The people have spoken. I have heard your voices and have resolved to get new tires. I expect to be able to provide a detailed report on the purchase, installation, and ride quality of these tires by next weekend. In the meanwhile, I have called Old Ironsides into long distance service.
Well, at least it can be called “moderate distance,” if not “long distance.”
Yesterday’s weather was once again fantastic, with temperatures soaring into the upper 60s. There was a stiff breeze, but that was of little consequence when matched with the springlike temperature. I probably would have plotted a 50 mile route for the Trek, but with Old Ironsides I cut the distance back to 36 miles. In the end, pushing the hybrid that distance felt a bit like 50 miles anyway. For my objective, I chose some pleasant country lanes east of Nokesville that I haven’t been on in several weeks and set off.
The mild temperatures allowed me to try out my very first set of arm warmers, a Christmas present from a friend who is trying to help me round out my cycling wardrobe. They are made by Garneaux, the same Canadian company that makes my shoe covers. Like the shoe covers, these arm warmers did a great job. I find myself becoming a fan of Garneaux, despite their suspicious French name. I felt a little silly, being decked out in proper cycling kit all the way to my ankles, whereupon the studious observer would note that I was wearing sneakers. Oh yeah, I was riding a hybrid. It was definitely an odd combination.
After traversing the bike path on Rte 234, then navigating the busy Aden Road (much of it with no shoulder), I arrived at those pleasant country lanes. It takes me 11 miles to get there, which once again makes me wonder why I don’t simply drive there more often and start my ride at the place where I enjoy it. Purists (especially those with a political agenda) will point out the silliness of driving so I can cycle and the adverse impact on the environment such a practice creates. I’m not persuaded by this argument, but rather cannot be bothered to put my bike and rack on my truck and drive out there, then repeat the process on the return. I rather like arriving in my driveway at the end of the ride and being done with the event. When the chore of riding Aden Road outweighs the hassle of commuting to ride, then I’ll do it.
The roads east of Nokesville were (as anticipated) quite nice. They are dotted with horse and dairy farms and have very little traffic on them. After pedaling about for 14 miles, I once again returned to Aden Road and made the journey home without event. Having the wind at my back was a nice way to finish the ride.
So once again Old Ironsides proved its worth. While not being up to the task of regular distance riding, it can come through in a pinch as it did yesterday. It is also my regular choice for nighttime and family rides. I’m pleased to have it in my two-bicycle stable.