|Escape route: Shaulis Road Bike Trail|
There was no wind. Well, if there were any breezes, I couldn't feel them. It was a super-rare occasion. To have no wind in January on the barren plains is amazing to me. Coupled with the high temperatures for this month, it meant that the air would not deal me any issues due to wind chill. I mean, it can get warm in January, but it usually is accompanied by a monster Southern wind of some sort which drops the wind chills back into a "I'm not going out there in THAT" range. So, I cannot overstate how awesome the weather was Wednesday.
I was pretty stoked to get out there too. It had been a while since I was able to get out and ride gravel without being in 'survival mode', and Wednesday promised to be just a relaxing time on the bike out in the country. I had to do some checking on how the Spinergy GXX wheels were doing, but even more importantly, I had to check out those Challenge Tires Getaway treads I am reviewing now. I was hoping the roads would be good for doing both things.
The plan was to embark from the Prairie Grove Park on the South side of Waterloo and to do about an hour-plus ride. I didn't want to over-do it since I haven't been out in about a month on 'country gravel'. Being out on the open prairie is a bit different than riding in the urban area where I am sheltered from wind and cold. So, a shorter ride, not getting too taxed, and taking it easier was my plan. I loaded up the truck and headed out mid-morning and was off well before noon.
|The Sun shone a wan light and the roads were surprisingly clear of snow and ice. |
|At times it looked like some sort of precipitation was imminent, but nothing fell from the skies. |
|The turn-around point on Aker Road.|
It was nice not to have to try to bag miles of gravel or to have to figure out a cohesive route to get all kinds of oddball roads into my route. I could just ride these roads I know so well already and enjoy them. So, I did just that and soaked it all in.
|The Sun eventually came out for a bit during my ride.|
|A couple of horses lounging in the January Sun|
If I have a fault in my riding style, it is that I tend to default to single speed mode all the time. Shifting a bicycle drive train is something I typically have to think about doing, and it isn't a natural thing for me to do. Being a native single speeder means that sometimes I am committed to a gear on a grade, let's say, that is eventually going to blow me up. So, this joy in being out in the country again took my mind off what needed to be done and I was in default mode for a bit there.
I am glad I finally got around to being aware of myself and that I needed to be intentional about my riding. It made a rare day in January that much better.