Yeah, given that yesterday was the second perfect day we had in a row after it rained for the better part of last week, I don’t even know if I should admit it, but I took the gravel bike out… and I didn’t even lose a bet to do it.
My normal riding buddy is out on the west side of the state on a camping excursion, so I was flying solo. The thought of battling cars alone, this late in the season, really wasn’t that appealing… so I chose the peace and quiet of the back roads.
It also made sense that, after Tuesday’s hard effort, the dirt would be a perfect excuse to sit up and sightsee a little bit. The trick was in getting to the gravel. The easy road, about a quarter-mile from my house, had just been grated and I didn’t even want to mess with that, so I chose route B – a mix of pavement and gravel… it was going to be better than 20-ish miles on loose dirt, which would have sucked (too much dust).
I started out easy enough but quickly built up a head of steam to a point I was motoring along quite well and, before I knew it, I was looking down at better than an 18-mph average… on what was supposed to be an easy day. Up hills, down hills, around bends, I was feeling a lot better than I should have. I just rolled with it.
I don’t recall being passed by one car on the dirt.
Ten miles in, I was still sitting on an 18-ish average and my legs were starting to feel heavy, so I eased off and sat up. It was also getting a little late and I wanted to get back so my wife and I could have some dinner together. Rather than go for longer miles (and push the timing with my Wednesday meeting), I headed south a few miles to a straight shot back to my road.
I pulled into the driveway with 20 miles and some change… without having been passed by one irate idiot behind the wheel. While I did have to give the bike an extensive wipe-down, I have to be honest; riding on the dirt was really refreshing. It’ll never replace the awesomeness and speed of riding on the asphalt, but I dig the peace and quiet every now and again.
And sadly, thus begins the great unwinding. I just realized tomorrow is the first of October… we’re into the last five Tuesday nights of the year. Oh, say it ain’t so!
It’s all good in the end, though. I blew by my 6,000 mile yearly goal at the beginning of the month.