|View from driveway|
Still witnessing the lingering effects of a late winter snowfall, this week the mercury began to creep up and the two feet of snow began to melt. While cycling indoors at the gym, the regulars were commenting that it would not be long before cycling could return to the outdoors. With temperatures in the mid-50s Monday and Tuesday and a high expected near 60 on Wednesday, I marked the first day of Spring as the day to test both bike and body outdoors for the first time since late fall. I figured I would take it easy on this first rite of Spring. Perhaps, 10-12 miles in a quick loop around the bluff where I figured the roads would be well maintained. If roads looked serviceable and body and bike felt good then the route could be lengthened to include a rural ride.
|Snow on the left, grit on the right|
As I dropped down into the valley, the snow all but disappeared. Debris on the shoulder was tolerable and potholes, which often appear in great number after a long winter, were minimal.
Climbing up and out of the valley and onto the rolling hills of the Palouse, snow was present but not to the depth as found at the house. Oh, how pleasant to once again be out on the bike under the warmth of the sun. Invigorating.
With little or no snow in the valley, I decided to extend the ride to include one of my regular routes. At 25 miles that might provide a sense of how both man and machine endured the long, winter months. Having elevation change of about 2,200 feet across the route would be a good test too.
Having to ride a little more tentatively due to road debris and water on the road, I completed the route in one and a half hours. That is about five minutes slower than usual but acceptable given the conditions and the first time out. Covered in a bit of mud and grit, I returned safely to the house.
Spring looks to have finally arrived on the Palouse and cycling can switch from the monotony of the indoor trainer to the pleasure of the outdoors. Let's hope the weather continues to cooperate.