After spending Thanksgiving up north with my wife’s family and limiting the cycling to mountain bikes and short rides (9-12 miles) so adequate time could be spent hanging out and playing cards, I was hurting for some decent miles by Saturday morning. On our ride, I tried (poorly) to express my cagy feeling to my wife. We had ended up with two cars up north because I picked up my nephew at the airport and I wanted to take mine home to ride with my buddies Sunday morning.
After discussing a few unwise options with Mrs. Bgddy, I came up with the bright idea of leaving early Sunday morning so I could get home and ride with my buddies just after sunrise. My wife was okay with that one, so at 4:06am I woke up and got the coffee going. A story does not begin, this early, without coffee.
I was packing up the car and loading the bikes at 5am. I was on the way down the road at a quarter after. Two hours later I pulled into my driveway and I was ready to ride well in advance of our 8:30 ride time.
We put in 29 miles and a little change in about 2 hours on dirt roads, dodging potholes the entire way. While I don’t appreciate the potholes, it was something like 45 minutes into our ride that we saw our first car. As I’ve written before, this time of year I’ll take potholes and slower speeds over traffic any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
Originally we were just going to do our normal dirt road loop but we decided to add on a few miles to hit the two biggest hills I know of in our area, both on the same stretch of dirt road – I actually used all of my gears to get them done, too. Chuck dropped off shortly thereafter to head home, so that left Mike, Phill and me. We dropped Mike off at his place to get a couple of extra miles and Phill and I pedaled the last two miles home.
I pulled into my driveway, beating the melting roads which were turning into mud roads in a hurry, feeling sated, like I got a great ride in. I love it when that happens.
I took a nap on the couch, then got to working on some maintenance items on the bikes. My wife’s mountain bike needed quite a bit of attention. The front derailleur was acting up and her seat post kept sliding down on her. A cleaned seat post and quick-release collar and a new shifter cable later and I turned my attention to my gravel bike… The derailleurs were suffering a little from some cable stretch which cause the front derailleur to rub a little bit in a couple of the easy gears and the rear to shift poorly.
After, it was dinner and Sunday night football. A nice way to spend the last evening of a much-needed four-day vacation. Oh, and a great way to burn off that three extra pounds I put on over the weekend! Crap!