Gravel adds another big dimension. Wind and hills are an everyday thing around here. You let the wind push you around a little, you tuck, relax, and push back. Hills let you work out the kinks and give a place to leave the day behind.
Hills make you strong. Wind makes you mean. Gravel makes you patient.
I was on freshly maintained "gravel" roads for about 25 miles today. Some of the surface was powdery and made me plow easily. The rest was fresh coarse gravel and I swear my front wheel worked like a ski that gave me only minimal grip as my teeth rattled in my head. Regardless, the approach to the surface was to go slowly, handle the bike, and wait to see what happened after the next intersection. All while riding 30++mph gusts and sliding around on Brown County Hills.
This has got to be great training for almost anything. Really enjoyed it. Today was also the first time I was able to ride in any heat - which was AWESOME. That'll take some getting used to.
Tomorrow is a complete rest day, and I'm looking to do a long ride this Friday.