The "Bus" in question is an old Univerga "Specialissima" touring bike. i like to name my bikes, and although that may seem odd, i've been doing that for as long as i've had bikes. The Univega, though, has yet to have a name that sticks. She just may continue to be "The Bus." It's a title that reflects her character. Not a particularly fast or agile machine, but a comfortable ride that doesn't beat me up over a long day.
So off we went, keeping the gears low and the expectations modest, in no great hurry with no particular destination in mind. It was a week for noodling around, a chance to shake off winter's cobwebs and get the feeling of the road again.
i sometimes refer to the suburban area wherein i live as a "cycling desert." Just a few minutes' ride in any direction one is confronted with high-speed, high volume 6-lane main roads, cul-du-sacs and dead-end side streets, interstates, and not to mention the natural barriers, rivers. Finding safe ridable routes out of town is challenging, but over the years i've discovered a few, and i'm gradually finding more ways to get further out. A lot of this week's rides were for re-familiarising myself with some of them.
About 25km out is a land of horse pastures and large estates,
and rolling roads.
Today, i decided that i needed a humbling experience, so i set out to find out how weak i'd gotten over the winter... the rollers out here did the trick. Although the landscape here can hardly be called hilly, one can find enough "sprinters' hills" to hone one's skills. i am not a climber by any stretch of the imagination, so i know i need to get out here a lot more often if i have half a hope in the upcoming season's brevets.
When i'd had enough, i rolled homeward, stopping to salve my bruised ego with some ice cream.
i've ridden past this shop too many times, and today it was time to make up for that.
Next stop, the local Civil War Memorial,
About half an hour later, i was back home just as the first few drops of the day's promised rain began to fall. Today's was not an epic ride, not much of a workout- i could hardly call it a training ride. It'd been a good rollout though, plus i got to hear deafening choruses of spring peepers and birds tuning up for spring, got barked at by farm dogs (always at the bottom of the hill, of course,) and saw the first snowdrops and crocuses popping out.
And right about now i'm ready for another ice cream cone...