Change of seasons

I’m officially marking the beginning of a new season. The other night I was flying down Winchell Road out by Hiram, and as I prepared to turn left onto Rapids, I found a recent batch of chip-and-seal waiting for me. Including a nice, deep pile of loose gravel in the turn.

The jogger on Rapids got a bit a show watching me try to keep my front wheel from washing out.

A few miles later I ran into another stretch on Stafford Road. Why is it that some road departments seem to look for the biggest chunks of rock they can possibly find? What are they thinking? “Hey Buford, let’s use the boulders on this one.”

The chip-and-seal season has begun. (Interestingly, the official term seems to be “chipseal or chip seal” — no “and”.)

And the racing season is quickly coming to an end. I know this because I’m finding it difficult to make myself ride hard these days. July was packed with races. Getting sick right afterward didn’t help. Now I look at the empty spaces on the calendar now, and it doesn’t seem worth the effort to try to maintain a super-high level of fitness.

I look at the calendar again and realize that we’ve been going hard now since the last week in February, with races almost every weekend since then. That’s a lot of racing, considering this is supposed to be a “hobby”.

While driving to the Garrett Wonders criterium in Westerville, I thought how it will be nice to just roll out the driveway for a casual ride under the changing leaves. Or going for a trail run if I feel like it. Or not do anything at all on a Saturday afternoon. Or do some of the house or yard work I’ve been neglecting.

But then the race starts, and it’s fast and fun, and I come home and start looking at the race calendar again.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Change of seasons

  1. Bill

    Very well written!

  2. Jim

    I find all kinds of reasons to just ride and enjoy it. Advancing age does that to you.
    The “chip seal” is another issue altogether. I have often wondered why they wait until late in the cycling season to do it. Any ideas?
    Then, they always seem to find ways to do it on roads where I plan on riding to get home. Not knowing the road is now garbage, I have to make a choice. Continue on and hope it doesn’t last too far OR reverse direction and add about 20 miles to the ride.
    I have been wrong trying both methods.

  3. Brian

    yeah, the worst is when you pick a route, get far enough out and are committed. Too far to turn back. Worse still is when your bike is nice and clean and you have to ride through all the dust, gravel and sometimes tar. yuck.

  4. Brian

    I found a road tonight — Thorpe Rd out in Auburn Township — that the road dept. decided to cover with “boulders”. Made it a pretty tough ride.

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