Winter’s grip on North Dakota has finally loosened enough to allow for comfortable riding weather. The warmer temperatures, coupled with the benefit of daylight savings time, have been most welcome. I’ve managed two short rides on the singlespeed and a 50 km jaunt on the CrossCheck, with the latter a mix of pavement and gravel around the Mandan airport.
Ice is still prevalent on the Missouri and Heart Rivers, but is disappearing quickly. Barring ice jams, both rivers should be running free soon should warming temperatures continue.
(East bank of the Missouri frozen near the BNSF bridge)
(Where free of ice, the Heart River flows quickly)
The first lengthy ride of the season is always a favorite. I take the pace slow, enjoying what wildlife is nearby while easing my body back into the rhythm and mechanics needed for good form. Having done relatively little winter conditioning, the path back to ‘cycling shape’ is expected to take longer than previous years. I’m unconcerned, as plans for 2015 are modest.
I’ve abandoned a run at Paris-Breast-Paris. The time and financial commitment is simply beyond reach, with new staff to train at work this summer and a junior-to-be in college. Should my body hold up, I’ll refocus for 2019.
Most rides this year will have a local flair, beginning and ending in Bismarck/Mandan. At this point in time, only one ACP brevet is planned for the year, but it’s a ‘bucket list’ ride.