Last week we talked about how to get fit in a hurry, mainly because I found myself moved off of the waitlist for Rasputitsa and into the starting pack. I rode the trainer before work this morning. Tomorrow I do a hill workout. I’ll be ready, if not READY.
This week I’m thinking about riding surfaces. Rasputitsa takes place mainly on wet, winter-worn, dirt roads. D2R2‘s serpentine course encompasses mainly Class IV roads that can be dry and dusty or moist and packed and fast. New England’s singletrack is known for being rooty and rocky. Our paved roads are decidedly marginal, pocked, cracked, potholed, especially this time of year.
I love crappy singletrack. I do. I love to try to find a little flow in every low-flow stretch of dirt I can find, but I think, of what’s available, moist, packed dirt is my favorite. I know the joy of fresh pavement, smooth and fast, but I see it so seldom that calling it my favorite is like saying my favorite animal is a unicorn, or a jackalope. There is nothing quite like working your way across the New England countryside on a packed dirt road, hemmed in by pre-colonial stone walls and remnant farmland.
The proliferation of wider-tired bikes makes this type of riding pretty revelatory. It makes Class IV riding more like Emirates Business Class.
This week’s Group Ride asks, what is YOUR favorite riding surface? Pavement? Dirt? What types? And what bike (or even tire) do you take there when you go?
ALSO, are we really here, at 400 FGRs? That’s nearly 8 years worth. I’d just like to say a quick thank you to regular readers and regular commenters, even the ones I disagree with. And of course, to Padraig, for making room on RKP for all of us to talk about cycling.