Looking back on gravel roads, an after-ride recap of previous posts

Gravel roads don’t often hold people’s attention. More often, those roads are annoying source of thick dust on cars. They’re also something that many think should be paved just because paving is progress. I like them, so when I heard about a 70 mile bike ride on gravel, I had to sign up.

About a dozen other cyclists were also on the ride, and from the start, I could tell they were on the ride for different reasons than me. They were fast. They wanted to get through the route, in the country. I wanted to be part of it again, like when I was a kid riding my first bike on gravel roads. Although, this kid has always ridden slower than many cyclists.

Pain has never been part of what I call pleasure, so I don’t push myself too hard up hills. I get off and walk. I stop for pictures, a nice spot in the shade, and most important, I stop for ice cream. I still like going far, sometimes for hundreds of miles. I just like to go slow.

I was far behind the group on this ride, so I rode solo a lot. That’s ok with me, as the previous posts describe. Something those posts didn’t describe is that this could be my last long solo ride for a while, since I need to take care of some medical stuff that could keep me off my bike for a few months.

Maybe I will be able to sneak in another ride during my medical treatment, but having a medical problem has nudged me toward enjoying each ride like it could be my last for a while. That’s the kind of stuff you can sort out, in your head and heart, when you’re on a long gravel ride. As the pictures show, gravel roads can look a bit dull sometimes, but they give you time to sort things out. They also have some fun surprises, like all cycling.

 

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