It’s been a while since the laatste time I rode the roads of my hometown. This time I went in search of what was a commonplace feature of our local roads: gravel. Turns out a good portion of what was once today’s terrain of choice is now chip-seal. Which isn’t actually terrible since I’m looking to ride crap roads regardless.

Not sure how I managed it, but there’s not a bit of flat in this route. I’m either going up or going down, and I loved every second of it. 22 miles with 2358 feet of climbing (Strava)—voor me that’s pretty good.

Note: all images taken with iPhone 4 and post-processed on Aperture using VSCO Film (Visual Supply Company) Fuji Superia 400++. I’m really digging these emulations.


The Gravel Grind/Chip-Seal Ordeal: A Photo Essay Of Incredible Length And Breadth - Driving
I-95 North, then left.

The Gravel Grind/Chip-Seal Ordeal: A Photo Essay Of Incredible Length And Breadth - Calorie Preload
The Bug and I were pretending we were eating these giant chips. Admit it, it’s cute.

The Gravel Grind/Chip-Seal Ordeal: A Photo Essay Of Incredible Length And Breadth - Gravel Ready
Das Gunnar with the freshly installed H+Son TB14 wheels and Specialized Roubaix Armadillo Elite tires.

The Gravel Grind/Chip-Seal Ordeal: A Photo Essay Of Incredible Length And Breadth - Descent
Out the gate and down a hill. Prophetic theme for the day.

The Gravel Grind/Chip-Seal Ordeal: A Photo Essay Of Incredible Length And Breadth - No Mow
Creepy backwoods signage.

The Gravel Grind/Chip-Seal Ordeal: A Photo Essay Of Incredible Length And Breadth - This Guy
This guy. Hopefully he didn’t get squished.

The Gravel Grind/Chip-Seal Ordeal: A Photo Essay Of Incredible Length And Breadth - Secteur One
North McNabb was completely unexpected. Turns out it was exactly what I was looking for—long and hilly and rocky and dusty and turny.

The Gravel Grind/Chip-Seal Ordeal: A Photo Essay Of Incredible Length And Breadth - Safety Orange
The Flash Orange Lazer Helium was a must so the hunters would see me.

The Gravel Grind/Chip-Seal Ordeal: A Photo Essay Of Incredible Length And Breadth - El Burro
Los Burros (for @cdelinks).

The Gravel Grind/Chip-Seal Ordeal: A Photo Essay Of Incredible Length And Breadth - Too Remote
Signs that this road might be too remote.

The Gravel Grind/Chip-Seal Ordeal: A Photo Essay Of Incredible Length And Breadth - After Descenting
After the descenting begins the hilling.

The Gravel Grind/Chip-Seal Ordeal: A Photo Essay Of Incredible Length And Breadth - Silence
Solitude and silence. Okay, maybe not silence—birds/wind in the trees and a stream with waterfalls made a sweet white noise machine.

The Gravel Grind/Chip-Seal Ordeal: A Photo Essay Of Incredible Length And Breadth - Golgatha
Golgatha.

The Gravel Grind/Chip-Seal Ordeal: A Photo Essay Of Incredible Length And Breadth - Pennsyltucky
Oh hai. My foray into Pennsyltucky was brief yet memorable. Back to Merlin, hon.

The Gravel Grind/Chip-Seal Ordeal: A Photo Essay Of Incredible Length And Breadth - Redneck Street Art
Actual redneck street art. Rural visionary.

The Gravel Grind/Chip-Seal Ordeal: A Photo Essay Of Incredible Length And Breadth - Distance
Way in the distance, on top of that hill—I’m going there.

The Gravel Grind/Chip-Seal Ordeal: A Photo Essay Of Incredible Length And Breadth - Flat Not Flat
False flat is false (flat not flat).

The Gravel Grind/Chip-Seal Ordeal: A Photo Essay Of Incredible Length And Breadth - Secteur Two
I’ve done Jones Road before, but from the other direction which is mostly downhill. This would diametrically opposed to that.

The Gravel Grind/Chip-Seal Ordeal: A Photo Essay Of Incredible Length And Breadth - Secteur Three
North Quarry Road isn’t called actually called north. But it is north of MD136. Also, it was a disappointment.

The Gravel Grind/Chip-Seal Ordeal: A Photo Essay Of Incredible Length And Breadth - Dead End
Dead end. Probably to stop people from doing the cray up here.

The Gravel Grind/Chip-Seal Ordeal: A Photo Essay Of Incredible Length And Breadth - Secteur Four
South Quarry Road provided the necessary remedy to its crap counterpart. Speed made this one interesting. As did the random shirtless Xterra-looking dudes running in the middle of nowhere.

The Gravel Grind/Chip-Seal Ordeal: A Photo Essay Of Incredible Length And Breadth - Deer
Among the amber waves of grain and/or hay is a deer. Seriously!

The Gravel Grind/Chip-Seal Ordeal: A Photo Essay Of Incredible Length And Breadth - Secteur Five
Red Road was a fork of Quarry that got a bit moar gravelly. Then it went downhill from there.

The Gravel Grind/Chip-Seal Ordeal: A Photo Essay Of Incredible Length And Breadth - Downhill
See? Downhill. Then it got turny and sketchy and abandoned trailery in the dark places.

The Gravel Grind/Chip-Seal Ordeal: A Photo Essay Of Incredible Length And Breadth - Bones
Sweet half-eaten, not crushed, intact rear paws and fuzzy tailed raccoon carcass.

The Gravel Grind/Chip-Seal Ordeal: A Photo Essay Of Incredible Length And Breadth - Redneck Art, Again
Moar redneck art—nice markmaking. Perhaps this one was a fan of Cy Twombly?

The Gravel Grind/Chip-Seal Ordeal: A Photo Essay Of Incredible Length And Breadth - 1979
Smashing Pumpkins.

The Gravel Grind/Chip-Seal Ordeal: A Photo Essay Of Incredible Length And Breadth - Unique Fixer-Upper
Unique fixer-upper.

The Gravel Grind/Chip-Seal Ordeal: A Photo Essay Of Incredible Length And Breadth - Cat 4
Apparently this climb is a Category 4 according to Strava. With a long 10-12% grade I can see why.

The Gravel Grind/Chip-Seal Ordeal: A Photo Essay Of Incredible Length And Breadth - Secteur Six
Reverse Quarry Road was only slightly uphill. Which was perfect after that laatste hellingen.

The Gravel Grind/Chip-Seal Ordeal: A Photo Essay Of Incredible Length And Breadth - Secteur Seven
Back down Jones Road would’ve only merited a 3 star rating, but the moment where I started thinking about how to fall on gravel changed that.

The Gravel Grind/Chip-Seal Ordeal: A Photo Essay Of Incredible Length And Breadth - Canopy Doping
Oh look, yet another gravel road bathed in the dappled light from the lush canopy above. #canopydoping

The Gravel Grind/Chip-Seal Ordeal: A Photo Essay Of Incredible Length And Breadth - Red & Neck
At the corner of Red & Neck.

The Gravel Grind/Chip-Seal Ordeal: A Photo Essay Of Incredible Length And Breadth - Little
The road I grew up on. Yes, it is little.

The Gravel Grind/Chip-Seal Ordeal: A Photo Essay Of Incredible Length And Breadth - Voor Fun
Just voor fun, down Little Road then immediately back up this monster. It hit 22% just around that corner. MY LEGS!! THEY BURN!!

The Gravel Grind/Chip-Seal Ordeal: A Photo Essay Of Incredible Length And Breadth - Roasting Or Toasting?
So hungry I forgot to snap a shot of the cheeseburger we had voor dinner. Next we had s’mores. BTW, do you say roasting or toasting?

The Gravel Grind/Chip-Seal Ordeal: A Photo Essay Of Incredible Length And Breadth - Perfection
Achieving perfection.