Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Getting Back To "Normal"

This is what I was needing....
With all the hoopla concerning Trans Iowa now behind me, (with the exception of sweeping up some fine details), I have been finally getting out and riding again. The snowstorm last week notwithstanding. It's been good too, but there is one thing I've noticed. The weather has seemed to skip over Spring, and now we're seemingly getting summer-like weather, which is really weird. I figured it might go like this too.

Flowers that do not normally coexist are doing so, and farmers have yet to plant much corn. It is a whacked out time in the Mid-West.  But at least I can ride without (much) layering now and the mountain bike trails have actually cleared up around here to the point that they can be ridden on. That's the good news here. I feel like a dam has burst.

But in an odd sort of way, all that bad, not so great, and down right awful weather all occurred at a time that I needed to divert my energies elsewhere, so it worked out for me really well. Had the days been beautiful I may have shirked some duties and gone out for rides instead. Then I would probably have ended up pulling my hair out at the last minute doing stuff for Trans Iowa that I should have been doing all along. Things that got done due to the bad weather. So, yeah.......it worked out for the best, although I feel like a slacker now since I have not been riding much. Last week I started turning that back around.

And a little bit of this as well.
The first outing was a commute to work, then on Wednesday I hit up some local dirt. It was really great to be back riding in the woods again. Apparently, it was just great to be able to get out into the woods comfortably, judging from the several hikers I ran across. You could see the smiles on their faces. It's been a long, long Winter.

After the dirt sesh I rode to work and back a couple days more till Saturday, which was iffy. I had seen the weather forecast and it called for rain Saturday morning. Sure enough, radar indicated showers in the area in the morning, and it was misting pretty good at the house, so I skipped 3GR and waited till afternoon. I figured if the prognostications were correct, I could have a decent stretch of weather to ride in. It looked pretty cloudy, but after lunch I set out North and East of the city, right into a mild head wind.

It was one of those "nagging head winds" which are not strong enough to really make you work, but are there enough to make you work a little harder than normal. Just a bother, really. It's all good for me though, I need the work! I've grown a little soft riding around in a truck chasing gravel and not riding as much as I'd like to.

Doom on the horizon- I'm gonna get wet!
The gravel was pretty decent for just having over 2 inches of rain in the area the past three days. Not too soft, and not too many mud holes. I was turning out of the headwind at  the furthest point away from home and then getting some good speed with the tail wind push. I headed East quite a ways to enjoy that too. It was fun. Lots of water in the ditches and bubbling out of drainage tiles everywhere I went. Seems that the lack of water has been rectified for the short term, at least. More than enough water to go round, I should think.

So, eventually I have to turn South and then I see them. Big, dark, lower clouds heading my way. Oh.........really? I didn't bring a rain jacket on this ride either. Oh well! All I could do was pedal onward. Eventually I hit the chip seal North on Byron Avenue, and then it started. The good thing was I didn't have far to go, and it was a light rain. Warm too. This wasn't too bad, I thought at the time.

Then it started in harder, of course, and the worst part about this was that my sweat was being washed down into my eyes, making for some very blurry, painful vision. Perfect for riding bicycles! Well........no, not really. I was a bit perturbed by it though. Some comic relief came as I whizzed down a wet bike path and caught a few folks cowering under the bridges out of the rain. The look of mild terror as they saw me speeding by was making for a lighthearted ride despite the burning eyeballs.

Of course, I made it home, and had a lot of fun, just like normal. I could get used to this again.......

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