While this is technically fall, It just hasn’t felt like it, at least not the nipple hardening type of fall riding that I am used to. Night-time temperatures have been cool and during the day it’s been mostly sunny with temps in the 70s and NO humidity, so it’s been about as perfect as you can get for riding. Today was one of those days, so I got out riding on the dirt and gravel roads again for couple hours.
This ride wasn’t as packed with roadside “culture” as Wednesday’s but it’s always nice to get out and roll some miles in the middle of nowhere.
Despite the lack of interesting road side
sites trash, it was a pretty sweet ride and ever since I ditched the extreme low carb diet I was doing (in an attempt to lose some of my man flab quickly) I have been feeling great on the bike (or at least as great as an unemployed, 42-year-old, dysthymic, below average cyclist that drinks too much beer and eats too much cheese can I suppose.
While I was out riding I started thinking about the people on social media that I’ve seen lately bitching that they hear the term “gravel grinder” too much, or they try to come up with different ways to describe riding gravel because it’s become “too mainstream” now that bike companies are (trying) to make bikes marketed towards gravel and dirt road riding (no one bitched when they made downhill bikes, etc.,) and people might actually charge for a race (GASP! The horror!!) I pretty much think all that is bullshit. It’s riding your bike, it’s FUN. Period. If you don’t like doing it, don’t do it. If you don’t want a “gravel” bike, don’t buy one. I’ve used my mountain bike, cross bike and have even rolled some miles on my road bike, who really cares what you’re on as long as it works? (for the record the road bike did NOT work so well, ha!).
Mainstream?? How the fuck “mainstream” can it be??? I’d have to think that more than half the roads in the U.S. are paved, car clogged, nightmare deathtraps, and the areas that DO have a lot of dirt and gravel roads aren’t very populated. I have literally rode thousands of miles of dirt and gravel roads in the past few years and other than races I can count on 3 fingers how many other cyclists I’ve seen on gravel roads in that time (by the way, those three cyclists are friends that I was riding with, ha!)… Oh, whatever, all I know that while I will occasionally road ride but I do what I can to avoid it, and when I am not in the woods I like to take full advantage of the network of low traffic dirt roads I have at my disposal.
I mean where else can you roll down the middle of a 50 foot wide road for miles and not have to worry that you’re going to get leveled by an irate Lexus driving asshole, pissed off because you have the audacity to be riding your bike on the same road them?
OK, you MIGHT have to worry about getting run down by a John Deere combine, but probably not a Lexus. And believe me, you will see or hear that combine coming LONG before it’s an issue and rather than be run off the road you will probably get a wave, at least that’s been my experience.
I really didn’t mean to rant, just had that on my mind.
Just enjoy the ride no matter the bike or the surface.