Last weekend I didn’t get out for any rides. Monday came and I had to mow and take care of a few things, but later that night, for some reason I had a sudden urge to get on a bike. It was already getting dark, but that does not scare me. I quickly grabbed my one light and mounted it up on the Surly. I made a quick change in to some riding gear and before I knew it, I was rolling out the door.
It was no more then 15 min. after the urge and I was heading down the street. I was trying to make some quick mental checks to see if I had everything I would need. I soon gave up trying to figure it out since I figured I had my phone and could get a ride if I needed one. I knew the direction I was going to head and that was toward the closest gravel road. I thought the ride was going to be an adventure right off the bat. Not too far down the road that cuts over to the gravel road, I saw a big road closed sign. I thought, pfft, I’m on a beast and should be fine. After I went around the road block I was not so sure. It seems that the floods this spring washed out part of the road and they were fixing it. It was very soft from the recent rain and I was getting muddy less than 3 miles from the door.
I managed to make it threw with no problems. I was not sure how the little cyclocross tires were going to work, but I was very pleased with the result. I made the turn on to the sweet county road. The full moon was shining on me and looking great. It felt great to be back out on the bike and the weather could not have been better. Just as the county road turned in to gravel, I noticed my light turned from green to red. I turned it off of high and knew I still had some time left and kept going.
I was soon at a intersection that led to places I have not been yet. Just around the corner I heard a few dogs barking at me and it sounded like they were heading my way. I knew where the road went, I would have to turn around and come back at some point, so I decided to be safe and just turn around and go the direction I already knew. There were a couple of big hills that way and still some nice gravel. I was soon back on pavement and headed in the direction of home. I was not sure how long the light would last anyway.
A little bit down the road, I was getting close to a road intersection that had me thinking. I stopped to see the time where there was enough light to see the time. I was thinking that I could head over to another road and meet up with the regular night ride group. I made it there before they were at that intersection, so I headed out the other direction to meet up with them. I made it to the next intersection where they would be hitting that road and I could see some lights coming and heard some talking. So, I sat and waited for them. As they were getting close, I turned my light back on and got ready to hop on. As they were climbing up to the intersection I could see they were really moving out.
As they went around the corner, I jumped right in. They were in one hell of a hurry. I hopped in to the pack and was hanging for a little bit, but it was short lived. Being on the Surly, I was rolling a 42×20 gear and some where over 20 mph I was way past being spun out and watched them roll away. So, here I am with my light starting to go on and off, my legs are tired from the big climbs and now from doing some weekly sprints and made the decision to make the turn to head toward home.
Having light issues could not have happened on a better night. From there, I rode the 5+ miles home with no head light. I was happy that I at least had a good tail light to keep me some what safe. I ended up with a great 25 mile ride and re-energized about getting some riding in. I was happy with how well the legs held up, but some of the climbs were a bit hard. I have since put a 22t cog on the back to try. I hope it does not make me spin out too much on the the flat stuff, but I know I will need a different gear for the gravel grovel and maybe this is it. I hope to make a trip up there soon so I can see if I like it.
Two weeks and I am making a trip to the promised land and showing a few first timers around. It will be a good warm up to get the legs ready for Double Dare.