So Wednesday dawned and I didn't know if I would even be able to get out and test ride. It rained pretty good on Tuesday which eliminated most of my choices in places to go. However; I remembered something Captain Bob had told me. He said that Cedar Bend Park was always a great place to head to when it got wet. It would almost always be good for riding.
So, that is exactly what I did. I loaded up the Dirty Blue Box with the Milwaukee Bicycle Company 29"er and headed over to the park which is just northwest of Waverly.
If you have never been there it is a place that has just enough trail and variety to make things interesting for a short while. When it is dry, and if you go up with a geared bike, you could probably do all the trails three times in an hour fast. It would be a great work out, but it would be time to go, because it doesn't take long to cover everything enough times that it gets old fast.
However, I would suggest this as a place to go with your single speed. I've been there with mine several times this year. It makes for a great workout and takes a bit longer, due to the climbing, to cover all the trails at least three times. Definitely, it is more fun on a single speed in my opinion.
This day found the trails up there all wet, leafy, and strewn with a few branches here and there. typical late fall conditions. A little mud, a bit of standing water. Just enough to make it interesting and not enough to clog up the works or foul the bicycle. But then, I was riding a single speed, so what is there to foul up?
The riding was a bit slower due to the wet leaves mostly. I was sliding, drifting, and losing a bit of traction on climbs, which made life interesting a few times. I got caught out on a technical descent- a short, steep little chute that was leaf strewn and rocky. I went over the bars and landed in the soft dirt with a resounding thud! No worries! I had to laugh because I left a great imprint of my left arm and leg in the dirt when I got up off the ground. Soft dirt is good!
<=== Things were a bit drippy and wet Wednesday.
I had a great ride, I found out some things I needed to know about the bike, and got in some good climbing sessions. (My hips were sore the next day!) It was a hoot in the wet leaves and mud. Just enough to make it really more challenging and fun.
And I started working on Brent's Theory of Single Speed Relativity. (That's what I'm calling it anyway!) Brent is one of the main honches at Twin Six and he has this theory about single speed gearing that I am working on. I'll let ya'all know how that goes later. For now, I will say that Step #1 is in full swing and I'll be working on Step#2 come spring time, most likely.
A little Trans Iowa blurb for ya: We have been getting post cards in and have filled out 20 spots on the 75 man roster. We have two more mail days left before we go to Open Registration on Monday, where all can attempt to gain a spot on the Roster of Pain. As of now, I see all last year's finishers are back, with the exception of last year's winner, John Gorilla. (Although he told me personally that he is indeed coming back. I just have not received a post card from him yet.) A list of "usual suspects" is in addition to that, which includes the only guys that have done every Trans Iowa ever put on. (Jim Mc Guire and Endurosnob)
We'd have a strong field even if we stopped now, but we ain't stoppin' jest yet folks! I happen to know that a few really strong guys are planning to show up in a first attempt at Graveley Glory. If they all show up we'll have an event that may top all the others combined from the standpoint of competition. Possibly only the first T.I. will have been more "stacked" with "big guns". We'll see, but this is shaping up to be a stellar field behind the scenes. Then again, it may not. You never know who is really going to toe the line until the start. I've been surprised before. (T.I.V3 anybody?)
At any rate, the roster is going to be updated tonight and Saturday night with the remaining veterans that want to insure their place on the roster. Then it'll be a free-for-all starting Monday. Any bets on when the roster fills up? (My money is on Wednesday the 19th)