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Gravel

September 4, 2011

Saturday’s Ride: 32km—Mineral Springs, Weir’s Lane, Café Domestique

Weather: Hot and humid

Got away well and riding comfortably. The roll through Mineral Springs was delightful: shady along the quiet, winding, rolling hills. I hit the turns well, came out of the saddle effectively, descended aggressively, etc. And feeling strong. It was a good ride. Then I hurtled down Governor’s towards Weir’s Lane, taking a certain pleasure in waving at the cyclists who had just come down its steep incline. I was going up. And I planned to do it with authority. At the railroad crossing, however—too late to turn back—I discovered that the steepest part of the climb had recently received the tar and chip paving treatment. Big disappointment, since Weir’s Lane has become a regular part of my Saturday morning. It should be okay shortly, but there was a lot of loose gravel on the hill. I did my best to get up—gravel is just bumpier than the tarmac—but hit lots of patches of loose gravel that left the wheels spinning for traction. At 12-17% incline, panic sets in as you hope you can unclip a pedal before the bike comes to a total standstill and you start to fall over (I did, just). And then you realize that at 12-17% on loose gravel, there’s no way you’re going to be able to get started again. Much to my disappointment and regret, I walked the bike up the final 200m to where things leveled off a bit before climbing back on. Momentum lost, the rest of the ride felt a bit more like going through the motions than pushing the ride. Which is a shame, especially on a shorter loop.

The more exciting news of the day involved discovering a whole new area east of here (while delivering my older daughter to a friend’s house for a visit), which I will have to explore over the next few weeks. Lots of well-paved, quiet roads rolling through farmland. Lots of climbs up our local escarpment, too. That should provide several rides’ worth of entertainment. Anticipation and hope spring eternal…

 

 

 

 

 

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