My short trip wound from Verona to the Military Ridge trail up to Madison. Then south on the Badger State Trail maybe six miles to the spot where the trail changes from pavement to soggy crushed limestone.
There I reversed course to the north to the junction with the Capital City Trail. Thanks to the network of trails, the CC took me back to the Military Ridge trail and eventually back home.
23 miles. A good first ride.
The weather cooperated very nicely for the 12th of March. Cloudy and upper 40s when I rode, it wasn't too breezy and my gear kept me warm.
The land isn't showing many signs of waking up for spring, but I saw plenty of Cardinals and Robins on the ride.
Most interesting were the sounds. A group of Sandhill Cranes were heard before they were seen (look closely in the photo at right). I wasn't sure about another sound; I'm pretty sure it was the spring sounds from frogs. It seems too early for them, but it's been pretty warm lately.
Just like me, there were a lot of bikers anxious to take advantage of the early spring weather for a ride. The photo below left is one of several pelotons on the roads and trails.
The Volae Expedition feels good. The angle of the seat is comfortable and offers a wide range of visibility. The seat also positions my arms at a relaxed angle for steering.
The disc brakes worked well and the lighter bike seemed to respond quickly when I increased my pace.
One easily corrected problem was the inability to shift to the highest range of gears.
A couple turns of a screwdriver should be sufficient to resolve that issue.
Shake-down rides, in my mind, are just for this... figure out how the bike and your body are prepared for the riding season and make adjustments where required.
By a wide margin this is the earliest I've gotten on my bike.
I'm looking forward to lots of miles, many photos, and interesting discoveries through the rest of the season. If you can't join me on the bike, I hope you read along.