I hit the roads with my cycling friend Joe today for a hoped-for 60 miles of gravel. We came in near that mileage, with four hours in the saddle. The conditions were magnificent: windless, relatively cool, mostly sunny. We hit some interesting roads, too: an outbound route of endless rollers and the occasional wall, nice connectors running between small prairie lakes, and – most memorably – a “low maintenance road” that was little more than a mile of thick mud. I jammed up both wheels – twice. We probably needed a half hour to navigate that section, and almost that long to knock the mud out of our cleats when we finally stopped, a few miles later, at Franke’s Bakery in the tiny town of Montgomery. The kolacky went down easily.
The roll back home put us mostly on pavement, but we made excellent time back to Northfield. I was surprised at how good I felt – but as Shannon reminded me when I got home, “You should have felt good. You weren’t riding into 35mph winds!” I realize that that’s true. I also realize that it’s time to break out the sunscreen.