As I mentioned after yesterday’s ride, I planned another ride for today. Tim and I met up and headed to Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge for a gravel ride.
Muscatatuck isn’t that big, but it’s a good starting place for a ride, with pleasant scenery. The planned route was just under 30 miles.
Tim and I were both on our Rawlands. This was expected to be easy, mostly-flat gravel. The temperature was about 50 at the beginning of the ride.
After meandering around the hard-packed dirt roads in Muscatatuck, taking in the scenery (and birds – lots of birds), we headed east along a “road” that was little more than muddy grass two-track. I was wishing for tires with tread, instead of my fat road tires. Well, at least we have a different route coming back.
After getting back to a real road, it quickly turned to loose gravel. It was more work to ride through, but I liked it better than the mud.
We eventually hit pavement for a while, which felt unnaturally smooth after that gravel. It was like cheating.
Except for a brief burst of “leaving church” traffic, there was little traffic. It was a pleasant ride.
I mostly quit taking pictures at this point. I was still feeling good, but I needed a bit more focus to keep moving.
On the final stretch back, we ran into a snag. The planned route took a road (CR 300 S) that didn’t really exist. A quick look at my GPS showed that CR 200 S to the north didn’t go all the way through. We did the only sensible thing and headed back south to CR 475 S – the very “not road” I mentioned earlier with all the mud.
Oddly enough, looking at data from a previous ride a few years ago in the area, it appears that we did take CR 200 S, so apparently it’s passable by bike. I don’t remember the details.
We ended it at 33.6 miles before heading home. It was a perfectly pleasant day. Planning a shorter ride means we don’t have to cut rides short. I’d rather feel good about finishing a ride, than cut it short and feel bad. I’ll keep planning these shorter rides until I build a bit more fitness.