Sunday, March 24, 2013

Spring Training

Surprisingly Dusty!
 Last weekend, I was supposed to leave for a Texas vacation, but due to circumstances with our vehicle, the trip was scuttled. So, I devised a plan to do as much riding around here as I could. Trouble was that the beginning of the week was super windy and really cold. Like January cold. I just wasn't ready to go out for miles in that stuff.

But the latter part of the week warmed up, (barely), enough to get me out there. I've already detailed my Thursday excursion, and on Friday I made another attempt at a ride. I was curious about riding in an area I haven't been in yet that was very close, but far enough away that I went with a shuttle run in the "Truck With No Name" to recon where I would start out from exactly.

I waited until the afternoon to get the maximum heat from the day, and headed out towards Hudson and drove around West of there to find a good place to start. I finally just ended up parking right in town and changing into my cycling shoes and booties. The route was up out of Hudson to the West on Watters Road and taking the first right hander off that, I headed out onto the gravel.

What I found was completely different than what I found out on last weekend's ride. The roads were dry, hard, and fast. The traffic count out here was way up too! Lots of big farm trucks and semi tractor-trailer rigs going to and fro. Apparently, the farmers are getting ready to go out and plant soon. No surprise, as last year most of the corm had been planted by now or was being planted about this time. No farmer has set an implement to a field yet around here this year.

The dust was a bit surprising, and I found out later that I and my bike were covered in a fine coating of gravelly goodness. I suppose getting doused by a few of those trucks that passed by with their dust contrails was the reason for that. Even my beard, which has grown pretty long over these cold months, felt like it was full of gravel dust when I was finished with this ride.

At any rate, it was fun to ride on something a bit different than what I was normally used to, and I will have to add a route going out this way to Dike or something later on just for the fun of it. The roads have a few decent rollers, but looking westward, it appears that the hills flatten out a bit in Grundy County. Still, these are unexplored roads for me, and I look forward to checking them out now.

More on Spring Training tomorrow.

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