Sunday, August 26, 2012

3GR Report: Birds Of Prey

Ron making a dramatic point to Mike. Craig on the Right.
Once again, the 3GR was on a day with a good chance for rain. However; we didn't experience any of the wet stuff on our outing. This time we had Ron, Mike, and Craig along for the 8:30-ish start.

The weather was fine, low wind, sunny, but not too hot or humid. The shadows are getting longer at the start though, so you can tell summer is fading quickly into fall.

Things of note: The corn- if it wasn't already totally burned up by the sun, is very quickly turning brown now. I suspect the fields will be totally dried down by mid-September, and the harvesting should commence soon. I can't remember a summer and now going into fall where things were like this.

Then there is the gravel. It was noted and agreed upon by the riders that the gravel appears to be breaking down further, as in the base for the road- like it is turning to powder. The roads showed a lot of sections where the gravel had lost its hard pack nature and was getting deeper with dust and finer gravel. It has been one of the dustiest gravel seasons that I can remember.

A Hawk silhouetted on top of a pole.
This will affect Trans Iowa V9 if it continues to be a season of fall and winter with little precipitation. Just how it will affect it, I am not certain now. Heck- how would I know? I've never seen anything quite like this before.

Craig suddenly called out that he had a flat tire. So, we all stopped and gathered round as Mike and Craig began to take things apart and replace the tube Craig had in the front tire. I loaned Craig my Blackburn frame pump, vintage 1996, and it made short work of the airing up of the new tube. Meanwhile, Mike looked a bit puzzled as he examined the old tube.

Apparently, it was decided that the tube wasn't actually flat, but the removable valve core had loosened. No worries. We were chatting and being entertained by two hawks that were screeching up a storm. We surmised that there may be a nest there and that there may be little ones.

We got going again, but it wasn't but a mile or two when Ron announced he was peeling off and heading back to Cedar Falls. We bid him adieu, and then we made our way over to our South-bound turn and into the roller section of the route.

The rest of the ride was fairly uneventful. We rode back up the rollers at an ever increasing pace, as if unsaid words were spoken that provoked us to race to the crest of each successive hill top. Then we rolled back in on the busy bike path and to the coffee shop. The coffee shop was super busy too. We could barely get inside to get some of the black goodness.

Things are going to get dicy for the 3GR in September. Here is the lowdown- Next Saturday is on Labor Day Weekend, and there will be a ride at the regular time and place. On September 22nd, there will be no 3GR on Saturday morning. I am going to attend the Moonshine Metric on Saturday night. (As long as my flight back from Interbike successfully lands me back in Iowa on Friday!) Anyway, you should consider riding in this too. It is a fun, laid back, all night time gravel road ride.

Then on September 29th, I am slating another fat bike 3GR. So put that on yer calendars!

Oh- and by the way, it did end up raining in the afternoon, which we desperately needed.

No comments: