Looking at the forecast Friday night it seemed like the ThNNDDR was going to be a no go for Saturday as there was a pretty good chance of rain according to those who are supposed to be in the know. Fortunately those people were dead wrong and other than it being overcast and a little dreary at 9 am it was an almost perfect day to get out and ride a little gravel.
Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,
A tale of a fateful trip
That started from this steamy lot
Aboard this shiny whip.
The mate was a mighty cycling man,
The skipper short and stout.
Five suburbanites set off that day
For a three hour ride, a three hour ride.
The gravel started getting rough,
The shiny whips were tossed,
If not for the chiming of the GPS
The ThNNDDR would be lost, the ThNNDDR would be lost.
All kidding aside, the gravel was a bit more moist than we had anticipated and Brent on the skinnier tires of his cross bike was having a heck of a time navigating in a straight line and decided to bail before we got too far out of town. It's been a while since we've been blessed with Brent's company so it was too bad he had to turn back but it looked like he managed to get in a decent ride after he left us.
Even the fattest of the tires were struggling a little this day to keep the wheels and pedals churning, while the gravel wasn't wet enough to stick to the bikes it doesn't take too much to make it thicker and slower, making you earn each pedal stroke just a bit more.
In addition to being harder to ride on, soft gravel also has a way of causing keys to fall out of pockets and backpacks, Kyle lost his somewhere around this bridge. After a short search we were able to find them and continue on our way.
By the time we made it to the gravel riders oasis that is the Malcolm General Store we were all ready for a short break and a little refueling.
Pulled out the scissors and sewing kit the night before because I can't just leave anything alone and changed up the look of the pack a little, removing some patches and adding others.This configuration might just have to stay on there for a bit, it's like the just go together.
As the day rolled on, (some pun intended) the gravel started to dry out and speed up a little but the slow, soft gravel had already taken it's toll on most of us and our legs were already shelled.
More lost keys...
Luckily by the time the sun decided to overtake the cloud cover for good, we were almost done because as is usually the case after a good rain, it started getting really steamy.
Saw this sign on the way back into town at Coddington and West A; I'm not sure what sweet corn melons are but they sounded down right delicious at the time... maybe not quite as delicious now that I've had some time to let that name sink in but I'd still be willing to try one, if they existed.
As always I'd like to thank eveyone who came out and made it such a great Saturday ride, next week will probably be more of the same but hopefully dryer. Forecast is looking really good right now for dryer conditions but this is Nebraska so we shall see.