Just a week ago, we were in the deep freeze and soon to be covered by even more snow. But the end of the week saw warmer temperatures that melted most of the ice on the roads and paths, and made a significant dent in the snow pack.
Just like every other year at this time, I’ve been itching to get out on the road on (relatively) skinny tires after several months of fat-biking and bombing around town on studded 29ers. And, it’s time to start ramping up the miles and on-the-bike time in preparation for the what’s starting to look like a busy spring and summer of long events, tours, and other bike fun.
The Dyerson Road bridge is closed to traffic and not plowed for the winter. A good place to stop for a bite and to gawp at the open water. It’s even better when a cold, cold wind isn’t blowing straight up the river.
Bikes = good (photo by Grant).
Not pictured, the pummeling 20mph wind.
I rode the Devil, which is current set up as a single-speed with a 39×16 drivetrain and shod with 32mm Panaracer Cross Blasters. The gear ratio is basically perfect for the terrain we were riding–rolling hills that aren’t terribly steep. The tires were unnecessarily knobby–they’re leftovers from last fall that I was too lazy to change before yesterday’s ride–but at least they’re reasonably light and reasonably supple.
This the same basic rig that I’ll be riding for this year’s attempt at Trans Iowa–though with different wheels (Paul + Dyad 36h), bigger tires (Clement MSO 40mm), and perhaps a different set of handlebars (Ragley Luxy). I’ll also step down the gearing to something like 36×18 or 36×19 to compensate for the larger rubber, the gravel, and the long distances of Trans Iowa.
Stats: 52.2 miles, 13.9mph average. Temperatures in the high 30s, winds SSW at 12-15mph and gusting to around 25mph.