Started off my ride on Friday by hitting the dirt and gravel roads on my cross bike. Many of the roads received a fresh dump of gravel this week and are still in the process of being graded. Some of the roads (like the one above) were fine, but others had some pretty deep sandy gravel on them and the Jake’s 35c tires were not having a great time of it.
The fresh, deep gravel was slowing things down a bit and since I got a later than usual start, I ditched them and jumped on some paved roads that are part of my standard road ride.
Other than being forced to deal with cars, I really didn’t mind that much. The day was PERFECT! Blue sky, sun and warmer temps meant that I could ditch my winter clothing for the first time in 2014 and show off my paper white meat sticks.
I also knew that if I played my cards right I would have a nice tail wind to push me home in the later part of the ride.
I am by no means in any sort or race shape and God knows my belly bounces off my thighs more and more as I pedal these days, but I pretty happy with my early season fitness. Yeah, it’s not pro stuff, hell, it’s not even hard-core amateur stuff, but it IS a schlep who likes riding his bike stuff and doing these ride four or so times a week is better than not riding at all.
Along the way I found another place I can crash if Wifey ever decides she has had enough of my constant gas passing and throws me out of the house.
In the end about 40% of the 41 mile ride was on dirt roads and the remainder on pavement. I was glad I jumped on the pavement as I was doing a lot of flailing around on the loose gravel. That would not have been an issue on the hard tail, so I’ll probably use that for this weekend’s rides.
Public Service Announcement: Please note that when road riding in central Michigan what you MIGHT think is mud on the road is often an aromatic mix of manure and mud. Keep your mouth shut, your eyes covered and watch your water bottle for chunks o’manure. Unless of course you enjoy pink eye, the taste of manure and hours on the toilet.