|Twas a threesome for the 3GR|
I arrived at the same place we've been meeting at to find a bit of a surprise. Craig Irving had driven up from Mt. Vernon to ride with us! That was a humbling thing, and I was hoping that he wouldn't be the only person to have come over to ride. Thankfully, he wasn't, as Robert Fry also showed up just before we were to leave.
Having these two experienced gravel/randonnuer riders was a treat, and it meant that we weren't going to go very slow! The route was a slightly modified version of last week's route. We did not go up Symons Road this time, but rather, we took Big Woods from the Big Woods Lake to Mt. Vernon Road, then East across Highway 218/27 and then we had to zig-zag over to Leversee, up to Bennington, and back West to Big Woods to go north. (Big Woods is truncated by the 4 lane HWY 218/27 as it bisects the gravels on its way Northeastwards.) This actually added a bit of mileage to the route.
Oh yeah.....that was on top of my mileage riding over to the ride!
|Skies looked threatening.|
Everyone's bikes and bodies held up well. It was a unique ride for me since I wasn't the only one with Clement X'Plor MSO tires on the ride, or RetroShift shift levers. Craig was sporting both on his well used Surly Cross Check. He was pretty complimentary towards both products, having just had success with using them down at the Dirty Kanza 200, which he completed.
After we rolled into Cedar Falls again, we stood and chatted some 20 minutes until I had to beg leave to attend to my growling stomach. Then I went to Cup Of Joe, had an organic muffin, 8oz of Joe, and then hit the trail back home.
I'm strongly considering moving the 3GR rides to Saturday mornings, which work a bit better for me. Yay or Nay? Say so in the comments if ya have an opinion on the matter.
|Pretty dry out there again.|
Like I mentioned above, I actually got out to ride on Father's Day as well. I went to the South side of Camp Ingawanis, of course. A few things to make note of from my point of view were as follows:
- It is crazy dry out there! I stopped to make some small adjustments to the Fuji test bike and looked about me. What I saw was a bit disconcerting. In a "normal" year, the underbrush would be at its maximum growth by now. Trails would be overgrown, weeds would be towering, and green would be the dominant color in the woodlands. That isn't the case at all. In fact, things are wilting, turning yellow and brown. Green stuff that would be flourishing is stunted, or dead. Not good!
- It's amazing how good suspension bikes are getting for 29 inch wheels nowadays. The geometry is pretty dialed on a lot of them, and the "monkey-motion" is controlled, stiff where it needs to be, and reliable. I think the days of wonky feeling suspension bikes, with noodly frames and poor performance are pretty much gone now. Refinements will be the name of the game from here on out. Take that Fuji Outland 29 1.0 pictured there as an example. Besides making some nit-picky comments, there isn't much not to like there.
- The tree dwelling inchworms and there webs have finally disappeared. In their place are thousands of black and orange winged butterflies. (Maybe the same, metamorphosed creatures?) I don't know, but the butterflies are far more pleasant to deal with. Interestingly, when you come around a corner, they all seem to be on the ground. Then they take flight, helter-skelter all around you. It's like a black and orange confetti parade.