On Monday last, I took a long ride out to a state park where there is a Native American ceremonial site at the convergence of two small rivers and an iron bridge across the larger of the two rivers. On the main highway that runs past the park’s entrance there’d been a much larger iron bridge, but several years ago it was replaced by a modern concrete bridge and the old structure was torn down. I liked driving over the old bridge on the highway; the smaller bridge inside the park connects the camping area to the rest of the property. I rode over to the main site, then back down to the turn off to the camping area, rode across the green-painted iron bridge on planks, then through the campground where there is located a clean bathroom. After using the bathroom, I discovered the great utility of full-zip jerseys, as opposed to the quarter-zip or half-zip variety, paired with a set of bib-shorts. When I put the jersey back on, my cellular telephone fell from a jersey pocket and broke open on the floor. Now I get it. As I was riding back out of the camping area in order to leave the park, I got caught in a rainstorm. I waited at the camper check-in booth during the worst of the downpour. The pedaling across the bridge’s slick, wet roadbed posed a hazard even with my bicycle’s oversized Continental Tour Ride tires. I was pleased that I did not crash.
Later in the week I took a ride through an overgrown area adjacent a small airport. The last time I rode through there was early last November, when the Spring foliage had been dried out by Summer heat, and the property owner had bush-hogged some of the dirt and grass lanes. Thursday, though, I found everything overgrown and rode in places through grass handle-bar high. Grass got tangled in my bikes rear derailleur and sprockets, making shifts difficult at first when I got back out to a surface where riding necessitated shifting into a higher gear. I must say that the Jamis Supernova, in its inaugural 2007 version, is a superb cross-country adventure bike, and my bike’s high-end but older Shimano components functioned superbly. And those Continental Tour Ride tires? Hard to imagine a tire better suited to conditions I encountered offroad. As I pedaled hard enough in some places to produce grunt-like vocalizations to maximize effort, I at one point shouted, “I love this bike!”
Yesterday afternoon, I took a ride with a group from the local bike club. I took the Jamis because riding it, I average about 14 miles per hour, and expected a casual group ride at about that speed. Most of the folks who showed up, though, had higher end, racing type bikes. I broke off and rode with a fellow who’d been expecting the same sort of group as I had and brought his Bike Friday, which is older and looks a lot cooler than the company’s current crop of bikes. We took a less hilly route and rode about 25.6 miles averaging 11.8 miles per hour. I enjoyed one fairly steep, winding, descent in need of resurfacing. The route took us through country previously unknown to me and connected with a highway I know well. Here’s the vista that greeted us near the intersection: