I celebrated the end of February with my first long morning ride in forever (well, since February 4, which might as well be forever). I took New Cut Rd into Ellicott City, then rode along River Rd to the park entrance on Ilchester. The trail still looked too snow-covered for road tires, so I doubled back, rode up Thistle Rd, then through Catonsville via Oella Ave, Old Frederick Rd, and Edmondson Ave, for a total distance of just over 16 miles.
It was great to get a longer ride in. February was brutal. I’m holding out hope that within the next two weeks or so, I’ll be able to ride through Patapsco State Park again. It always seems to take forever for the snow to melt in the park, because it doesn’t get much sun, and the ground temperatures are lower near the water. I could probably get through the park with a mountain or cross bike and maybe some studded tires. I’ll see what I can do about that later this year. In the meantime, I’ll be seeing a lot of Catonsville.
I am still riding with “Power Grips” toe straps. I wasn’t sure about them at first, but after several rides, I’ve decided I really like them. The “extra long” size easily fits my hiking boots. They’re orders of magnitude easier to get strapped into than toe clips; I’d say they’re no worse in that department than my Looks. Being that they’re straps, I don’t get quite the “clipped in” feel that I get with the Looks, and there’s some to-be-expected “give” when I pull up on the pedals. But, they keep my feet on the pedals, and I feel comfortable with them at high cadences (read: going downhill on a fixie). I have the straps set to the smallest setting, and in this position, the ends of the straps tend to scrape the ground when I turn. This is not a huge deal, but if necessary, I can fix it by trimming the straps down a bit. This problem would likely be less noticeable on a bike with a freewheel. All in all, I’m happy with the Power Grips.