Today I made some slight adjustments to yesterday's loop, cut out a bit of pavement, and put a few extra miles of gravel that in. In the end it canceled out the pavement and I ended up with the about the same nugget hair under 45 mile.
The ride was a bit chillier today with temps in the low to mid 40s and there was a bit more wind which made it feel a bit colder and my legs a bit heavier. I also had a minor mechanical in which my front wheel popped a spoke and took the wheel out of true. So for 20 miles or so of the ride I rode with the front brake loose to prevent the brake from rubbing the tire. Luckily (I guess?) there are not major hills to contend with. Once I got back to pavement and the campus area I refastened it to prevent any braking issues. Stopping with cantis is hard enough with TWO brakes let along only one!
I will say that these rides should not be underestimated. The wind, the constant pedaling, the soft sandy gravel, and the rolling hills more than make up for the lack of climbing.
I'm still amazed that I can get so far out in them middle of nothingness so quickly from my crib. I really dig that. It was also nice to cut out 2 miles of road from the ride. I hate riding on the road anymore, not to mention here in my parts of MI, if the speed limit is 50 that really means 70+ and then you add in some cross winds and you have the making of some ass puckering. Meanwhile out on the gravel I am either not cared about, waved at or given random peace sign from drivers. Of course today a cow did let loose with a downpour of urine and feecus as I passed her. Surely this was her way of saying "get off the road asshole."
One of several pieces of furniture that I could have had a rest on along the road today. My friend Ben (formerly of Wisconsin) thinks I should keep a photographic tally of furniture (including appliances) that I see along the Michigan roads I ride, sort of how I did with the Pennsylvania gutchies. Not sure. Undies just have so much more to offer. I mean you see a chair like above and you're like "OK, some dude want rid of the chair, this seems like a good enough place to dump it." But undies! I mean there is a STORY behind that shit. Ha!
This was a pretty good week for riding and work outs. Ended up with close to 10 hours of riding/training. Can't bitch about that. Tomorrow is what would "officially" be the start of 2011 training. But I may start it with a day off the bike and out of the gym. Going from 0 hours to 9+ then starting more serious training is a recipe for illness. So me thinks I will chill get my wheel fixed, map out some more rides and get some t shirts sent out. Or ride. Ha!