Tuesday, February 10, 2015

bringing a swiss army knife to a gun fight

I realized today, while riding the infamous Black Mo road ride on my ss cx bike, that I was in for a challenge. Not just because I am still building up from a long hiatus from riding regularly, but more due to the bike choice. I needed to amend the old adage: riding this bike on this route was more like bringing a swiss army knife to a gun fight.  
#paallday meet #sweetwaterallyear
Sure, I was at a disadvantage on the big climbs, but once I got out to Black Moshannon, I was able to cut across on Underwood, a mostly snow covered gravel road. Skinnies wouldn't have been able to get through that. The road rig desperately needs work done on its shifty bits anyway; strictly roller rides for her. Gonna need to remedy that before the Monkey Knife Fight...
winter wonderland on the Allegheny Plateau
The extra traction also came in handy when I would go cross-eyed on the climbs and swerve into winter road grit on the side of the road. Good thing I packed my new favorite ride snack; buttered everything bagel with nutella and apricot preserves. That did a bang-up job as fuel. I don't doubt that I tapped into some of my own "winter reserves" too.

The way I see it is that even though I did a big (mostly)road ride with one gear and knobby tires, at least I had a utilitarian disadvantage. I definitely wasn't planning to do Underwood when I rolled out. It was a bit of a surprise to find the snow rideable. The recent high temps and rain has done a number on snow pack here at the lower elevations. So even though it was a long slow grunt up there, it was nice to have the versatility to mix it up. Long story short, I think the Nature Boy will remain my go to rig for a while.
the sign at Beaver Rd only says 3miles. Beware: it's longer going this way. 

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