Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Brown Season: One More Time

Nearly 60 degrees on January 9th? I'll take it.
Last Thursday we had one of those odd-ball days. The day before I had ridden and it was in the lower 20's. I froze! It was so cold that I was thinking that it was about as cold as I'd want to go on a drop bar bike. Then the next day was almost 35° warmer!

Yeah, I have no idea, but this has happened before. I recall doing recon for Trans Iowa v8 on a January 8th where it was just like this. Warm, windy, and very brown! I knocked out the lion's share of the recon myself that year on that day. It was stellar!

But it is always better to be on a bicycle when you can be. So, I obviously was salivating over the chance of possibly grinding some gravel on Thursday last week. However; my enthusiasm was tempered a bit when there were high wind warnings posted that morning for our area. The warning was for gusts from 40-50mph! Okay, if that had happened, I would not have ridden. However; it was calmer than they thought. The winds weren't light, not by any stretch of the imagination, but definitely something I could handle on a bicycle. Maybe 20-ish miles an hour? Not terrible.

The gravel? Hmm.... I did not know what to expect. We had snow and obviously, that was melting, but maybe the roads would be soft? Or maybe I'd run into ice, which takes longer to melt. Well, other than being a bit on the damp side here and there, the roads were actually really nice. So, that was a pleasant surprise. What wasn't pleasant was the fact that my front fender was installed a little too close to the tire on the back side. WTB Venture tires tend to sling gravel a bit, and so I had a noisy front wheel/fender for the entire ride. Gah!

The roads were damp, gritty, but fast as they could be for this time of the year.
So, I didn't go far. I put in about an hour, because I felt awful during the ride. I don't know if you've ever had a ride where nothing seemed quite right. The way I was sat on the bike bugged me, the wind, the way my guts felt, and that blasted noise! My fault. I tried setting up the bike with 700c fenders and the wheels are 650B. But I'll tweak it out and it'll work. I don't know about the rest of it. I have rides like that sometimes where it just doesn't feel right for some reason. I did end up feeling better about things the further I went, but yeah.... Just one of those days, I guess.

But riding on January 9th when it is nearly 60°? I'm not passing that up, no matter how crappy I felt about the ride! And especially since we had snow over the weekend. That might be the last "Brown Season" post for a while.


Gravelo said...

One thing that makes "Brown Season" riding more tolerable for me is doing it on an orange bike. Don't know why, but it makes the Brown Out actually feel better. Ever experience bike-color induced euphoria?

jdc said...

There might just be something to Gravelo's theory. My gravel bike is also metallic orange.....