The weather wasn't ideal for a long ramble in the country. It was wet, in the low 30s, a few odd snow flakes, and a sustained 25-30mph wind. But, with so many outings thwarted by circumstances lately, I was determined to get outside. I needed to find a way to work with what was given.
There is a spot in the woods, reasonably protected from a north wind. It is in a State park, a short ride away from the parking lot. Even with the brutal headwind and muddy conditions, it wasn't bad. Patiently crawling along in a low gear works fine when dressed properly.
I found my sheltered spot, and added additional shelter in the form of a tarp. This approach reduced the wind chill almost completely. Some of the larger gusts seemed to swirl around the side of the tarp at times, but is was surprisingly comfortable. This spot was pleasant enough to leisurely cook some bacon, and brew some fresh coffee. I considered spreading out on my ground sheet for a short snooze, but conditions appeared to be improving. Maybe I could get a longer ride in after all.
Mostly, I stayed on groomed fire roads. I did, however, get on a few trails. Strict trail nannies might have disapproved. But the areas I rode were firm, and I was watchful (while creeping along) for any signs of damage.
So what was originally planned to be an experiment in finding a tolerable place outside to spend an hour, turned in to a second breakfast outdoors and a decent ride. As a bonus, two excellent camp spots for future outings were found. With a little good fortune, I'll be back in a few days to provide a report on one of them.