Followers of the blog will know that for Christmas, my amazing wife Michelle got me something I have wanted for a very long time. A fat tire bike!
It came home the weekend after Christmas. I rode it day one, in the rain and racing sunset. Then later in the week, I did short beach ride.
Sadly, after that, the weather has NOT cooperated (32 inches of rain since January 1) and Roscoe (the name of said bike) has stayed warm and dry in the garage. That streak ended today…
Yesterday it rained all day, AGAIN. Michelle and I spent the day hunkered down with the gas fireplace going.
Today, though, was dry, and by 10 AM or so, all the errands were done. Michelle put her foot down and kicked me outside for.a ride. I decided it was time to get Roscoe out and blow the stink off him!
Back in the first April we were here, 2018, the road bike and I discovered a side road branching off into the woods. This is as far as I got that day. The big hill behind it was a mudslide.
The road had been getting rougher, so at the time I decided it wasn’t a good idea to take the road bike up and over. I turned around and came home. In the back of my head, I knew I would get back.
Today was that day! I saddled up and headed out.
First thing I noticed is that it was MUCH easier to pedal him today. The first two times I was surprised of the extra friction the bigger tires gave. I am not sure why it was easier today, but I really didn’t think it was too hard.
The sun was still out, but it was chilly in the shade. I had layers and rain gear JUST in case. The initial climb to the branch road was steep, but truly this bike climbs like a goat! I didn’t even need the lowest gear.
I made it to the slide and there was a trail over it. For about a second and I half I thought about trying to ride it, how hard could it be?
However, in the two short rides I have had, I have learned that 35,000 road miles does NOT a mountain biker make!
My skill level has to grow a lot before I get too cocky. So off the bike I went and we walked over the top.
Remember that rain I told you about? Well there have been winds as well! There were a number of trees across the road. Some I could move, some I could step over, and one required picking up the bike and going around. There may have been a few sticker bushes.
Soon though I was on a road that had not been driven on in a VERY long time!
It was very pretty, very quiet and no one but me! just what I was looking for.
I kept climbing for a couple of more miles, but soon, I got to a spot where I think they (whoever the ‘they’ is) have torn up the old pavement on purpose. Maybe to help return the area to nature.
I was able to keep going for a while on the side of the ‘road’ but soon got to a point where my skills were lacking. It was time to turn around!
First though, I could hear pretty close a stream. It was just a little farther up the road/path/trail. I parked the bike and headed up. NORMALLY I do NOT like letting my bikes out of my sight. However, I hadn’t seen anything bigger than than a robin for an hour. I was pretty sure it was safe!
I am glad I did! Here is the stream I found. Without the new bike, I would never have see this,
I made it back to my bike, only to find out I had forgotten my sunglasses and gloves at the stream…. Back up I went, and yep, right where I left them.
I was excited for the turn around, I had been climbing up hill for a long time. It was time to enjoy the downhill!
Alas, remember those moutainbike skills, or lack there of I was speaking of?
Well, turns out I got just a LITTLE bit cocky on the down hill.
The fat tires are amazing and give traction where other bikes could never go… HOWEVER, one must remember mud is slippery and turning sharp in slippery mud does not always work. (Much like a 4 wheel driver vehicle owner learns on black ice)
Yep, crash and burned in the mud! (Don’t worry mom, VERY soft mud! I got dirty but the sticker bushes caused much more damage than the mud crash!) I bursted my self off and git back in the saddle.
I made it back to the paved road, but the adventure was NOT over yet. As I was riding home, this dog, who has chased me before, came running at me. I didn’t pay him any mind, as he barks and snarls but nothing else. Damn dog today nipped me on both sides of the ass!!! Didn’t break the skin or even damage the shorts. I kinda think he is a herding dog and that’s how they herd animals.
The owners came tearing across the field yelling at him. I waved and kept going. No blood no foul. Though next time I pass this house I am going to have a hefty stick with me! Dog gets close, I am gonna whack it upside the nose! There is always cans of bear spray as well, hmmmm.
As I got close to home, I saw another off shoot road going uphill to the right. It was still nice, it was early, so I decided to check it out.
HOLY CRAP that hill was steep! Its been a long time since I rode a hill that I had stop part way up for a breather.
I decided it was time to stop, as the summit was still pretty far up., and I felt tired.
However, at that time I noticed an osprey soaring above me, and just then a hummingbird landed on a branch next to me. They seemed to be teaming up to remind me of something I had read recently. “You mind gives up much sooner than than your legs do.” I know, I know. What do one of the biggest birds and the very smallest bird on the Oregon Coast know about cyclists legs?
But truly, after seeing the two together I said out loud, “The mind gives up before the legs do!” And I put the feet on the pedals and made it to the top!
I looked forward and I could see dirt roads that go on forever. This calls for am earlier start, food and more water. But I made the top of the steep climb!
I am glad I did, cuz look what I saw when I turned around to go down. I had no idea this was behind me.
This is why we climb hills! For the views and downhills!
I made it down safe and back to the house. The across the street neighbor was out and I told him about the ride. He knew about the steep trail I was on, he has checked it out on Google Maps. He told me he is saving up for an Electric Assist bike to explore these. I have no issue with E-bikes, but will truly admit it makes me happy to know I will be exploring these roads very soon, all by leg power!
Like the wind folks! And thank you Michelle for the bike!