Before today, I had only been a road riding cyclist. From my very first days on a '99 Trek Navigator 100, which as you can see is a comfort or rail trail style ride, through all the bikes I've gotten and gotten rid of, trying to figure out just what sort of bike is really "me," (Trek Pro 560, Fuji Touring, Univega Activa, Waterford 1100, KHS 800) they have all shared the common denominator of being made to ride on pavement. That changed this week, when UPS delivered a nearly new old stock 1988 Bridgestone MB-2 MOUNTAIN BIKE. I put it together and fit a Brooks saddle to it which,already broken in and comfortable, was on my spares shelf. Triple butted chrome-moly steel with fully lugged frame construction. Today was the maiden voyage for both of us. Bill R was kind enough to lead me through the paces at Swayback Bridge Trail after lunch. Other than the fact that you pedal the bike to make it go for both road and mountainbikes, not much is the same bewteen them. I had to get used to the upper body workout, shifting my weight around on the bike, learn when and when NOT to shift gears, and let 1/2 the air out of my tires. I had them in a good range for a road ride. That made themn very tough to do singletrack on. Here I am at a rest pause in the woods, and then at the end with Bill and his Ellsworth.
The ride followed an excellent BBQ lunch at Champs in Wetumpka. Frank and Joe joined us for the good eats, as we had all just ridden 35 road miles together as well. Only Bill and I came prepared to bike both ways though. Also at the ride, but missing at lunch were Pete and Tom. Here we are as we coordinated last minute details at Thelma Bapist Church on Weoka Rd.
You can see more cars than we count up as riders. That's becuase the Com-Velo folks were also meeting there before going off on a training ride. Great to meet up with and preride chat with Keith and Darren again, as well as shake hands with Scott. They invited us to join them but we travel at a different pace, and just wished them well.
The early signs of Spring are out. Pear trees are showing snowy white and the redbuds are in bloom. Buds of all kinds are showing and there are now green swaths of grass along much of the roadway.
The route offered almost all rolling hills and very little if any flat stretches. The lead dogs on the sled (Frank, Pete and Joe) passed the trn on Antioch Rd by 4 miles before I caught them at a stop sign, and Pete had a relative's birthday party to get to, so we altered teh route soem and ended up a few miles less than advertised, but enjoyed it just as much. Here are shots of the leaders from behind, Bill alongside, and Tom coming up from the rear of the pack.
All in all, a great day. Just lovely with temps starting in the low 40s and rising to the 70s, plenty of sunshine and a light wind that never gave much trouble. Plenty of dogs, especially on Bradley Rd, but none caused problems.