Saturday, May 28, 2011

Reader Help Reconn

The question is, "If I try to give you my point of view during a reconn ride, would you help me evaluate the route for suitability?"

"Suitability for what?" you might ask. Good question. Especially, since I suspect that some of you might have already PEDALED this route.

This route is basically the Second Annual Fall Finale Forty-Mile Country Path Ramble without the Rosston spur. So it's the 36 mile loop without the 4.5 mile out-and-back spur to the general store. Those of you that participated in the Ramble last December have done this route, but not in the summer...which transitions us back to the suitability question.

It didn't take me long this morning to realize that it is summer out there. Now that Memorial Day weekend is here, triple digit temperatures are almost upon us. That means old curmudgeons like myself seek adventure at times more in the dark. So the question is whether this route is suitable for a group ride in the darkness.

As originally conceived, the plan would be to leave my house at 8:30pm on a Friday night and return sometime after midnight. I was thinking of naming it the Midnight Ramble. Mrs. Pondero argued against that plan, mentioning the combination of things like kids, pickup trucks, and alcohol. So maybe I'll consider an extremely early start. Maybe it'll be the Sunrise Ramble. Maybe it would include a dawn coffee brew stop. Either way, the question is, "Would this route be suitable for a mostly darkness shrouded gravel grinder?"

The following photos should give you some sense of what I enjoyed this morning...

There are no "city lights" out here on these gravel roads. I expect some of these areas will be just a little spooky. That, of course, has nothing to do with me trying to get someone to join me for this adventure. Let's just say I like to share the fun.

I think the idea has some merit, but the real question is whether others agree. Because I'm not afraid, and I could go out wandering around in the darkness all by myself, but you know, that would just be selfish of me.


  1. Chris,

    I would do the ride without any second thoughts... as for drunk drivers... unless they are driving without lights and silently... you will have plenty of warning as you will see and hear them coming for miles... if I was in the next county... I would be the first sign up... beautiful route... at least from my point of view...

    The Grouch

  2. If you remember the last fall ramble, there were several people who forgot what a ramble was and turned it into a race. Can you imagine some of those eager beavers making a wrong turn in the dark?

    Maybe my point is not to do the ramble, but maybe be more strict about rules and their enforcement for night time riding.

  3. Looks wonderful. I wish I could join you.

    As for riding under cover of darkness with possibly less-than-careful automobilists abroad, I imagine that everyone you might invite would be sufficiently illuminated, but also that you would see and hear the approach as noted by Mr. Grouch.

    Mostly, I just wanted to compliment you on your photos. Either you have the steadiest panda hand I've ever seen, or you've hit upon a really enjoyable way of posing your bike. I looked at a few of them before (I think) I figured it out.

  4. A predawn ride would work very well, at least for those willing to get up at a decent hour. The first stretch, near Pondero Manor would be on smooth roads while the rougher parts would be in early morning light.

    Perhaps on a morning with a full moon.

    Either way, I think I'd rather get up early than try driving home at a time when my body is attempting to sleep. If its a sleepover, then we'd be better off simply to camp somewhere along the way which would suit a different route perhaps?

  5. Chris...

    Steve is suggesting a sleep-over... may want to get Mrs. Pondero's opinion on this... she may not like being the den mother for a pack of excited, revved-up bike riders... sounds like fun... but would anyone get any sleep?

    The Grouch

  6. Grouch, yeah, that's what I'm thinking, but I'm not sure Mrs. Pondero is convinced.

    Doohickie, sticking together for safety is absolutely the intent...a kind of night time stroll.

    Rombsy, all pandas were at cruising speed. I'm just a point-n-shoot photographer, so no special skills. I'm guess that there was plenty of light, and my auto function used a fast shutter speed.

    Steve and Grouch, a sleep-over actually crossed my mind. I've got limited room upstairs for 2-3 guys, but I suppose there's plenty of space out on our piece of prairie for those interested in camping. I don't think Mrs. Pondero has much to worry about regarding den mother duty...there are probably very few people that would go to this much trouble for gravel ride in the dark.

  7. Actually, a campout was more what I had in mind