Sunday, November 30, 2008
In continuation of my effort to lay down the miles for the DDD, I took the bigfoot out for a shakedown cruise today. Yeah, it rides like kind of a big mountain bike. I did swap out the rear cassette so it's now a 1 x 8; 34 x 11-34, which ends up being a good range. I didn't put a granny on it because you might as well walk if you need anything lower than 1 to 1 in the snow.
The weather was pretty miserable for the length of ride that I did. It held just above freezing for most of the day and snowed periodically—heavily at times. Of course, it ends up being more like rain at that point and soaks your clothing. I was more or less dressed for it though and managed to stay warm until the last few miles.
The first fifteen miles were on paved trails, leaving Madison's Isthmus and heading south to the Capitol City Trail. I rode the 9-mile segment from Nob Hill to Jamestown, turning south to hook up with the Military Ridge Trail. 6 more miles of pavement brought me to the beginning of the gravel segment just east of Verona. The pavement sections had been wet but plowed, so things got a little more interesting on the snow-covered gravel. I have to say that big tires really do make a difference. I've ridden regular mountain bikes with 26 x 1.9 inch tires on this sort of surface, but you just can't beat the kind of float you get with bigger tires. You can feel the frozen footprints, but they don't slow you down much. Makes me wonder what a Surly Pugsley is like.
So I stopped at the Riley Tavern, about 25 miles out. Had a burger and a beer and watched the third quarter of the Packer game as they came back from behind to lead Carolina. (good thing I didn't stay to watch the whole thing since they ended up losing in the last couple of minutes.) Refilled my water and headed for home. Took another 10 miles of gravel Military Ridge to the paved trail and then the frontage road, eventually hooking up with the Southwest commuter bike trail. Shaved 5 miles off the return trip for a grand total of 45 miles on the day. Pretty beat and soaked to the bone upon my arrival.
Had Thanksgiving leftovers, wrote this and will soon go to bed. A good day, though not all of it made sense...
Posted by Michael Lemberger at 9:24 PM