Urban Gravel Grinder

I work down in a basement, and sometimes I’m down there for so many hours that I’m unaware of the weather changing outside. It’ll be nice at lunch time, but by the time I’m ready to bike home, the weather has taken a turn. This was the case on Monday. I had been expecting temps in the 70s all week, but when I muscled the heavy Surly Long Haul Trucker up the steps it was cold. Really cold. The wind had started blowing so there was a chill to the air.

I pulled on my arm warmers, pointed the bike towards home and started pedalin’. It took a little bit longer than usual to warm up, but in time I did, and before I knew it I was halfway home. I was having a great ride, and I noticed that I was flyin’ home. I was on my way to a new record for my commute home route.

And then it all changed . . .

What the hell was this! Where did the road go! They tore up Valley Blvd and before I knew it I was on my own Urban Gravel Grinder! The section of Valley Blvd that I ride is about a mile long, and for most of it, there are no sidewalks. So I had to muscle the LHT through the permanent ruts that the scrapers left. Watching out for the bumps and rises of the manhole covers. Getting beat up from all the shaking around.

The tires were getting caught in the grooves and the bike was tramlinin’ down the road. My speed dropped to single digits as I pushed on. I was thinking of my Salsa Fargo sitting in the garage, with it’s wide tires and lower pressures. What a dream it would be to be riding that right now.

Finally I hit a section with a sidewalk so I pulled over and got a couple pics.

I stopped where the two road surfaces met up again. Valley Blvd was never a smooth road, but after riding on this it felt like butter. I’m excited to ride Valley Blvd again after they finish the work, but for now I’ll have to find a different way home.

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