Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Gettin' dirty in Viterbo

We dragged out our ancient MTB's for a recent ride on a day with mixed signals weather-wise. Nice enough to want to get out but not nice enough for road riding. Instead we headed out to the flat area in search of Roman roads. With Heather reading the maps we soon found some. We don't know exactly what this relic in the photo is -- but our guess is it had something to do with baths as there are some thermal waters in this area still being enjoyed today as was the case as we passed a group of campers parked near one with folks enjoying a hot soak as we road past. We turned off the nice, dry and gravel path into some genuine dirt and mud soon enough, ending up more or less in the proverbial cow pasture as you can see by the photos. We passed by some cows and then came upon a herd of water buffalo standing in the mud and slop. The one in the photo nosed through the fence to lick the muck of Heather's front wheel, obviously preferring the taste to the slop she was standing in! As you might guess, this little excursion left our bikes covered in cow (and buffalo) poop and when the bikes are stored in the bedroom, cleaning this off became our next project. Good fortune found us a coin-op car wash almost as soon as we returned to paved roads. All you bike mechanics take note here, the pressure Larry's using to clean the bikes is the low-pressure suds setting, NOT the high-pressure blast that most power washers provide. When it was time to rinse the high-pressure blast was kept a good 10 feet away so the bikes got more of a gentle rinse before we pedaled back home - doing a bit of drying cycle as we rode. Some chain-lube had the old bikes ready to store -stink-free and ready for next time!

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