Since last Saturday’s “race,” riding has been somewhat limited by road and trail conditions, time, and desire. Other than that 4.5 mile snowshoe up north, my laziness kicked into high gear and my half-hearted attempts at strength training turned into quarter hearted attempts, and any time on the trainer was short-lived with a focus on “fuck it.”
It looked as if I could get in a dirt road ride in Saturday morning. With an eye on rising temps, I hoped that I could roll the studded Fatterson on frozen dirt and ice and avoid the slushy, muddy quagmire that the Michigan dirt roads would become as they thawed throughout the day. As you can see, I didn’t make it. I could have made it if I could have pushed my ass out the door earlier in the morning, but I got wrapped up in laziness, coffee, and FA Cup footy.
The ride started well enough, the roads during the first ten miles had yet to thaw and the studded fatties hooking up on sheets of ice and joyfully hurling my carcass through the countryside.
One too many photographic pit-stops delayed my progress and the next thing I knew the Fatterson was no longer gripping ice, but pushing through gritty mud, puddles, slush and soft snow on the rapidly melting roads. The lack of a rear fender on the Fatterson had cold, salty slush and water soaking my chamois and shooting up my ass enema style. It was swell.
However bad the conditions of the roads were, I was super stoked to be out getting some saddle time in, especially with the prospect of rain on Sunday to make things even worse. Sometimes I lament the quality of the Fatterson compared to my other bikes (the Boone and the Procaliber), that is of course UNTIL I ride in shit like this! Then I am stoked to have a bike durable enough to take the abuse, and crap enough that I don’t see dollar signs and destroyed drive train parts with every turn of the pedals.
Having said that, I did order a new chain and cassette last week and they’re waiting for me at the shop, so I might see some dollar signs the next time I’m out in crap conditions like I rode in on Saturday.
As per usual for me–especially during the winter–the ride wasn’t any sort of epic, but it was two hours spent outside with my bike and cameras. Speaking of cameras, I was glad that I lined the DSLR Slinger on the Fatterson with some plastic bags before I left. No water seeped in, but it was comforting to know that they were there to protect the goods (the X-T10 and the Canon s95) from the shit spatter the dirt road were throwing at me.
After the ride I spent some time, and a dollar fifty, at the car wash to get the Fatterson cleaned up. With the house hose frozen, the mister (not the high pressure) and hot water was just the ticket to clean the multiple layers of mud, sand and crap off of it. Now I just need to get lube-tastic with it.
I have no idea what the coming week will have as far as riding, but from what I can tell conditions don’t look good. With January ending and eight to twenty-five more weeks of winter weather and spring slop ahead of us, I have the feeling this won’t be the last time I ride in such conditions.
Here’s a collection of pics from the ride. As per usual, click on the pic to enlarge and to navigate the gallery.