Though winter continues to hang on by its frozen claws here in Wisconsin (and many other places, from what I hear), the roads were dry enough and clean enough (and my clean I mean relatively salt-free and covered with sand) for a few of us to get out and start putting in some mileage in preparation for Trans-Iowa and the other spring events on the calendar.
Not a balmy spring day, but any means. About 9 degrees with winds at 10-12mph when we left, and no warmer than the mid-20s with winds a bit higher by the time we returned.
Given that my longest ride since early December was only a little more than half as long as this one–and that was a slow, fat-bike meander in the snow–I feel cautiously optimistic about my fitness right now. I had a couple of rough patches during the ride, but felt stronger in the second half than in the first–and more importantly, felt pretty damned good the next day.
The bike for Trans-Iowa–the Albatross–is pretty close to where it needs to be, whether I run it geared or single-speed. The cockpit needs some tweaking, and I’m not entirely sure about the baggage configuration yet, but otherwise things seem to be working fine.
And I’m still pondering tire choice. Out of pure laziness, I left the 2.1″ WTB Vulpines on the Albatross for this ride, and while they performed fine on the road, they were rather more than was needed. And, on a couple of steep climbs, definitely more than was wanted. It’s time to switch to the Clement MSOs and see how they fare.
Mounting fenders might not be a bad idea either.