|They don't get much better than this in late November.|
The respite from early Winter has made for a nice little window of opportunity to get out and ride the country roads a few "last times" before we get hammered by Winter again. Supposedly today is our last, good chance at riding without a storm, or a lot of snow and ice on the gravel for a while, at least.
As I said, the roads were fast. The harvest is almost complete around here now, and the County will not be interested in maintenance until next Spring now. The roads will freeze up, the rock has been pushed into the pulverized limestone and dirt now, and the tracks are buttery smooth in many places by this time. Despite rains and the cooler temperatures, the wind has managed to keep the roads fairly dry. That means my tires didn't push into the road bed, and that meant more speed. At least where the rock wasn't still sitting on top of the roads.
I had swapped out to 650B X 47mm WTB Venture rubber for the Winter, and that wider footprint lends better float, so had the roads been softer, at least I wasn't going to push into that as far as I may have with 700c X 40mm tires. But as I say, the wind made it all a moot point Saturday. And it was windy! In town it was very deceptive. A mere breeze. But out in the open it was a strong, Southwesterly, and I worked hard getting South on the first part of my ride.
|Many farmers are letting the cattle graze the corn stubble now.|
|Super-smooth and fast roads made for an easier push against the wind going South.|
|Light filters through a decaying old farm outbuilding.|
|Look carefully in the middle of this image and you'll see two Bald Eagles in flight.|
I have heard that in mountainous areas, eagles mate with each other by falling through the air. Was this what I was witnessing? I don't know, but it was one of those times when the beauty and the majesty of Creation had me in tears. I was a mess for a couple of miles afterward.
It is for moments like that which I ride. They don't come very often, but when they do........ Yeah, that was good. Really good. The rest of the loop was great too. I saw more cows in the corn, and once back into town on the bike trail, I saw a beautiful red cardinal. Icing on the cake, you could say.
|Will this be the last ride of 2019 for the "Bubblegum Princess"?|
So, I am going to pony up for a Chris King bottom bracket here. I'll get a purple one, most likely, because, why not? But with money being tight and all, and since I have other bikes, well, this means the ol' Black Mountain Cycles rig is likely done for the year. It may not matter much if we get the predicted snows they have been talking about. So while the gravel gets blanketed in a covering of white, I can always ride the fat bikes I have in the interim.