My favorite type of riding to do is this "exploring" pedaling. I love using the cross bike to explore, to put together dirt trails, gravel roads, pavement, fire roads. The cross bike can take the dirt, and rolls fast enough on pavement so you don't feel labored.
The last few Saturdays, I've put out an open invitation, on Facebook, to my other cross riders, to join me on my urban cyclocross loop. The Water Ice ride. Its a 25 mile ride, all within the city limits of Philadelphia, specifically focused on the Fairmount Park areas. Tow path, cobble climb, 1/4mile all out hot lap around an abandoned reservoir, upper Meadows of the Wissahickon, Forbidden drive, Kelly's Bluff, Lemon Hill, and the fire roads of Belmont. The ride ends and starts at the dumpy water ice shack in Manayunk.
I was happy to see so many of the X peeps of MAC, cobbled together their bikes and come and pedaled along with me.
I was a bit worried, I was not sure what it would be like to do this ride with 20 or so other riders, it can get a bit strange. Getting yelled at for riding around the baseball fields, making our way through overgrown backyard short cuts, down a steep long rocky path in the Wiss. How many flats would slow us down, would the slow riders be too slow for the fast riders...but all went well, no one knocked any teeth out and despite a few flats, we moved at a very good pace.
here's sorta what it looked like:
Water Ice Cross from Carlos Cabalu on Vimeo.
swiped Photos from Anne Rock
I'm not sure of the future of the Water Ice ride, I've got breakfast planned with my parents this Saturday,... but I do hope this gets some people out on the cross bike, exploring around where they live, and, who knows, maybe there will be a "Hog Island" route, or "Abandoned Industrial Sites" ride, or a special Philly "where we Dump our Dead bodies" loop.