|Long shadow time of the year.|
I ended up leaving on my BMC "Orange Crush" rig at about a quarter after 8 and since the wind was forecast to be getting stronger out of the Northwest, I decided to head out on this year's 3GR course. It was cool, but not cold, and I figured I had dressed really well considering that. You usually do not want to be warm when you start out a ride, but slightly cool. I was stoked and was planning a really long ride beyond the normal 40 of the 3GR route.
The shadows were long and the winds were light as I made the right turn by the parkinglot where we usually met this past year for the regular Saturday morning rides. I almost pulled in to see if anyone was there just out of habit! It felt weird just riding by without stopping to check, but I knew no one was expecting me.
|Still some harvesting left to do.|
I think my friend Jason coined the term "hero gravel" once on one of his Fargo Adventure Rides in Minnesota, but even if that is not the case, I am attributing the term to him. At any rate, I was making good time to start out with and the winds were still fairly light.
I had not been out this way since the last 3GR and I assumed that there would be little corn left in the fields but I found there was still a fair amount of harvesting left to do yet. Combines were in the fields here and there throughout the ride, and alongside the fields of corn there were several fields that had already been ploughed. As I cruised Northward, I felt the urge to drink so I looked down and.......what the......!!!!!
I forgot my water bottles on the counter back at home!
|Freshly turned black earth.|
|Prepping for drainage tile installation|
|More freshly worked fields|
It was just as well too, I was getting chilled from my stop. I drained my first drink selection in the lot there and stowed my other one for later, redressed and mounted up to leave. There is a nice bike lane along the old highway heading out of town that would take me right to the start of Ivanhoe Road, and back on track again. On my way through town I noted one city block with three taverns. Yep! Local rural Iowa economy at work here! Without taverns many Iowa towns would be desolate.
|Tractors and cars occupy the same gas pumps in rural Iowa.|
|Blue, Red, and Green|
|More "hero gravel".|
Anyway, a bit more headwind to go, then I turned out to the South, still following this year's course for the 3GR. I was thinking about adding in the Western part of last year's 3GR course, which would tack on some extra miles, but not require a stop for more fluids, that I didn't have the funds for now!
I went by the Ingawanis Woodland parking lot and saw one vehicle there. I bet whomever was riding was having a blast. The sun and the trees were brilliant. There were leaves blowing in the wind and fluttering down all over. It was a picture perfect Fall day. However; some clouds were starting to blow in from the Northwest. Puffy white ones, nothing to be concerned about.
The old 3GR course is flat out West and the wind was pushing me along at an advanced rate of speed I wouldn't ordinarily have been able to keep up. It was good. I was making excellent time and I figured on getting back in time for lunch despite my stop in Denver and my earlier stop for images.