Thursday, March 26, 2009

Fargo In The Wind

<===Bleak, windy, and cold!

I went out for a gravel grinder Wednesday and while getting out of town, I had some ambitious thoughts of getting to Traer and back. Once I hit the country, however, it became apparent that I was in for something altogether different.

The wind was out of the West-Southwest and blowing at a constant velocity. Probably in the neighborhood of 25-30mph. It never really gusted much. Just a constant loud roar in my right ear as I headed southbound on Ainsborough. The temperatures were in the mid-30's for the entire ride, so yes.....windchill was a factor!

<===Okay, how about some abandoned and derelict windmill action?

Eventually I arrived at the forgone conclusion that my high and lofty goal would have to be modified somewhat, seeing as how I was burning through energy like it was going out of style. Besides that, my feet were not liking this windchill effect at all. No, not one little bit!

So I turned into the wind for a mile. Yeah, that was like putting the brakes on. I felt like a tractor. A tractor pulling a four bottom plow set at 8 inches! I made a pit stop for a Cliff bar at this old windmill skeleton. I heard that in days of yore, Waterloo teens would drive down to this very windmill, climb it, and smoke that weed. Maybe that's a tall tale. (<====Ha !) Whatever, it makes for something to think about instead of listening to the wind howl through rusted metal trusses.

<===This skunk looked like it was sleeping, or dead, or.....I didn't get any closer to find out!

Then I slogged to the next corner, turned it back northwards, and started to fly. Before I had gone three miles I was in the big ring to stay. All the way back to the house At one point I was obliged to go a mile East. I maybe pedaled two tenths of that whole mile section and never went slower than 20mph. The wind is our mountains indeed!

Got back to the house in exactly two hours. Ten frozen toes. Crazy wind fun. Bleak, brown, and sullen pre-spring time Iowa. No wonder the early prairie settlers went insane. With the wind we have had, I totally get that!

I had the water bottles on the fork blades today. Didn't make the handling weird at all. If anything, it acted as a damper to vibrations. It's great to have that extra water on the bike instead of on me. This will be my Dirty Kanza set up, or close to it. I'll probably make a few tweaks, knowing me!

More later as the bike evolves!

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