Rule number one in life is that, by default, anything that starts with the word ‘mega’ has to be awesome. I mean ‘awesome’ both in the literal sense, meaning ‘inspiring awe,’ and the figurative sense, meaning ‘super fuckin’ cool.’ This covers my ass because someone will inevitably respond to rule number one with something like “Well what about mega-diarrhea?” Well, sir (or madame), mega-diarrhea sounds, at the very least, intriguing, and would likely inspire awe simply by virtue of its mega-ness (and perhaps its grotesque volume).

Fortunately, mega-diarrhea has no part to play in this tale. Also fortunate, Louisville’s Mega Cavern is indeed awesome; it’s super fuckin’ cool and it inspires awe. Erin and I were so mega-pumped to see the Mega Cavern that we mega-forgot to take pictures, so that first photo is all you’re gonna get from me (other photos found on Google). To be fair, we were on electric mega-bikes the whole time, and navigating the dark cavern proved tough enough without managing a fragile and easily-dropped iPhone.

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Our tour took place entirely on electric bikes with mega-tires about as thick as my thigh. We picked out bikes just after our young, devil-may-care tour guide instructed us to don helmets, headphones, and safety vests. I had plenty of time to select my electric steed because one man took about 10 minutes to put a headphone in his daughter’s ear, which she should have been perfectly capable of doing herself. I stood impatiently, relishing the fact that I had a securely-fastened over the ear headset that I could easily have forfeited to the struggling pair. But my secure earbud was simply a luxury too great to throw away. How else would I hear our tour guide say, nonchalantly, ‘…so that’s….pretty cool I guess…’ after each fact she spouted.

The e-bike tour kicked off with a swift ride to approximately 20 feet from the starting point, where we were regaled with limestone facts and tidbits about the cavern system that were interesting enough for an affirmative nod at the time, but not interesting enough to remember. After reboarding our bikes, we rode through an area mainly used for storage. Our tour guide shared that rumors abound of Disney owning one of the storage units and that the original Wizard of Oz film reel rests somewhere in one of Disney’s units. Disney didn’t make the original Wizard of Oz film, so I highly doubt that.

Two notable stops on the tour left us wishing for things we didn’t have. A romp through the underground BMX and mountain biking trails made us wish we were talented enough to take on the jumps and dives on the course. The tour through the underground zip line area made us wish we had also purchased tickets for the underground zip lines. Still, the bikes were speedy and riding through the darkness with one mediocre helmet light was just scary enough to produce a small adrenaline rush. Apparently, the girl who struggled with her headphones took that a little too far when she fell off her bike after hitting a rock. We sat for five minutes while she decided whether she wanted a band-aid (she didn’t).

We continued to the last section of the tour–also the darkest section. Our guide told us that there would be two large hills, each preceded by two cones. Once we passed the first cone, we were to speed up. Once we passed the second cone, we were to hit max speed, lest we fall down the hill and die of embarrassment.

The first six members of our group bebopped up the hill with relative ease. Then we all watched as that same girl slowly pulled up to the hill and sat at the bottom, saying nothing. Her dad peered down for a moment, then dismounted his bike and peered some more. Finally, succumbing to the silent pressure from everyone glaring at him (his wife included), he walked down and rolled her bike up the hill. We went on our merry way…

…to the next hill. And the same exact thing happened, peering and all. Deadpan, our tour guide said “Looks like she’s having some trouble.” It was all I could do not to laugh out loud.

90 minutes after beginning our journey, we returned to the starting point with muddied jeans and sore butts (no mega-diarrhea) and ventured back into the light.

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