South O’Town

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.


  1. For many of my southern routes I actually drive to a nearby county park to start my ride. I know it seems dumb–and is–but it saves me nearly 12 miles (round trip) of higher traffic pavement, including riding on the road in which my friend Mike was recently killed, so I do what I gotta do.

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