Last evening was the evening that our local group of biking friends dressed up, rode bikes, and drank champagne on rooftops. But, the weather was perfect and I rarely get out on my bike right now, and I didn’t want to party. I wanted to RIDE.
Thankfully, I had a good friend who wanted to do the same. So, rather than head downtown for the party, three of us decided to do some gravel riding outside the city. It’s been a long time since I rode gravel as well. And I have always LOVED riding gravel. We’ve got an annual gravel ride coming right up too, so we figured we’d better get some gravel miles in.
As we were riding along, I came to the conclusion that we were riding the “gravel gala.” It’s not a ride we had to dress up for, there was no champagne and rooftop city views. But instead we got hilltop country views and a hot air balloon to look at and chase down all evening. The sun was perfect, the heat was reasonable, and the gravel was in fine shape for a ride.
The best of the best according to me, top 10 riding evening. We only got about 20 miles in, but since gravel riding is tougher than normal riding and there were a good amount of hills, it was a great workout. My “dates” for the night were pretty awesome too.
The entire time that I was riding gravel I was thinking about how much I just LOVE riding gravel, how much fun it is to maneuver the sketchy slippery rocks while flying downhill, all the while a little worried I am going to take a tumble, but not slowing even so. How much I love trying to choose a perfect line on an uphill so that I don’t spin my tires in loose gravel. How perfect the roads are out there, where there aren’t many cars so the mental energy spent isn’t mental energy going toward “Is this car going to hit me?” repeatedly. It’s just big sky and beautiful views. And wildlife. And no one else but those I’ve chosen to spend my evening with.
We got back to our vehicles. As it turns out, I am the only one who feels that way about gravel. Our friend said “You know, I forgot just what a SLOG riding gravel is. I just feel like I am constantly fighting, and then when we hit a patch of pavement, everything is perfect again.” To which I expressed my opposite opinion. And Mr. Ink piped up, “I love riding gravel too! For exactly 15 miles. And then it turns quickly to hate.”
So, I guess I have to find new friends! Or rather, hope that these two will take pity on me and ride my way from time to time. Maybe the fact that it is a good workout will help encourage them to continue once in awhile. I still have dreams of riding endurance gravel races some day, though I’ve come to the conclusion that this will have to wait until Miss Butterfly leaves the house. It’s too much of a training time commitment right now. But someday. I am still kicking that idea around. I may just have to get really good at going by myself and not relying on company.
ANYHOW-point being I didn’t touch the crafting at all last night, I only rode bikes, and that was glorious.