Exploring, Madone Style.

Had a great ride on the Madone on Halloween, and started to learn how to use instagram.

Met some friendly farm dogs, who were very intrigued by Max.

Sunny and 40, but 20mph winds.  I went and battled them for a while, and decided that my head and heart weren’t in the right place to crank watts for a couple of hours.  I wanted to do something different.  I headed back towards home, and then turned off on some roads I hadn’t previously explored.  In the process, I found some great pavement, some interesting hills, and most surprisingly, a forest preserve I hadn’t ever seen.  The signs said non-motorized vehicles only, so…

It wasn’t exactly technical riding.  There were a few spots where I had to hop over some rocks or roots, but nothing huge.  Perhaps more importantly, the ground was dry and hard, so I wasn’t leaving any ruts or paths.

Is it ridiculous to ride a forest preserve dirt path on a Madone?  Well, the guy who won Gravel Worlds was on a Domane.  Sure, 23c slicks aren’t ideal for these conditions (the Vaya, Superfish or Muk would have loved the area), but what I’m coming to love about the Madone is how it makes you want to ride.  The pencil-thin seat stays did a great job of dampening all of the little bumps and trail chatter.  I have absolute confidence in the ENVEs, and wasn’t scared to roll them off-road.  It was really liberating.  Just good, clean fun.

I found some scenic areas along the path:

And reflected on how awesome the Seven is.

Then, I pointed Max down the path towards home.

About 25 miles on the road and 3-4 off.  And I was smiling from ear to ear.  A little confidence in your bike handling abilities is huge in feeling liberated.  I’m looking forward to going back here this winter, on the Muk.

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