Thursday, May 10, 2012

Things Have A Way Of Working Out

At Cedar Bend Park
March was a blistering, dry month. it left many to wonder if April and May would be more like July and August. Things were dry. Really dry, and the potential for drought was very real.

My, what a difference a month or so makes! We got colder and wetter in April, and now the rivers are full again, the plant life is lush and green, and's more like Spring!

Since it was May, I had to drive up to Cedar Bend and ride, because the gates are opened May 1st for cars. The trails were fantastic, albeit wet from the previous day's rain. Oddly enough, horse traffic has damaged things up there a bit. Pock marks that weren't there before. Erosion. Then add in the bohunk that took some end loader through there to clear out the underbrush. Hey, here's a news flash for ya- "Single track" doesn't mean wide enough for a D-9 Cat. Sheesh!

I get it though. One guy can clear out a trail in one tenth the time it takes to do it the right way. With county budgets being stretched thin, I bet this made more sense from the government standpoint. Too bad it is ugly, stupid, and hurts the trails more than it helps them. In my experience, once you make a trail wide by using a motor vehicle, other motor vehicles will follow, because they can now. I'm telling you, I won't be at all surprised to see ATV tracks back there this season. Just wait and see.

Big, old trees rule.
I got in the rare double yesterday. The middle of the day saw me over at George Wyth State Park to do some single speeding. The place is perfect for that. Gears? Ha! Not necessary in this terrain.

The CVAST group has been doing a bang-up job of maintaining these trails and adding cool new sections. Not only that, but they have a fun, social ride every Wednesday evening. All that riding and trail work means the trails are buffed out like a pretty penny.

The rain that rained on Cedar Bend obviously did not reach Geo Wyth. It was dry, fast, and clean. Totally different than the duff ridden, soft, muddy in spots Cedar Bend, and that is odd. Really odd, because Cedar Bend is always drier than anywhere else. Well.....except for this time!

I rode from one end to the other, taking in almost every trail out there. It was pretty fun too. The single speed I rode had the Gates Carbon Drive on it which is geared for places requiring some moderate amount of climbing. That meant that at Geo Wyth, I was spun out almost the entire time, but I still was grinning.

Deer- dead center in the image
Geo Wyth is not only flat, it is infested with somewhat people friendly, four legged wood rats, otherwise known as deer. I ran across several of them yesterday. A couple actually looked annoyed at me as I disrupted their gnawing of vegetation. Whoops! "S'cuse me!"

It used to be that the deer were rather runt-ish in Geo Wyth, but not anymore, it would seem. These looked to be healthy, big, strong deer. Yeah- the kind that could take you out if they get spooked. Color me not a fan of these critters that have lost their fear of Man to a degree. A deer on a trail is a dangerous thing when it doesn't know if it should run or not. (Hint: They should always run away well before you get within ten yards of them)

I guess it'll all work out in the end. Just like a buddy of mine's situation. He got some bummer news that actually was timed perfectly. If it all works out, and it looks like it should, he'll be back amongst us Mid-Westerners and gravel grinding his heart out again. That'd be cool for him and great for us.

Just like our dire weather situation ended up turning into one of the prettiest Springs in a long time. Who knew? Sometimes things really do work out for the best.


ouijal said...

Which cedar bend park has singletrack? Isn't there one in both waverly and cedar falls? Also, where is the best place to dip in at Wyth? I went to UNI and
My wife is from Waterloo so we make it back here pretty often.

Guitar Ted said...

@ouijal: Cedar Bend County Park is northeast of Waverly. The best place to check out at Wyth would be to drive all the way back in and to the Alice Wyth landing parking lot. There are a couple jumping off points right there that lead to some twisty-turny fun.