Sunday, December 18, 2016

Joyride Gravelpalooza ala Polar Vortex

Finally, I made it to a Joyride gravel ride! My touring and traveling has conspired against my being able to do these gravel rides. Not today!

Due to the weather being bone-chilling cold (for the Pacific Northwest anyway). Cam, wisely, altered the route to have less elevation, and a shorter distance. We started at the Kennedy Creek Trailhead. I rode over to Karen's, and we drove out to the trailhead. I was pretty sure I knew where it was, but when we arrived, no one was there. Just when I was about to suggest maybe going further down the road, Brian showed up. He's from the shop, so I knew we were in the correct place. Bit by bit more people started arriving, until we had a great group of 21 people! Today, there were a lot of mountain bikes. Also, something different this year is the amount of bikes with bikepacking bags on them. I know a few guys are getting ready to do some bikepacking, and are trying out their gear. But, some are using the bags to carry food, water, and extra clothes specifically for the day's ride.

We headed up the gravel, crunching through frozen puddles, and at times riding through an inch dusting of dry snow. I remembered to let some air out of my tires (I totally forgot on last Sunday's chick gravel ride), so the riding was pretty smooth without any slipping. I had been this way before, but at one point, I think we went straight, instead of turning, because we ended up coming out to an intersection from a different direction. While we were regrouping, eating, etc, Derik and Deb caught up to us. They had not started with us, but managed to find us. So, now we were 23 riders!

When we got to the turn to go either up, or around, we all decided to go up.

The problem is not the climb, it's the descent down the other side. It's much more steep than going around. It was questionable as to how much snow we might encounter. Turns out is was no more than what we'd already been through. Although the descent was steep, it was not bad. The scenery was pretty decent too.
At the bottom, we were back on the road we had been on at the beginning.

Total mileage was around 12, but it was a great 12 miles!

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