I don't know why but I have this urge to search out long gravel roads or trails to do long mileage on. Rails to trails, forest service roads, fire roads or back country roads it doesn' matter. In the next couple of weeks Im going to grind out the New River Trail near Wytheville, Va and possibly the next, or vice versa, I'll hit the Greenbrier River Trail near Cass, WV. This is pretty close to Snowshoe Ski Resort and that's 4 hrs away. There's a few more I'm eyeballin' too.
The Niner EMD that I converted to a gravel grinding CX bike rides pretty sweet and riding it beats the same old road bike routes around here. To tell ya the truth I'm almost over road riding. I would have long given it up if it wasn't a good tool for training. At all the local road rides I've been attending it's hard to socialize anymore because most of the group wants to race or they seem think it's some sort of weekly training ride. Several of us have started falling off the back to regroup and do our own thing. There's also something in the works to totally get away from all that crap soon with covert operations to be taking place in a different area. Even the beginner ride we host on Monday is averaging 19-20mph. Thank goodness we have only had one or two beginners so far this season.
That said, is one of the reasons I ride alone for the most part anymore. I do have a couple of buds I like to turn the cranks over with from time to time but work and class schedules get in the logistical way most of the time. So these gravel grinders I'm lining up seem like the perfect thing. More than likely I'll get to camp one night since the mileage one way on these things are 60 miles for one and 80 on the other. I'm not up to grinding out 120 or 160 miles in one day. I have no insecurities that make me want to do that crazy stuff. I stopped doing centuries many years ago! Oh, you say you rode 200 miles in one day? I hate to tell ya that the only one that thinks that's cool is.... well, nobody.
Next on the summer to do list is a no-holds barred trip out west in moto-van. Just a care-free trip with no time constraints of when to be back. The preliminary plan is to leave here traveling west on I-40 with stops planned in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico as I meander up to Colorado. There's a few more minor details to iron out before leaving but that's the plan so far. If that falls through plan B is to head up to Maine or upstate New York. There's trails out there that I need to ride! I hope to roll out of here mid-June if everything pans out the way I want.