Sunday, August 31, 2008

Awesome awesome grav ride!

I journeyed down to Northfield chez Ghost and Linda for some gravel road riding on the cyclocross bike. I've been wanting to explore some gravel roads for a while. There's a trail in Portland that I miss immensely. It climbs right out of the city and along the west slope for miles. It's a wide, mild trail that you can really cruise on, through evergreen old growth with gorgeous views of downtown and the Columbia and Willamette rivers. It's also an awesome workout - a few miles of riding a trail on a cyclocross bike is harder than rolling along on skinny tires and pavement, and better for the soul. Communing with nature, no traffic to fight, nothing but other people also enjoying their recreation, plus various critters.

The grav ride was a lot of what I was missing. Little traffic, good workout, some scenic, tree-lined sections, some fast rolling well-groomed gravel, a few kicker hills plus some trickier gravel to keep us honest. Dan and Linda took it easy on me, and the pace was just perfect. We even saw some critters: some birds of prey (eagles? hawks?), some squirrels getting ready for winter, and some barnyard dogs that didn't cause us too much trouble. The only mishap were some kids on dirtbikes that buzzed us. We saw them turn into a driveway, and Dan followed them a farm house and gave them, in a very constructive way, a piece of his mind, with the father looking on. They apologized, and we carried on. A huge amount of respect to Ghost for how he handled that!

Since my bike has no bottle cages, I carried a Camelbak, and our two hour ride turned into more just as my water ran out. Fortunately I had S1's awesome blueberry smoothie and some Blue Moon beer to look forward to when we got back! Yum!

An awesome way to spend a holiday weekend afternoon. Thanks guys!