Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Guitar Ted Death Ride Invitational 2012- Report Part II

Brooklyn And Beyond: The first stop for the ride was scheduled for Brooklyn, Iowa at around 31-ish miles in. Trans Iowa has often skirted Brooklyn, but I'd never actually been within the city limits before.

Craig and Mike eatin' grub
We got in with a hot sun and rising temperature. The locals were a bit taken back by the sudden presence of nine dusty cyclists, but the employee at the register of the convenience store we stopped at couldn't have been nicer. I think she figured out right away that she was raking in some extra cash from an unsuspected source. Either that or she was amused by seeing a bunch of lycra clad gents prancing about the convenience store.

I scoured the aisles for some suitable grub. I went for the pastry and breakfast sandwich route with a side of blue and red Gatorade. I went out and sat with Matt while we watched the locals go to and fro about their business in the early Saturday sunlight.

I got a chance to finally chat with Dennis from Grinnell. He was riding a Gen II Fargo that he says has put all his other rigs out to pasture. He likes the Fargo so much it has pretty much taken over his cycling. In fact, you might catch him riding it on RAGBRAI.

Meanwhile we were all wrapping up final preparations to get going again. Bottles were being filled and gooped up with electrolytes and what have you. Helmets were being strapped to noggins, and it was looking like we'd be pulling out soon when Jeremy came up.

Jeremy started late, by-passed the first B Road section to save time, and caught up with the group. He had to get refueled so he waved us onward saying he'd catch us up the road. So, in the bright sunlight we took off out of Brooklyn on a zig-zaggy course which would lead us to an overpass of I-80 and back on the T.I.V8 course again. I was looking forward to this section as it would eventually veer off the T.I.V8 course and into a big chunk of country I hadn't seen yet on our leg to Grinnell and lunch.

More B Road!
I got a little confused on just where the route re-entered the T.I.V8 course, but John, who was in the event, caught on right away, recognizing a farmstead. He set me straight on where we were, and then I saw a "S" curve that I knew well which then reset my mind's GPS coordinates.

Sometimes I need a little "bump" to get the synapses clicking in the right order!

We went just about to Montezuma, where Checkpoint Alpha was this year, but we turned West before that and headed off into that uncharted territory I mentioned before. It wasn't long before I saw my favorite road sign: "Gravel Ends", and we were rolling down a somewhat steep grade on some awesome double track dirt road.

We decided to take a "safety break" here and lounged under the shade of some trees overhanging a deeply cut in creek. Dennis walked up to me and said he knew the way back from that point so we shouldn't wait around for him if we got ahead of him. He kindly thanked me and asked me to take his picture, which I did. After about 15 minutes of lounging around, we saddled back up and cruised out of the valley.

Flower lined gravel
 We hit one more section of B Road and then turned Northward back towards Grinnell and lunch. On the way, the hills got big, the descents fast, and the sun was a lot hotter. There still was little wind, but every time we turned west to sawtooth our way over a mile, the Southerly breeze would cool things down a few degrees. Going North brought the heat big time.

I was pleased to see the sides of the road rife with wild flowers of purple, blue, white, and yellow. So different than what we have back home. That was a bonus for the ride for me.

Although this leg was "only" 28.5 miles, it seemed to take longer than the first leg. Probably it was the bigger hills. It may have had something to do with the hotter temps, I don't know. I found myself cruising along with Matt, Jeremy, and Mike for most of this sector. Everyone else was strung out behind us. Back at the "safety stop", Craig had complained of cramping already, so we offered to download him some electrolyte, but undoubtedly the heat was taking its toll on him and all of us.

The new gravel-to-me was fun though, and I enjoyed this last bit. We ended up finally getting on the outbound T.I.V6 course as we tracked it backward into Grinnell. It wouldn't be long till lunch time now.

Next: The Longest Leg

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