Thursday, October 06, 2016

Back On It

Fresh blue skies and lots of wind.
The Fat Bike Century kind of knocked me for a doozy this week so far until Wednesday when I finally felt "okay". I didn't want to get out of bed Wednesday morning, and I was still kind of in a funk till about noon, but it passed and I finally felt like I could maybe take a nice, easy ride out in the country.

Monday my legs were still toasted, Tuesday I felt better, but both days I was fatigued and by evening time I was falling out of my chair. Of course, I was still commuting by bicycle. The Big Dummy may have been a bit much, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do! That's my transportation to work and back for the time being.

At any rate, the plan yesterday was to just do a nice, easy ride out on the gravel, nothing too crazy. I took out the Black Mountain Cycles "Orange Crush" rig because it has these Arisun tires on it that I am testing out. I like that bike a lot anyway, so that was okay by me. The trouble is that my left shoulder isn't digging the traditionally shaped drops or even the slightly flared Cowbells, like the Orange Crush has on it now. That dang injury from last Winter hangs on, but it seems to get better bit by bit. It is just taking a very long time to come around. So, maybe I need to think about different bars on that bike and on  a few others. We'll see........

In the meantime, I wasn't planning on some multi-hour, all day ride, so the Cowbells should be fine, but I would see about that later. The Fat Bike Century actually did put the hurt on that shoulder, (despite it having flat bars), so I wasn't sure how this was going to go. Otherwise it was a splendid day, with maybe a stiff wind, but otherwise perfect. Wind isn't that big of a deal anymore since I have that almost every ride anyway. It has just become part of the whole experience. The wind has to get pretty bad for me to start complaining about it now.

Petrie Road looking East.
The Sun was out, and the roads were in great shape at first. Not too much gravel, and with the rain we had overnight, not too dusty either. I was feeling pretty good, actually. The legs had a bit of snap in them after all. So, the "easy" ride started turning into......something a bit more than that. I ended up dialing it back a bit, but it felt good to be able to go fast, even if just for a bit. I think it was that fat bike and riding it 100 miles. The Orange Crush was lighter, easier to move with skinnier tires. It was almost like when my friend Ari rides his road bike and he refers to it as his "cheater bike". Because it is easier. was easier!

Giving my "cheater bike", and myself, a quick break.
I ended the ride after about 20 or so miles, which I figured was a good reintroduction to gravel after the Fat Bike Century ride. I didn't want to over do it and get really tired afterward or worse, sick. I think that felt about right anyway. The ride was pleasant, despite the wind, and it was a great day to be outside. I was really glad I got out there and back on it again.

Now my next, and last scheduled ride for the year, is coming up at the end of this month. I want to be ready for that, so I am going to work on getting some good rides in before then. Hopefully the weather holds up for that ride. Hint: I will be using my Gen I Fargo for this particular ride. 

Besides that, I want to sneak in some bigger rides before the year is out. I have to finagle a way to finish up my Cup-O-Dirt challenge and my last scheduled ride could be part of that. Otherwise I have to knock out three really big rides in less than three months and who knows what the weather will be like coming up in November and December. It seems weird to be thinking about those months, and yet here we are. The end of the 2016 calendar is coming fast.

The fields are being emptied, the leaves are changing quickly, and my cycling mode is going to be switching to the Winter selection soon. My fat bikes are ready, that's for sure. But until that time comes I will be riding my gravel rigs and maybe the odd single speed mtb rig throughout the Fall season. I have to do at least one fall mtb ride!

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