"Blow me down!" – Popeye

Holy cow, I had no idea this was going to be this challenging of a ride. I was supposed to meet up with a few RW members to ride out of Townsend Park in Cannonsburg. I was 10 minutes late getting there (roads were way worse than I thought they would be), so I was worried that I had missed the group, but I didn't see any cars or bike tracks anywhere. So even though I checked my e-mail and the ride was still "on", the ride ended up getting cancelled when the ride captains decided to call it off because they were not feeling well. (I wouldn't find this out until I got back home, and it looks like that message came through about 10 minutes after I checked my e-mail this morning.)

So not knowing this, I decided anyways to pedal off into the blowing snowy winter wonderland of West Michigan solo. I had no idea where I was going, just looking for less travelled dirt roads.

I only fell down twice. Once when I hit some hidden ruts in the snow on a turn around, then later when (maybe) a 30mph gust blew the wheels right out from under me. Any clearing you came across, there was a chance you'd get blown right off the road - which almost happened once as well. The gust from my left blew me from the center of the road all the way to the very edge, the whole time I was holding on for dear life.

It was a good ride, kinda boring though. Glad I went anyways. Ended up on more paved roads than I was hoping for, so I had to rinse the bike when I got home. Along the way I stopped to talk to a couple walking their dog about 7 miles in and then talked with another couple when I was back at the truck. The last couple thought I was crazy, but the old, balding man was not even wearing a hat. I told him HE was crazy. On one road, an approaching Silverado slowed and had his window rolled down. I stopped. He asked "are you with those crazy niner guys?" Confused, I said "nope. Just another random clown out for a ride." He laughed, then said he rides in the winter too and was giving me directions to some good roads to ride.

Blue Bomber survived. I took all my tools in case of a breakdown, but all was well. He shifted flawlessly, rode smoothly. At one time though, I opened up the HeadShok and there was no pressure - it just bottomed out. Could be three different things: 1) mechanical loss of pressure, which would mean a trip back to the shop, 2) I attempted to pump air into it yesterday, so maybe I did that wrong and it actually lost pressure, or 3) the cold temps today compressed the air enough that there just wasn't enough in there. Oh well, I'll have that to figure out later....

What!? You want me to ride through that blizzard?!?

A much more quiet (sheltered) back road. Calm and out of the wind.
This is what I was looking for all morning.

Slush monster.

I'm not sure how the derailleur was even working, it was so iced up.

Convenient storage.


  1. I don't know man...it doesn't sound all that boring! Although, I still think I'm too wussy for that. The best I can do is get the quad out.

  2. I couldn't have ridden my brand new build in those conditions on the first ride...but I'm glad you did. Sweet.