Sunday, May 25, 2014

Dust Devils

Yesterday I slept in pretty late. Till around 11am! That's unusual for me, but I have been pretty run down of late and I guess I needed the sleep. So I waited until after lunch, (which was really breakfast, I suppose!), to roll out and go in search of another of Black Hawk County's B Level Maintenance roads.

The target was a road near the Northeastern border of the county. The road was shown on many maps and is part of Pilot Grove Road in the last mile before it reaches the Bremer County line. I'd been out that way partially, but not as far out there as this road was. I decided to make a big loop out of it by going up to just Southwest of Denver and then cutting across on 270th in Bremer County. I then went a mile South after a while to Marquis Road where it is paved so as not to miss the exit where it dumped out to the county line, which is Marquis Road.

Unfortunately, I didn't find the Northern entrance, and I had a sneaking suspicion that it had been plowed under and was part of a farmers field now. I rode around to the East and South and then back West to see if I could find the Southern entrance to the road, and I did, but it was obvious that it had been decommissioned and was back in the hands of landowners.

You can make out the old road bed from the South side of the old B Road.
It was a bit of a disappointment as I had been hoping I could bag another B Level road in Black Hawk County. Those types of roads are rare in this County and in this area, but go South of here and you can find loads of them.

Well, with that done I turned back West and South to get myself back home again. The wind had come up and was blowing strongly from the Southeast, which was okay when going West, but was a bit of a struggle when going South. To make matters more difficult, the entire area up there is flat as a pancake too, so you have to pedal every inch. No coasting!

It was very dusty on the roads and also in the fields as well. I saw a couple of "dust devils" while I was riding. These aren't really a very common thing here, but occasionally they form. With the strong winds, they were being pushed along a pretty fair rate of speed. I was on a collision course with one when it hit the ditch and was upset to the point of dissipation. Dang! I was wondering what it would have been like to hit one on the road.

It ended up being a three plus hour ride. Maybe over 3 and a half hours total. Whatever it was, my legs were shot! A good training ride for Odin's Revenge coming up, perhaps, but not so good for finding the B Roads!


youcancallmeAl said...

I live in the mountains but I grew up in the prairies. Your posts tug at my heartstrings.

Marc Hemmes said...

Hello, I'll be in Waverly over Thanksgiving 2015. I'll be riding some gravel and I hope to ride (or walk, depending on the weather) a B Road in Bremer County or somewhere nearby. I grew up in Waverly and I don't remember seeing any B Roads. Any ideas on where to find some?

Guitar Ted said...

@Marc Hemmes- The best possibility is a north-south mile section coming off the blacktop just east of Clarksville. You can find a color map of the roads in Butler County here- (Click "color map" in drop down menu on righthand side)

Bremer County doesn't really have anything interesting in that way. Many NE Iowa counties do not have much for Level b roads.

Marc Hemmes said...

Excellent, thanks for the info.