Earlier this month I thought it would be a good idea to take a 30+ pound borrowed fat bike out for a ride on dirt roads. That wasn’t a bad idea, but it wasn’t a great one either. Since I am not one to avoid doing stupid things (in fact stupidity is sort of my thing), I one upped myself today and took my 40+ pound Surly Pugsley out on energy sapping muddy dirt roads… while sick. How bad could it be?
Well, once I got past the fact that I was on a heavy bike, going slow and occasionally coughing up something that looked oddly like a chicken fetus, it was pretty darn, not bad.
The original plan was to head north to the ORV roads near Grayling but since I’m still a bit under the weather (as noted by the mention of a coughed upped chicken fetus type substance above) and knew I wouldn’t be riding all that long, I figured I would save myself the time and gas and just drive over to one of the county parks outside of town (avoiding whirling expensive fat bike tires on pavement) and do another quick dirt road ride.
As soon as I hit the dirt roads I realized just how crappy the roads were from two days of damp weather and how well the big fat tires were floating over the sandy mud. An oxymoronic point made clear by the blurry photo below of the Pugsley’s front tire vs. some Amish horse and buggy tracks. Those wagon wheels cut into the road like a cross tire.
A few of the roads were just fine, but for most I was happy to be on the Pugsley, yet unhappy to be feeling like shit. Still, I made the best out of time I had and enjoyed riding my bike in the crisp fall temps.
Gritty sand and mud quickly started to coat both me and my bike. I could feel chunks of road hitting me in the face (microdermabrasionly), getting in my helmet vents and doing its best to destroy the Pugley’s newly replaced drivetrain parts. Vile road!
The ride wasn’t all that long, coming in at less than 25 miles, but given that I waffled nearly all morning on whether I would even attempt a ride or not, I was happy with that. As a bonus I explored the area around the park and saw that some of the locals have been adding to the trails in the small park. Rolling some sections of singletrack along the river through tall Michiganderburgh pines was sort of a sweet way to end the ride.
I am hoping for the best and expecting the worst as far as my cold and what the rest of the week offers ride wise.