop signs. The gas station clerk said “sir” and “ma’am”.
Walking out of the baseball game there was a panhandler asking for money. I told him, “not tonight, sorry.” When he politely replied, “OK, no problem sir”, I knew I was not in Cleveland.
I’d go back again for Nationals next year.