Summer Preview

We’re having a summer weather preview this week, complete with hot afternoons and overnight showers.  We had a line of rain come through just before dawn, which gave me an opportunity to really put my new clip-on fenders through their paces.  Except for a bit of spray on my shoes and ankles, the fenders do a good job keeping me dry.  The real test is going to be when I go to wipe down my bike later.  To really be worthwhile, the fenders need to keep the gunk off my drivetrain so that the bike is easy to clean off.  Stay tuned.

Today I rode into Ellicott City via the infamous College Ave., which runs between Bonnie Branch Rd and St. Paul St.  College Ave. is known for its seven steep hills as well as numerous ghost stories and old wives’ tales. I don’t ride College Ave. all that often because the first hill is a total killer.  Today I managed to slog up it without dropping to the granny gear, but it wasn’t fun.  Once you’re up the initial hill, though, the remaining 6 aren’t that bad.  It’s just a matter of building up enough speed on the downhill parts to carry the bike most of the way up the next hill.  I came close to 40mph on a couple stretches.  Once I was in Ellicott City, I took the same route as yesterday, doubling back to Patapsco State Park via River Rd. and then through Relay and Halethorpe.  For some reason I thought this was going to be a shorter ride than yesterday, but it’s actually about a mile longer, clocking in at just under 19 miles.

I’ll probably keep riding the road bike for one more day, then switch to the fixed gear for the end of the week.  By then the temperatures should be returning to early-April seasonal norms, which will be nice, although I’m enjoying not having to bundle up in the mornings.