The pummeling winds and the surprise snow aside, what a wonderful Spring Break it’s been! I’ve been running the Shogun through her paces nearly every day and have managed to put in four metric centuries in five days, locating (I hope) every single fender buzz and rattle, and remedying each in it’s turn. The derailleurs are dialed in and clicking the way they should.
It’s St. Patrick’s today, a time for celebration if you’re an Irish-American. We headed up toward Weston to check out the hills, along with some paved bike paths I’d seen on an internet trail map. With 25 mph headwinds, the hills were as unrepentant as might be imagined, but on the trails, the trees acted as a wind break. With temperatures in the upper 70’s, it was actually hot – it’s been months since I experienced that particular sensation!
I rode the Peugeot P8 today. With wider 27 inch tires, I figured they’d be a decent fit for packed gravel trails, and I wasn’t mistaken. I was wrong about the paved trails though! A couple of hills were steep enough that I found myself pedaling forward, wheels spinning forward – but the bike on the steep, slick path was actually sliding backward. I barely unclipped myself from the pedals in time to keep from falling on my side. Even so, I barely managed to stay upright: the plastic cleats had no purchase whatsoever on the pavement and I continued to slide until the mud beside the path stopped me. A couple struggling to walk up the trail were, in equal parts, startled and amused at my predicament. Mucho embarrassing!
In Weston we stopped at an Irish pub for a pull of Guinness, our reward for struggling with an ill conceived attempt to ride a road bike up a path clearly constructed for mountain bikes. The ass at the door insisted on ID’s – he wouldn’t accept a photograph of my grandson as proof that I could legally consume Ireland’s finest brew. So lunch passed without that dark nectar; instead we ate tacos at a little greasy spoon with Porter Wagner album covers and an antique bicycle as wall decor.
This tragedy shall not go unchallenged, however, because I understand that the Gem has Guinness on tap.
An Irish catastrophe shall be averted.