The crew at Heartland Sports Productions canceled the first race of the season. Good call.
After a winter like this the trails will take a while to drain. Saturday's forecast called for sunny skies, warm temps and high winds. The trails may be too soggy but it was a great day to ride gravel.
When the wind is out of the south, prevailing wisdom says one should head south into the wind, and then enjoy the tailwind on the ride home. I said screw-it. The roads I wanted to explore were to the North. My only goal was to get myself lost. I rolled out of Lawrence, across the river bottom and into the hills. The mosquito drone of Michelin Muds on hardpacked country roads was a welcome sound; it's been at least a month since I've done anything more than commute.
I knew I'd have a hard ride back when I checked my GPS as I rode up the first big climb: 21.8mph, uphill on gravel—feels great now, will hurt later. The local mutt population was in full force today and gave chase every chance they had.
For the most part, the roads were in premium condition. Only in the lowlands had fresh gravel had been laid. The ride back was as expected, half the speed of the ride out—fighting to stay upright and maintain momentum.
What a great first day of March. I got some base miles in and managed get a farmers tan too.