Thursday, February 25, 2016

Back To The Country

The worst of the Sergent Road Bike Trail. It's 95% clear
"Yep, I think it is time!" That's what I thought to myself when the City Inspector came early and left the house by 9:30am after inspecting our new boiler. I had plenty of time before my next scheduled task at 2:00pm to sneak in a gravel road ride, the first of the year for me.

I probably would have gone out on the gravel back when it was colder if the fat biking had not been so good for the past two months or so. I know that it isn't usually that good, so I just rode the packed in trails here as much as I possibly could to get my share in now. Next Winter may not be so kind. Besides, I probably needed a good respite from a high dosage of gravel for the better part of 10 months spanning right up to the end of 2015.

The recent warmer weather has killed off any thoughts of Winter time fat biking, and in fact, I have declared it to be Spring, no matter what the calendar says. The weather has turned, and I just feel like it is here to stay now. I wanted to get out on the gravel last weekend, but that just never worked itself out, so Wednesday was the day. I saddled up on the ol' BMC "Orange Crush" rig and set out Southward, since I figured the roads South of town would be in better condition than North.

The Sun made a brief but welcomed appearance. The wind never left!
The wind was whistling through the wires in many spots. Especially so right here.
I made my way down the Sergent Road bike path, which was mostly clear, but for a short stretch I ran into which was easily navigated. Then I hit the gravel on Aker Road South. It was fresh, but of a gauge that the County rarely uses. It was finer and dustier than usual down this way, which made the BMC loose and lateral traction wasn't very good. Still, it was navigable and I was making great headway despite the gravel.

Of course, I come to realize that I had a stiff wind at my back the entire time. No wonder it was so easy! I turned Eastward and the cross wind slowed me up by quite a lot. Okay......okay! Lower gear.....higher cadence. Grind! Riding the dingle speed fat bike in low range for a few weeks paid dividends on the ride. I was spinning like a champ. Better than usual for this time of year. Spin to win!

Riding in the cross wind was tough. Then after this road I turned North. Yeah.......that was harder.
Yeah.....spin to win. The North wind was at about 20-ish mph according to the weather, but I think it was higher out in the country. My spin was reduced to a semi-slow grind up the rollers coming back to town, but you know what? I was super happy just to be riding. The wind wasn't taking anything away from that at all.

I got back with a good bit of time to spare and as it turned out, the ride was a highlight of the day. The afternoon I could have done without, but that's why riding is important to me. It makes the not so great things in life not such a big deal anymore, and my mental state was far better off for having been out battling the wind than it would have been otherwise.

That was a start. Now I'm looking for more. Hopefully real soon here!

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