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Hitting the road  //   Wednesday - March 28, 2007

When it comes to cycling, road riding is not my first choice. It's not that I necessarily dislike it, it's just that unless you are a pro cyclist, your riding time is squeezed in around work and the rest of life and this means maximizing the fun factor in these limited hours. For me that means mountain biking takes top priority. It is why I've chosen to live near good trails for years. Road riding usually happens only out of necessity or when planning some extra difficult ride or a long distance bar crawl.

The fact is, there is some really great road riding around Fredrock. All things considered, it is a small city and I live more or less in the center. In just a couple of miles I can be climbing the foothills of the Appalachians. North or south takes me through the rolling hills of the Monacacy river valley. To the west, more rolling hills and rural landscape. It's not hard to quickly find yourself in the countryside enjoying beautiful scenery and low traffic roads.

With only a couple of hours to squeeze in a ride on Sunday I mounted up the fixed Crosscheck and rolled out from the house and headed south. I plotted out a route I had not been on before - not hard since I have done so little road riding since I moved here a bit over a year ago. The day quickly warmed up to the mid 50s and the wind was light. It really was a great day to be out on the bike solo with one ear bud in, listening to tunes and winding up the legs while winding down the mind. I hardly saw any cars all day and none were hostile. The views were great, with Sugarloaf Mountain as part of my landscape midway through and so many different animals I felt like I was on Wild Kingdom. Emus, goats, donkeys, horses, sheep, cows, multiple kinds of hawks, a blue heron and others things that I have now forgotten.

Maybe it's spring fever (the snow is gone and temps are rising), but I might just venture out on the tarmac again this weekend. If so it will involve so nice gravel road rambling, because that's another bonus of living in these parts, there are still a good number of unpaved roads to keep the skinny tire riding interesting.

- riderx


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