Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sometimes You Get What You Need

<===Well, I suppose I could ride my bike...heh heh!

Sometimes even the best laid plans can go awry. Another way to say it- You can't always get what you want. But if ya try sometimes, you're gonna find. Ya get what ya need!

Saturday was just such a day.

With plans of scouting out the T.I. course out the window due to my Dirty Blue Box's work not being done yet at the shop, I graciously accepted an invitation from Matt Gersib (MG) to ride instead. Now I had never ridden with MG before but I knew him to be a great guy that is a really great rider. I was flattered that he would want to tow me around Iowa gravel roads for an afternoon.

<=== Wolf Creek, Two bikes, Lots of wet soggy gravel = FUN!

What an afternoon too. With temps in the mid thirties, a stiff Northwest wind, and sleet/snow pelting us, we took off from Traer, Iowa to do a loop of indeterminate length. I know this area pretty well, so I pretty much flew by the seat of my pants and we ended up being out for about two and a half hours.

<=== MG proved to be just the medicine the doctor ordered for getting through a miserable afternoon.

If you haven't had the pleasure of riding with MG, you are missing a great riding partner. He made what would have been a "quitting day" a succesful and fun ride despite it all.

This is one of two stops we made when I had to fix my slipping seat post. Otherwise we pretty much had to keep the pedal to the metal the whole ride as it was either wind, hills, soft gravel/mud, or a combination of all three that conspired to make our wheels stop turning. Sleet squalls would occiasionally blow up with their stinging assault and when it wasn't doing that, it was blowing snow that greeted our determined faces.

<=== This pretty much sums up what the gravel looked like all the way 'round our loop.

Generally, there were three good tracks to run in where the car traffic had made the surface compacted and rideable without too much resistance. However; this was also where all the watery slop resided on the road, so we quickly accumulated a fine spray coating of lime all over everything.

There were times when the surface deteriorated into soft mush/mud and became highly resistant to the passing of our wheels. In some turns, my semi-slick 2.0 tires were slipping and drifting around which was kind of fun, but sketchy all the same. We ended up on about a half mile of rutted out fresh gravel/stone that was the result of the road having been flooded over recently. We crossed back over the Wolf Creek and back into Traer where Matt's car was waiting. He offered me a ride back to Waterloo, so I accepted and he dropped me off at my home safe, but very tired and wet.

<=== Dirty Twin Six socks. I promised to get 'em that way!

Matt figured our two and a half was worth about four- four and a half hours of regular conditions riding. Umm........okay! I'll go along with that! It sure was a lot of work. This being my first real training ride for Dirty Kanza, I was drained. I got home, cleaned up, and took a good long nap. I got up very stiff, so a little "vitamin I" was in order.

Today I am feeling it, but in that good way. A great ride to build on and a new cycling friend. I'd say it was a stellar afternoon of cycling goodness. Say, was it cold? I can't even remember it being cold or really that bad at all. Thanks MG, that's what a good riding partner can do on a craptastic day.

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