Sunday, July 3, 2011

Abercrombie Metric

A couple months ago I posted my goals for the summer. One of them was to ride to Fort Abercrombie, ND. The Fort was the first american military establishments in North Dakota, built in 1858. Since it is positioned 30 miles south of me, I figured it was the perfect destination for a metric century, because with a couple extra miles thrown in, the loop could be at least 62 miles, or 100km.

I had planned this ride through Google Earth, thinking that it would be a straight shot along the shoulder of the 75, then a quick jaunt over the river, and then to the Fort.

I mentioned this ride to my friend Dennis who said he'd be up for it, so we made plans for last Saturday. He brought along his friend Doug and we hit the road.

Road. Plain. Straight. Road.

The weather was nice, low 80s and a light breeze. Not too shabby on the page, but that wind became a bastard on the ride home. Certainly not the worst the upper midwest has to offer, but it certainly wasn't welcomed after mile 40 or so. My trusty Cross Check had held up well, and was way overloaded for the trip. Since Dennis was riding his Long Haul Trucker, I figured it wouldn't be fair to travel light. I had both racks on, fenders, handlebar bag, saddle bag, and a top tube bag. 3 bottles of water, enough snacks for a group, first aid kit, etc. Way too much. But it was good training, as the MS150* is fast approaching. I left the fat tires on too, as I wanted to give them a good workout. They did not disappoint, the Schwalbe Marathon Cross tires are incredibly versatile, just like the Cross Check. A match made in Heaven.

A little over halfway there and the peanut butter and honey sandwich I had packed no longer sounded appealing. Dennis mentioned that there was a cafe in Abercrombie where we could have lunch. Once we made it to our destination, we made a quick lap through town (which is maybe 1/4 long!) and the only place that appeared to have food was this bar. Chicken strips and fries, a Breckinridge Lucky U IPA, and I was refueled and ready for the ride home.

The wind fought us most of the way, gusting up to 15mph or so. Our return trip was at a significantly slower pace.

As we neared civilization again, Doug was getting ansy. Since he was on a light, unloaded road bike, he took off and let Dennis and I chug along on our slow, loaded Surly bikes. Within a mile, Doug was no longer in sight. We kept riding, as we could now see street signs that were reducing in number and home was near. About two miles from home, Doug comes back with his jersey pockets stuffed with 32oz Gatorade bottles. Such a welcomed surprise, and Dennis and I were both down to less than 2oz of water left. Chugged half of the bottle of Lemon Lime goodness and we headed home. Great day for a ride with friends, and even better that we were able to check off a summer goal of riding a metric century. We clocked out at 63.5 miles.

*I will be riding in my first MS150 Charity ride at the end of this month. I'm still quite a few bucks short of my goal. If you'd like to chip in for charity and provide a tax deductible donation, I, and the 400,000 Americans suffering from Multiple Sclerosis would certainly appreciate it. Click on "Donate to Jason" just above the thermometer graphic on this page. Thank you!