Saturday, February 01, 2014

First App Gap for 2014

January was a dud. The bitter cold and the need to drive Tuesdays and Thursdays conspired to keep me off the bike much of the month. I ended January with only 156 miles under my belt, with only four days of riding. Ouch. Riding yesterday reminded me of how out of shape I was after two months of little cycling. Seeking more miles, I decided to take advantage of the warmer weather and see how many I could get in before the next storm came in. I left around noon, with the temperature at 37 degrees, on the Gunnar, with non-studded 32mm tires.

Getting down the hill on the dirt road was a bit sketchy, but I kept to the sections that were covered with gravel and made it without mishap. The ride was pretty uneventful. It was solidly overcast when I got to the bottom of upper App Gap in Buels Gore, so I headed up. I didn't dance on the pedals, but I didn't struggle either, in spite of donating blood a few days ago.  Most of the Gap was clear, though the descending lane at the climb at the top was snowy. I came back down in the wrong lane until the right lane was clear. I went slow to avoid the random patches of snow and the nasty frost heaves, which almost made me wish for something besides cantilevers for brakes.

The ride back to Richmond was fast, with a light tailwind, but my legs were feeling all the climbing. I stopped to waste Gene Bell's time a bit at his shop. He had just gotten back from going down to Tennessee for a few weeks. It had really started to snow when I left, a flurry of fine stuff, though the roads were still clear. I saw another rider in the snow just before hitting the dirt and exchanged greetings. I stopped part way up the hill to let most of the air out of my tires and that gave me the traction to get through the accumulating snow. By the time I got home, there was quite a buildup on the bike.  50 miles, 4,000' of climbing, a good start to February!

There's a set of cantilevers under there.
Shifting got mighty slow.