Winter Gravel

January in northeast Pennsylvania is getting warmer as the years go by. Maybe it’s global warming, maybe it’s not. Either way, it’s helping facilitate an easy transition to winter cycling. December was freezing, with temperatures in the single digits for more than a week. But January has brought us a fresh start. Mild weather that’s conducive to outdoor activities.

I’ve been riding quite frequently so far this year. Mostly on the road, as the back roads and trails were iced over for a the first week plus. But, I was able to sneak 3 gravel rides in at the Delaware State Forest.

It’s been a real pleasure getting back in the woods. The Hunters keep me out of the forest for about 2 months each year. That said, winter is a great time to get out there. The gravel is super hard, making for a surface that’s speedier than usual. Also, the creeks and rivers are ripping by as the thaw fills up waterways. As you can see in the above photo, I have one water bottle. I dropped my bike taking this shot and my bottle floated away.

I’ve tried to hit most of the northern end of the forest, saving the rest for when I’m doing longer rides, later in the season. I take this time to get some base miles in and snap some shots of the many hunting cabins that are scattered throughout the woods.

Five Mile Meadow Road and Flat Ridge Roads have been in surprisingly good shape for this time of year. The repairs made by the state have held up rather well. Ben Bush Trail and Standing Stone Trails have also held up to the cold. The only deteriorated surface has been Bald Hill. The descent towards the bottom is a bit washed out. I’m excited to be back in the forest and even more excited to discover more new roads and trails this spring.

What’s playing (what am I listening to while writing or what’s dancing around in my head while riding) today – Sting – All this Time

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