We’d advertised the ride with our group days in advance, but with Iceman on Saturday, almost nobody showed. Just Chuck, Diane and I. At first, it was just me and I was resigned to the fact that Chuck and I were going to hammer it. Diane pulled up just a couple of minutes later. Ah, relief. I wanted a day to just ride without having to top out the heart rate. Diane provided the cover.
We finished prepping and rolled out. It was the best of November in southeastern Michigan. Cloudy, breezy, mid-30’s (no, sadly not Celsius, that’s an F)… wait, the best of. The trees were just at the end of their fall color explosion and while it was cold and a bit breezy… and cloudy, riding the back roads was absolutely breathtaking.
I thought about breaking the phone out for photos a couple of times but in the end, just decided to enjoy the miles. We were out for 2-1/2 hours and maybe saw four cars on the dirt roads (we saw several on a few miles of paved roads we had to ride on to get to more dirt). We averaged a little north of 14-mph but I can’t overstate how much fun I had cruising with Chuck and Diane.
It looked a lot like that… only more color. Oh, and more trees. Oh, and no sun. And on dirt roads. You get the idea.
The purchase of our gravel bikes is among some of the best money I’ve spent on cycling. If you haven’t been bitten by the gravel road bug yet, imagine road cycling. Then slow it down just a little bit. Then take out the traffic. Yep.
I’d never trade the speed and lightweight equipment of road cycling, but once the season is over and it’s time to enjoy the march into winter, nothing beats gravel roads.