The 2 usual RCCS suspects, Dave and I, were joined by 5 hearty souls from the Southern Indian Wheelman group of fire road riders for our HFH yesterday. The weather reciprocated with some very cold temps to start the ride-15F let’s say- and a variety of road textures ranging from sheet ice to crunchy deep snow to lots of compacted car tracks of varying quality.
We stayed together yo-yo’ing a bit for the first 15 miles or so until the SIW group was smart to ride their own tempo and Dave and I ours. Once we turned west the hills felt a little tougher and once into Ferdinand State Forest the traction tougher too. The oddest part of the day came on CoRd 650E out of the forest. All the maps show it as a more “major” road, but at best it was a 4-wheeler path, and not too fun to ride in the deepest snow of the day. Somewhere in the forest Dave and I decided to turn left instead of right to cut down some mileage as one of us wasn’t having the best of days. Sometimes it’s like that, isn’t it?
We made use of IN-64 for a bit to give us some respite from the snow and ice and then made our way south, wondering when the SIW boys would come up behind us once we returned to the route. I laughed out loud when Dave saw the colorful group coming up behind at Bethel. I think they deviated a bit from the route at that time but didn’t mind. They seemed to express the desire to get the hell done. It was a tough day. The temps stayed coldish, but in all it felt much more like a mtbike ride than any kind of road ride. And 40 miles of mtbiking is plenty. At Stendal one of our party decided he couldn’t go on, so the remaining group did. Once back at the car park, Jim and I got changed and such and raced back to pick up our wounded party. The story ended well.
It was a really great day, an “adventurous” day on 2 wheels. I’ve never done a group ride starting at 15-ish F, never done a 40mile snow ride and it was the first time taking in some great roads, ones that need to be revisited in the warmth and dry of spring or summer.