Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Inaugural Ride

with 2 comments

The ol’ legs, they ain’t what they used to be. It almost feels like I’ve gotten older than I’ve ever been before. Yesterday, I got out on the bike for my inaugural ride of the season. I do love winter, but there is no way a person can’t fall for a day in spring that sprouts with a blue sky, calm winds, and warm temps.

It was an opportunity that I needed to grab to get my cycling season underway. My annual bike trip in the middle of June is only two and a half months away and I need to break in a new saddle. Plus, I have committed to hosting a warm-up ride in the countryside around Wintervale in May.

I need to scout a route that will be suitable in length and challenge. Yesterday proved to be a chance to both break in my butt and start the process of establishing a route. I did well in both accounts. For the route, when I say that I did well, I mean that I found several roads that will not be candidates for the warm-up ride.

Things started well enough, as I headed out on roads I was familiar with. The superb weather and the idyllic landscapes were as good as could possibly be. As the miles mounted, I recognized the energy in my legs waning. As I approached the road that I was hoping to use for my turn west toward home again, I found gravel.

Ugh. This was my last chance before reaching a state road that was not so bike friendly. So I turned off the pavement. Luckily, this was an old unpaved road, so the surface was hard-packed almost as smooth as asphalt.

I could live with that. After a couple of more turns, I was getting really ready to reach home, thinking that it would have been nice if I’d tucked an energy bar into my jersey pocket.

I was looking for 610th, a road that I knew previously was gravel, but thought I’d seen new pavement in the last couple of years. As I turned onto it, there was a fleeting moment of hope, because the first 50 yards was pavement. The gravel that followed was nothing like the hard-packed old roads I’d traversed earlier.

This stuff seemed like it might have just been laid down this spring. It was the worst of class 5 gravel that offered absolutely no smooth tire tracks and left my rear tire slipping if I stood up to pedal. At the first incline, I had to throw in the towel and dismount.

I walked my bike up the loose gravel road as my tired legs complained about the change. Too tired to walk and too tired to ride is a good sign I’d used up pretty much all the strength reserves my old legs had to offer.

Those roads will definitely not be on the route we will be taking in May.














Written by johnwhays

April 2, 2017 at 10:03 am

2 Responses

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  1. The first times out are always the hardest.

    George Walker

    April 2, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    • Sure is. I could have made it a little easier on myself if I actually knew more about where I was going before heading out. Of course, that would take some of the ‘adventure’ out of it.


      April 2, 2017 at 9:38 pm

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