Last weekend as I was still going up Pilot I thought to myself that I was not sure when I would want to get back on a bike again. Well I guess this did not last too long. Friday I sat at work with the sun shining so bright and my window open, I could not think about doing anything else but getting out for a ride. I knew the trails might be a little wet and I am not sure my mtb’s were ready to ride anyway. I am 3 weeks away from the Gravel Grovel, so the bike choice was easy. It was time to try out the new gear on the Surly.
I checked to see if I had other plans before heading out the door. I knew the direction I was going to head and off I went. I went back toward the closest gravel road I know of and went to wonder down some intersections I have yet to check out. My first new road when around a corner and then down a huge hill. As soon as I was at the bottom of the hill, the road turned in to a farm road that looked more like a private lot. So, I turned around and climbed right back up the big hill.
I turned down another road that I have not been on yet. I was trying to figure out a section that I had seen on a map, but could not remember exactly where it was since the last turn was not it. This section of road did not have any right turns and I ended up rolling up to Hwy 56, but not until after I saw a huge buck running in the woods next to me. I am sure someone will be looking for him next weekend. I decided not to turn around and took a left on to the highway. I took the next road to the right to continue my adventure. This was another nice section of back roads right up until I went flying down a hill only to find myself at a dead end section right by the river. So, one again I turned around and headed right back up the hill.
This time I decided to take a turn that would lead me a little closer to home since the legs were starting to feel all of the hills. I turned on to Kellerville road and made the journey back into town. I thought about taking a few more turns at some intersections, but in the end I figured I would just head back toward home. The ride ended up being close to 22 miles and only 1000 ft. of elevation gain. It sure felt like more then that to me. I know that most of the climbs were on the steep side and not too easy to do.
I am not sure about the gearing yet. I have to look back and see what I used last year and maybe try to figure out what other options I have. The gear felt big on all of the climbs, but there was a lot of road sections I could have gone bigger. Gearing is always a balancing point for a single speed. This is more of an issue when you are on the road then on most trails. I was happy that I could climb everything, but the 22 miles did hurt. I am not sure I could do that for 63 miles and I think there is even more climbing in Hickory then the roads that I was on. I will just have to make a judgement call with what options I have and live with it. I have 3 weeks to get in a lot better shape. LOL