Thursday, May 13, 2010

Between The Deluges, There Was A Ride


Whoa! The rain is coming in buckets and I thought that my Wednesday was going to be rained out there for awhile. Then about noon it straightened out and the radar looked good for a short jaunt in the woods near my home. So I kitted up and hit the trails.

Of course, everything was wet, muddy, and generally a mess, but the Dillinger SS was ready and had done yeoman's work in the winter already. I found the Green Belt Trail, which is positively okay to ride when it's muddy, and took off at a measured pace. It gets flooded in there so much that there is no way a bicyclist can screw up the trail, at least not for very long. As you can see above, the trail gets a fair amount of sand deposited on it, which caused one of those "Bicycling Miracles" to happen. I washed out my front tire and came to a dead halt. I dismounted, and the bike remained as you see it here. Like it had an invisible kickstand!


Okay, so here's an outflow of backwater, which happens right at this spot everytime we get too much rain. Once I plowed into this back in 1990 and lost my entire bicycle under water!

Well, it isn't that deep now, since it silted back in over the years, but it is pretty deep and the water is moving really fast here. I didn't want to risk trying to jump across because the mud here is like grease. You can barely stand, much less try to stick a landing after a jump.

So, I came up with a plan. I put the Dillinger in the rivulet parallel with the banks. I then leaned it over towards me, carefully mounted it, leaned over to the other side, and dismounted, all without getting a drop on me. I was proud of that manouever!

As I moved on I saw that the woods have reached "jungle status" already. Green everywhere you look and the weeds are nearly choking out the trails. Soon they will and the Green Belt will be left alone till the grasses begin to die out in the fall. In fact, if it had been like May today and not October temperature-wise, there would have been myriads of insects in here too. Too cold for them today, but I didn't mind their hiding.

This pool in the pic there should prove to be a great little mosquitoe factory in the coming months. That's another reason to leave the Green Belt till fall. The mosquitoes are not all that big in here, but they are so numerous that they form brown clouds of death if you dare to enter here in the summer months. Scary if you have a flat tire for sure!

Finally I reached the lake and made a slow loop around it, then I headed back home. I never did go very fast, but I didn't want to throw mud up all over me and tear things up more than I had too. I think I was successful. The thing is, it rained so hard last night that I bet all my tracks are washed away by now!

That or under water.

At least I got out for a ride, and although the weather has been fickle of late, I have been having some cool cycling adventures none the less.

Here's hoping ya'all have been getting out too.

1 comment:

Courtney said...

I wish we had a trail in des moines that was okay to ride when wet. oh well gravel again just like winter.