Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Night Ride on Some B Roads
Headed out tonight right around sunset for a short ride. There was some B road that I had driven past a few times and tonight seemed like a good time to check it out. On the way I stopped and took a few pictures of the sunset, which I'm surprised came out as well as they did. The one other time I tried using the Vomi-cam in the dark the pics didn't turn out so well. Anyway...
I hopped on the B a couple miles outside of town. It wasn't a road as much as it was some doubletrack that apparently was rarely used even by B road standards. It went for about half a mile and dead ended at a spot next to a cornfield that looked like it hosted the occasional teen party. Up ahead I could see the back of a barricade and what looked like it may have possibly been what was once another B road, but there was a creek dug ten feet into the earth between me and that barricade. I wasn't ready to turn back though, so I rode the edge of the field around it until I found a spot where I could cross, jumped the creek, hopped over some barbed wire and was back on the "path" again. By "path" I mean two deep ruts overgrown with snow-flattened grass that in the summer sits waist-high. Convinced at this point that I was trespassing, I soldiered on. I was surprised at how well the Surly handled it, considering my 26" hardtail would have struggled with it. Eventually I saw the reflection of my light off a road sign ahead and headed towards it. Turned out that yes, those grass buried ruts I had been riding on were actually part of a road, or at least what was once a road. It was still technically level B, but for all intents and purposes it had been reclaimed by mother nature.
At this point I started heading back. I'm heading up to Red Wing, MN this weekend for the Ragnarok 105 and I was just looking for a short, easy ride. I didn't even bring any water bottles with me since I figured I wouldn't be out for more than an hour. Unfortunately I'm cursed with a short attention span and a tendency to be distracted by shiny objects. In this case, my shiny object was some more level B.
As I was heading back home I figured I take one short offshoot to see if I could find another section of B that I had seen before. As luck would have it that offshoot actually turned into said B muck. I figured it couldn't go on for more than half a mile so I hopped on for a quickie. Well, the next road was only half a mile away but the B kept on going past it. Naturally, so did I. Another mile or two later, I came to another intersection. The B... She continued on, mocking me. Of course I kept going. Another couple more miles of dirt and slop and it had finally given up. I jumped back on the gravel and enjoyed the rest of the ride back home.
Tonight ended up being one of those perfect rides you get every now and then. No wind, clear skies, temps were prefect and no matter which way I went I felt like I was riding downhill. Total ride time was around an hour and a half. That's a little longer than I was planning on, but I felt great being out there tonight.