After Sunday’s glorious ride on snow-covered roads (Silent Running), the temperature continued to warm up, and yesterday, with sunshine and nearly 40 degrees of Fahrenheit goodness, I ventured out to see how the gravel roads were fairing … and watched them turn from slush to mush to mud almost before my eyes.
Roads started off with a muddy lane down the center, but hard-packed snow on either side. This was good riding.
After the snow came the slush, then the muddy slush, then the pure mud, often on different parts of the same road. Here’s where the riding got tough — slow going, messy, and really not much fun. A dozen miles or so of this was all I could endure before I escaped to the paradise of dry pavement.
Later in the ride, I tried the gravel again, and here’s what I found. By this point the snow was all gone on the roads, and they were pure soupy mud. Contrast this with what the road looked like a few days ago: snow-pack.
Again, I only did a short jaunt before I once again abdicated gravel for pavement. Thank goodness for fenders, though. I remained relatively clean, despite the soupy, sloppy mud.
There was one casualty during the ride, though: My bootlaces. This is what I get for forgetting to tuck my laces away. This one got caught in the chainrings and is shredded pretty good.
Do you like my fancy winter cycling boots? Just an old (probably 20+ years old) pair of hiking/work boots, nothing fancy at all. But paired with flat pedals and wool socks (plus StormSock), they’ve worked fine in all but the coldest weather. Not exactly a match to the rest of my cycling attire, but I don’t care. I’ll take comfort over fashion any day.
But now I need new laces!