Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Brown Season: Urban Ramble

Spring is on the doorstep.
 Monday was the last "good" day of the week in terms of weather. So, I decided to head out for a ride. I had intended to ride the Twin Six Standard Rando v2 to test out those new Easton drop bars. However; a stem change caused an issue, (I'll post about all that later at some point), so I ditched that idea and went in on the Noble GX5 instead. 

It was Sunny but cold when I started out. It was below freezing, which turned out to be to my advantage. The wind was out from the Southwest, but since I stayed within the confines of the city, I was out of most of that wind's powers. 

The one thing that turned out to be a bit unfortunate but no big deal, was that I forgot my "stinger" rear fender. Actually, it is an SKS clip-on rear deflector. I like it a lot too. Well, as it turned out, I wasn't in danger of getting gooped after all, but things could have gone sideways in a hurry had a few things been slightly different. 

The Level B nature of my unpaved adventure was fortunately still frozen- but juuust barely!

So, my route was along some of my old Andy's Bike Shop commute and the aim was to get to old Shirey Way where there is that bit of dirt road I like to hit when I cannot get out into the country. I'll tell ya one thing- The only constant is change. My OG commute to Andy's? No longer possible. There is a new development going in where there used to be a big grassy field I crossed. 

Once I dropped into the back end of Hartman Reserve, I had to slow down a bit here and there to negotiate some snowy and icy places on the old road. But eventually I reached Shirey Way and found it to be passable only because it was still ever so slightly frozen. 

Bits of ice flowing down steam on the Cedar River

I went halfway in and decided to turn back around because with the increase in temperatures, you could literally see the ground softening by the minute. It would not be long before what I was riding on would be a quagmire and impassable with the bike I was on.

At the point where I turned around I dismounted to take an image and I noted some clumps of mud on the Noble Bikes top tube. "Hmm....", I wondered, "How'd that get there? I didn't see anything coming off my front wheel." I was assuming I had taken the SKS clip-on fender, but then I noticed that I had not. Whoops! Another good reason for getting out of there, and quickly!

Back at home and none the worse for wear.

Fortunately the way that Shirey Road had already been rutted and post-holed up by walkers and riders made it so that I had to take matters slowly and deliberately to avoid going off the bike. That kept the speeds down and that kept me cleaner and the bike actually came out of it okay as well.

Anyway, it was a nice foundational ride to base more on. I hope that these building blocks carry me onward and upward to bigger and better things on into 2023.

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