I was up at 6 AM today to start my weekday process of coffee drinking, crap taking, breakfast making, boy waking, and lunch packing as I get Wifey and B-Man out the door. Once they were gone I did a few quick web edits that needed done, drank more coffee, and thought about when and where I wanted to ride once I got back from my next to last useless chiropractor visit.
I decided that I would head south of town and try to hit up a road that my friend Chris told me about on the Facebook the other day. The road–Kith Haven Road–is only .5 miles long, but that half of a mile is made up of deep wet sand, mud puddles, horse and buggy ruts, ATV treads, and other assorted rural nastiness. As a lover of shit roads I had to experience it for myself.
I also wanted to ride it because getting to and from Kith Haven would force me onto unfamiliar roads, and give my riding a much-needed change of scenery.
To save time after my appointment, and to avoid prolonged bouts of pavement, I opted to start my ride from Meridian Park. This allows for just a one mile paved ride to the dirt, rather than six or more miles (12 round trip). Not as easy as riding the roads north of town, where I leave right from my back door, and it might not be every very environmentally friendly, but fuck it, I have a schedule to keep, and hatred of cars whizzing past me.
We had some light rain overnight, but the roads have been so dry, that nearly all of them were packed tight, and rolled fast.
Kith Haven was easy enough to locate, and it turns out I’ve ridden VERY close to it many time, just never actually passed it.
I stopped before I made the left, looking down a dark tree-lined dirt road, filled with mud puddles and ruts. There seemed to me quite a few ATV treads to follow, so after a quick pic, I started my half mile journey.
I couldn’t have gone more than a hundred yards or so, before my 40c tires were sinking into the sand like a hot knife through butter, and I came to a near standstill. I dismounted and hoofed it through deep, dark sandy dirt until I found a place to remount. I took about six pedal strokes, came to another standstill, and promptly fell over into the sand. DOH!
My cleats had become so clogged with sand I couldn’t unclip. As a result I was covered in wet sand on my entire right side. Moron.
Soon enough I was on the other side, and felt like I had just miraculously made it through some Middle Earth-like forest without being hacked apart by Orcs! OR worse yet violently sodomized by some creepy redneck who wants to make America Great Again, or more likely Make Jason Gape Again [what, again??].
Once out the other side with my lycra covered rectum unmolested, I found myself two steps behind a county road crew laying down fresh dirt. Things went from worse to bad, and I found myself fish tailing, and doing everything to move forward and stay upright for the next two miles until hitting a paved farm road for a much-needed break.
Soon I was back on familiar dirt roads and weaving my way back to Meridian, all the while looking over my shoulder at the approaching rain clouds.
Just as I packed up the car it started sprinkling rain, and by the time I pulled in the garage it was coming down pretty good.
The ride clocked in at just over 35 miles, but it was one of the better 35 mile rides I’ve done in a while. It’s always nice to explore new roads to add into my dirt road loops.
Looks like Thursday will be a day off the bike considering the heavy rains we got last night; If anything it will be a short paved loop. The weekend is going to be a busy one, but I’m hopeful to squeeze in rides on Friday and Saturday morning.