Bags of Bran

The Road Less Traveled
August 18, 2015, 12:02 pm
Filed under: Bike, Biography, Personal Adventures

Every year since I started realizing by experience that there was such a thing as old age, and after a period of general weakness and trembling, I began doing what I call “Birthday Beatings.” They are, essentially, long (relatively) and difficult (relatively, once again) bicycle rides, sometimes over several days. Year to year they vary in length and difficulty with my fitness and schedule.

The first episode of a birthday beating was in 2007. I rode my mountain bike over to Fumee Lake Recreation Area in Iron Mountain, Michigan and rode just over 40 miles of singletrack. My total for the day was 51 miles, my house at the time being 5.1 miles away, and my ability to ride in straight lines being rather impaired toward the end. You may be asking whether that was a wise thing to do or not, but I assure you, some questions do not have an answer.

Since then I have been more and less ambitious.

This year’s festivities included a truncated trip to Hickory Ridge, near Bloomer, WI, where I discovered that my mountain bike game has grown rusty from storage. I pinballed off of rocks, overshot corners, braked too early or too late, and had a wonderful time. It really is an excellent and underutilized trail system way up there in a festering swamp.

The next day I dithered between my road bike and my cyclocross bike. I was heading east to explore some gravel roads north of Colfax, WI. I wasn’t sure if I wanted the sure-footedness of the knobby tires for the gravel, or the fleet-footedness of narrow road tires for the long journey out to the gravel. “Footedness” was going to be an issue.

I went with the narrow tires, which turned out to be an interesting choice when I came to 1090th Ave. If you look at the map, it looks like a normal road, which normally means normal pavement, or normal gravel:


However, on arrival, here is what you encounter:


Too shadowy...

Is that mud?!

It is mud...

It is mud…

And steep...

And steep…

So then, never trust the internet.

Want to examine this route for yourself? See it here:


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