I have been wanting to do a gravel road ride for a while. It has been calling me. Especially since I signed up for the 36 mile Founders Fall Fondo on October 15th. I knew I should probably do at least one long gravel ride. It just so happens that Grand Rapids bicycle company was having a demo with Cannondale. GRBC also does a gravel ride every Thursday. It worked out that I was able to ride. I was also able to demo a Cannondale Slate for the ride. They normally have a 30ish mile loop, but because of the demo they had a shorter 18 mile loop set up as well. I was feeling froggy and was going to do the longer loop until I figured out they were leaving at different times. My plan was to make the decision of route based on how I was feeling. Instead, I opted for the shorter loop for a few reasons. First, I was on a demo bike. I didn't want to figure out it was uncomfortable and be miserable for 30 miles. Second, I haven't ridden that far this year...at all. So not a big deal, I opted for the shorter loop.
It was awesome to be out on gravel....on a gravel specific bike. The ride didn't start fast. Just cruising. It pretty much stayed there. The group was pretty diverse. While I would have been a weaker link in the longer group, I was one of the stronger in the shorter distance group. It was an interesting ride, especially when it got dark. A shockingly large amount of people in the group didn't have lights. At one point I let the group go an was hanging back with a few people. There ended up being 4 of us back. I was the only one with a light. I led them back to the group. It was a solid group ride and I will have another post about the bike.
Today, I headed to Cannonsburg with Nate and Pears. With all the recent rain I was looking forward to a tacky trail. I was not disappointed. Trail was in great shape, just covered by some wet leaves. I do like this trail, but I am in no shape for climbing....which is why I went there. Not gonna get any faster by avoiding the misery...it is time to embrace it. I had a pretty good ride. We were just cruising. I was always last one up the hills, but it doesn't matter....I was out there. We were just back on the normal loop after riding the connector back from the West loop, and it happened. I let my front wheel drift high on a berm and the side knobs grabbed, pulling the bike out from under me. I was pulled to the ground, landing on my left shoulder and knee. Happened pretty quick. I tried to think back to the last time I crashed, and I cannot put my finger on how long it has been. At least 4 years ago was the last time I was on the ground. At least it wasn't a high speed, high injury type of crash. It was a slower speed slam to the ground. My days of riding without incident just got reset to "zero".