|The steed for the day: Fargo in singletrack mode|
With all the Interbike information still being processed, I haven't had a bunch of time handy to get a ride in either, so that was another good reason to get away. I just really needed to get out from behind the keyboard and decompress. Ingawanis Woods is about as remote a place in Iowa as you can get, so this was good medicine as well.
The Fargo is wearing some pretty nice tires here. They are Vredestein Black Panther models which have these super-supple casings and when run tubeless, they feel divine. They are just so smooth. With the 80mm travel Reba, the Thudbuster ST seat post, and these tires, it feels like I am on a short travel full suspension rig. The bonus is that it is a hardtail, so when I do sprint out of the saddle or put in a hard effort, the bike squirts forward, not sagging into a rear suspension's travel, as many full sus bikes are wont to do.
|Caught these three coming down for a drink.|
The air was still and the woods were uncommonly quiet again. Similar feeling as last time I was here a week or so ago. It's as if the woods are waiting, holding their breath, for something to happen. Only the fluttering leaves in the air here and there were breaking up what would otherwise be an eerie feeling atmosphere.
Speaking of leaves, they were getting thick on the ground already in some spots, making navigation difficult at times. Some spots where there are a lot of exposed roots and embedded limestone will become quite treacherous when they are fully concealed by the falling leaves. With the rain that is forecast, the situation will get even more slick and slimy! At least for a little while, probably over the weekend. But for yesterday's ride, I still could make out many of the problem spots.
|The Hairpin Corner|
Of course, they spotted me immediately as well, but they did stay long enough for me to compose an image of them for the post today. That was very considerate of them, wasn't it?
I then just stood on the bank and just soaked it all in. I don't know what it is about water, and especially rivers, and the Cedar in particular, but I have a spiritual moment here that is a good thing. I'll leave it at that. I was born in a city along the Cedar, and I used to sit on a big rock and stare at the river as a teenager. I still live in a city the river flows through. Maybe I'll never get away from it......
Well, at any rate, I eventually moved on, and took a decidedly casual pace through the Bottoms and then made my way up the steep climb to the higher parts above Quarter Section Creek. The grip was fantastic, and I guess I was creeping up in speed, because next thing I know I am in the tighter twisties and having to use more rear brake to get the Fargo to turn tighter at speed. It was just too much fun.
By the time I reached the end, I was flying, but the Vredesteins were gripping and smooth, so why not? It was a great day to be out in the woods, and I was happy to have had the chance to ride yesterday.