I had a sweet gravel ride planned for this afternoon, a 34-mile affair that would’ve probably taken a couple hours in the cool humidity. Alas, eleven minutes into the ride, I suffered a pinch flat, which – since I’m not exactly a wizard with the bike repairs – took a good bit of time to fix.
Given that delay, I figured I had to cut the ride a bit short, which I accomplished far more effectively than intended by taking a wrong turn and cutting a few miles off the route. Whoops. Still, the ride ended up being a solid 80-some minutes and 25 miles in length, and crossing parts of Rice, Dakota, and Goodhue counties. Not epic, but better than good. I came home equally sweaty, tired, and gritty, having absorbed into my kit, skin, and hair about 10% of all the gravel I rode over (plus or minus): two days of rain increases the tackiness of the roads quite a bit.
In all that time, I didn’t meet a single other rider, and only a few cars (except for brief stretches when I had to zip down this or that highway). I did see some oddities, such as this overturned sofa bed in the ditch near the Goodhue County line.
Aren’t they pretty? I honestly don’t know how cows, or the bovine gaze, became synonymous with stupidity or indolence. I think they look placidly curious. If I could muster that combination of interest and calm, I’d be a better person.