It felt much more like a March base training ride than a miserable December death march. Although in an effort to stay upbeat and motivated to ride I’ve forbidden myself from using the term “training” or “death march” for awhile. And really, I am feeling quite motivated to ride, if anything I’m worried that I’m too motivated for this time of year. Especially considering how nice it was for our ride today. I was able to con three others into coming out with me for a 2-3 hour mellow pace ride with some gravel and dirt thrown in for good measure. We took off up the access road on Beezley which is usually done on mountain bikes but not this day. From there we bailed off the backside on a double track that had just enough thawing action to make a nice layer of slimy mud and keep the descend exciting. We then climbed Baird Springs, through rolling green winter wheat fields and sunshine. Shortly after the climb the pavement ends and the fun begins as they say. The gravel was amazing! Super smooth and fast. We made our way up to the top of Monument Hill where you can see forever (hey, it is the highest point in Grant County) then a long fast down hill. Once at the bottom and on pavement we found a good road to keep us off the beaten path and take us to the nearest gravel canal road and back into Ephrata. It was an awesome day, and I’m hoping to ride the stoke out on this one for awhile.