It seems like it’s been forever since I headed south of town to ride. I got in the routine of some northern loops, and then with all the flooding we had a few weeks ago, many of the roads were jacked up and impassable, so I continued riding north of town, or worse yet, not riding at all.
That finally changed on Tuesday when I headed out to my ride launch at Meridian Park, and after an extended absence got some gravel road miles in south of town.1
Since I once again got sucked into watching le Tour I got a later than the desired start and found myself riding in the real balls of the day’s heat. And given that I live in Michigan, that means it was about 85˚, yet I might as well have been riding on the surface of the sun.
While starting at the park does save a ton of pavement, the 1 mile of paved section of Meridian Road I have to ride still has my anus clenched up like a vice since folks seem to never want to be delayed even a few seconds and will risk my life and theirs by passing on curves or at the crest of a hill. Dumb fucking car driving fuck face fucks. Sorry.
As the wheels of the PrOcal hit fresh gravel, I could feel my recently clenched ass release as if I was just given 300 CCs of high octane muscle relaxers mixed with an industrial strength laxative, but without the messy fecal matter to contend with.
I opted for the PrOcal for the ride for two reasons: 1. Given the flooding and road damage of a few weeks ago, I had no idea what I might be getting into as far as road conditions, and 2. I wanted to use my Nikon D500 and the DSLR Slinger from Porcelain Rocket is the only bag I have that it fits in. It was the slower option due to wider, heavier lugged tires, and gearing, but in the end I was happy with the choice. There was a lot of fresh, ungraded gravel in spots, as well as some soft and or washed out shoulders.
As per usual, the ride wasn’t that long; clocking in at just 25 miles, but with the heat, the time I spent taking photos, and the slower pace the PrOcal, I was out for over 2 hours and put out a LOT of sweat.
It was nice to be south of town. I know it’s literally like a 6 mile difference between going north and south of MP, but often it can seem completely different. There are more Amish, a few more hills, and I always see more wildlife. In just over 25 miles yesterday and I saw multiple deer, snakes, a turtle, a covey of grouse, and a few turkeys. My rides north of town are often limited to some deer, and a blue heron or two.
I was happy with a few of the photos I got and I’m increasingly happy with the D500. I bought it mostly to shoot sports with, but find that I really dig the setup and operation as well as the results. I just wish it was a little smaller, so as to save me the time and money or looking for another bar bag.
With a couple miles to go, I passed another cyclist that turned out to be a friend of mine. He had sweat in his eyes, and I had my eyes on getting out of the heat, so we passed each other like two lycra wearing, gravel rolling, cycling friend Missed Connections under the hot sun.
I had planned a return to gravel, any gravel, on Wednesday, but around ride time there was a huge swath of storms heading our way. I huge swath that never seemed to produce more than a few drops of rain. As a result, I found myself catching up on some chores, getting some work done, and
running lumbering (YUCK!) on the treadmill.
Hopefully Thursday will yield better results on the bike. Wifey and B are due back in town and we can finally celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary, which was today, to which I celebrated alone. A good time was had by all.