Michigan weather is a little tricky this time of year. We get a lot of rain and a lot of wind. Oh, and it typically starts to cool down. The awesome side of that coin is that all of the big rides are done, so we roadies can concentrate on other cycling passions. Dirt roads become an escape from angry, paved road traffic. On dirt roads, even pickup truck drivers pass us with several extra feet (more than a meter) to spare, with a wave (that doesn’t include an extended middle finger) and a smile.
Yesterday afternoon was a rare, perfect late-season cycling day – impossibly sunny, no wind, and a perfect autumn 55° (13 C). And Mrs. Bgddy had an appointment, so I had nothing on the schedule.
I’d worked early all week long to get out an hour and a half early Friday (funny thing about work on Friday – it rarely cares that I should be getting out before lunchtime!). I knew the weather was supposed to be nice, but what we got was simply spectacular. I’d planned on riding the gravel bike all day long, but the closer I got to quittin’ time, the more pull I felt to get back to my roots and my trusty mountain bike.
My wife gave me that bike for Valentine’s Day 2015 because it matched my Venge. Folks, that’s love for you.
By the time I’d pulled into the driveway my mind was made up. I wheeled the mountain bike out and prepped it to go. And I decided to ride old-school, like I did when I was a kid, only with better toys. Chuck was up north and I’d be riding solo, so I left my helmet hanging on the hook in the laundry room.
I rolled out and quickly warmed up. The bike was acting a little funny, but that’s to be expected as little as it’s ridden.
As I got farther from the paved roads, the scenery started popping. We’re on the front end of the autumn color fireworks display and things are just starting to look fantastic.
I ended up having one of those rides where you just wish you could get lost. I’d planned on 21 miles, but scratched that to do some exploring of a road I rarely travel.
I’d also planned on shooting for an easy average, something in the 13-14-mph range, but I was feeling too good. After seven miles my Garmin showed 16.2-mph… I chuckled and dialed it back a notch.
The farther I went, the more I wanted to stay out. I really had run into the perfect bike ride.
Alas, all good things must come to an end, even a great bike ride.
I pulled into the driveway with just over 26 miles and a 15.5-mph average.
I was smiling about that ride all night long.