|Escape Route: Park Avenue|
Anyway, things did not get underway until about 9:40am and I headed North to possibly go up to see if I could get North of Dunkerton and then come back around via Bennington Road and back toward Waterloo. However; once I got clear of the city I decided on a different route. This was based upon my choice of bike for the rode and the weather conditions.
I chose, as I let on above, my single speed Twin Six Standard Rando v2. The route would start out with rollers and longer grades. Combined with Southeasterly winds which were, putting it mildly, more than forecast, and I could see that going further North would only be making my return trip a harder one. Going North and West was going to be easier- a LOT easier- than going East and South. This caused me to rethink my options and I decided upon a largely Eastern push, then South, and a finish going all to the West.
I wore a Bontrager windbreaker, my new Pirate Cycling League jersey, a pair of bibs, and my Twin Six 3/4's pants. I also had on some great Alpaca wool long socks and my RX8 Shimano shoes. I also wore a pair of Handske long fingered gloves on this ride. On my head I wore a Walz cycling cap, Rudy Project sunglasses, and my Bontrager helmet.
|Waterloo is a train-town, and sometimes ya just hafta deal.....|
|There is a tractor doing something way out in that golden field, but what it was I don't know. |
So, my modified route went all the way down Big Rock Road. I ended up doing much of what I had ridden last Wednesday, but I went beyond to a point a mile East and about a mile and a half South of Dunkerton. I found a streamlet which came close to the road near this point and which was surrounded by brush. Enough cover to get in a 'nature break'. That morning coffee had done its work!
Going East, the winds were brutal. They never really gusted, they just were a consistent resistance to moving forward. Going up the long grades was hard riding. I focused in on my form, so as not to roach my right knee, which hasn't been feeling the best all Spring. Amazingly I held a good average speed, according to my rough calculations. So, despite feeling like I was just crawling, I was making consistent progress.
I turned South eventually on Nesbit Road. I figured on taking this until it petered out, which I knew that it would based upon my rides out this way last year. I just was a bit fuzzy on the details. I was figuring on having to go about 6 miles South, and the wind was still providing plenty of resistance, but I felt better in this area.
That probably can be chalked up to mainly flatter terrain. That and the wind was now on my left cheek, and not quite so 'head-on' as it had been going East. Nesbit Road was also not as freshly graveled. All combined to make going South a bit less of a chore. My speed picked up as a result.
|Oxley Road, which I had forgotten about, was my last push South. |
I ended up having to do seven miles South because I had forgotten about Dubuque Road which is one of the 'old highway 20 routes' in the area. Nesbit Road truncates at the intersection with Dubuque Road, and so I had to turn West for a quarter of a mile and I had no idea what that next Southern road would be. Actually, at the time I figured it would just end up being more Nesbit Road. In fact, it was Oxley Road. I had forgotten about that bit from last year.
|Rest stop before the easy part at Oxley Road and Young Road. |
|I spotted this John Deere themed MTB and trike sitting against the fence at this farm. |
|Apparently it was too windy for a wake of Turkey Vultures I passed on Young Road.|
|Approximately where this intersection is with Gibertville Road and Lafayette Road is where an old Native American trail intersection was located. |
I took Young Road until it dumped out onto Gilbertville Road and then Northwest to Elk Run Heights and an intersection with Lafayette Road. According to my old trails book, this marks where an old Native American trail along the North side of the Cedar River took a slight left and another branch of trail went on North and West to the Turkey Foot area and the Big Wood.
I took Lafayette Road down toward Evansdale and eventually to the bike path along the Cedar. As I rode I thought about how this might have looked around the early 1800's. There would have only been trees along the Cedar. Where I was riding there may have been a single tramped down trail and lots of grasses alongside of it. It was hard to imagine as cars went speeding by me constantly at 40mph or more. Buildings and trees and stuff everywhere kind of makes envisioning the old scene really tough. But it is fun to think about it.
Eventually I made it home just shy of three hours of being out there and having done about 33 miles or so of riding. Not too shabby for a single speed in the wind we had Saturday.