Just when I thought that I would never emerge from the Stankment™–where I spent most of the week spinning junk miles on the trainer–Ma Nature threw us a dry, gorgeous, fairly wind-free day. I assumed (wrongly) that the dirt roads would be a sloppy mess after two days of heavy rain, so I opted for a 41 mile ride south of town. It was tits!
My usual 40 mile road ride north of town is pretty easy-going as far as traffic. The southern route takes me along East Blanchard Road, which while still just a two-lane road, sees more traffic and the road is utter and complete shit. I’ve done it on my road bike and just every second of that road is pure hell. I did the ride on the Jake (The Snake) today and still hated ever second of that road–and the traffic that whizzed by me– but at least the 40c tires soaked up all patches, ruts and potholes a bit better.
Blanchard is one of my most hated roads to ride on, mostly due to the traffic. In reality it is actually a great road to ride (if that makes sense?). It has some hills, it’s out in the middle of nowhere and it makes your legs burn. Oddly, if the road was back in western PA, I would think it was a “low-traffic” road and awesome. However it’s not, and every time I ride it I wish I has just taken the dirt roads instead. It’s downfall is that it’s one of the few paved roads down that way so every-fucking-one and their brother takes it to get where they need to be… like the metropolis of Winn (population 117).
The best thing bout Blanchard road is turning off of it. Because then I am on South Rolland Road (seen in the top photo) and THAT road is one of my absolute favorite to ride my bike on. Plenty of hills, good pavement and hardly and traffic. During the seven miles that I was on Rolland, I think I was passed by about three cars. One of them was a woman who slowed down to just to say hi out the window, which I thought was creepy, but it beats being told to “get the fuck off the road,” or whatever angry drivers are yelling at cyclists these days.
You do have to keep an eye out for the odd runaway Amish horse and buggy or being distracted by super-sized pigs wallowing in mud pits (missed my shot on that pic!!) or catheter bagged trees, but it’s truly a fantastic road. Too bad it shares an intersection with the cursed Blanchard Road. Blanchard = nemesis.
The week was less than stellar for outside riding with just ONE ride outdoors (Monday), but today more than made up for all that. A little sun on the cheeks and miles in the legs makes it easy to forget how nasty the week’s weather was.
The 50˚ ride time temps were even warm enough to FINALLY not have to wear a jacket. A base layer was of course needed but I’ll take what I can get these days. As you can see from the photo above, it was also warm enough to see my first little snake of the season. It seemed as little duped into thinking that it was warmer than it actually was, but like me also seemed content that it wasn’t snowing or pissing down a cold rain. Me and snakes, we’re not so different.
I was blessed with the wind at my back for the least 12 miles or so and that helped cap off a good ride. There was a (plastic) man down on Baseline Road, but I think he’ll be OK.
I was of course forced to venture onto some dirt today (poor me) and it was in perfect condition. Meaning that tomorrow there is no way that I am heading back out onto pavement (unless I do). Why would I? It’s nice to avoid the spring mud on occasion, but when there’s dirt and gravel around to ride, I am more than happy to take advantage of them.
The Jake did pretty darn OK today but there is a good chance that its days with me are numbered. My friends at Terry’s have presented me with an opportunity to get my sagging cheeks onto something lighter, prettier, faster and within my budget. Who am I to turn down such an opportunity??? Not 100% I can make it happen and some of that depends on personal tire preferences and if they’ll fit, but if so…. I will be at tad geeked. On top of that pretty good news, things are looking up on the job search, and by that I mean a job has FINALLY become available that fits my skills in which I can apply for. While we are getting along just fine on one salary (Thank you Wifey!!!), having two would be better AND not make me feel like a complete and utter failure as a man/human being.
But hey, that’s all stuff for another day. Right now I am going to bask in a wonderful post-ride glow, drink a couple of beers and EVENTUALLY enjoy my new bedroom furniture which is being hauled in and assembled (sort of) as I type. Sort of hoping Wifey wants to christen the new mattress tonight. Ohhhhhhh!