|Lots of freshly planted fields|
The ride Southeast out of town on the bike path was pleasant as the path is mostly shielded from the wind by brush and low trees. Many songbirds make this strip of vegetation home now and I spied my first Goldfinches of the season while headed out to the countryside. I reached my jumping off point and hit the gravel.
The wind was pretty stiff. I'd say it was around 20mph to start out with some slightly higher gusts. It was enough to make the rollers a hard grind, for sure. Not only that, but Black Hawk County hasn't been idle and there was several stretches of fresh gravel to slog through as well. The upside was that the temperatures were indeed rising, the scenery was great with all the freshly planted fields, and the aroma of freshly turned soil in the air. Definitely a Springtime in Iowa ride!
|The skies darkened whilst I was out there!|
The wind was making that quest quite a workout, and speeds were not all that high, but I was moving and I wasn't tired......yet! Of course, I haven't been on my game since Trans Iowa happened and I didn't know when, or even if, I was going to run out of gas. Added to this was the fact that I was experimenting with riding on a light breakfast of two Clif Bars instead of my regular fare. I was definitely committed to the strategy as I brought three water bottles with two having electrolytes in them and one gel packet. If I bonked, I was going to be in trouble, but typically I ride well on a more empty stomach than on a full breakfast of any sort.
|Stop to swap out water bottles.|
Eventually I ran into the pahas of Hickory Hills and turned West. I noted that my return trip may not feature the hoped for tailwinds to push me. The wind strength had become more varied, and lessened than when I had started. Going North I was working a lot less though, so apparently there was still some benefits left to getting going in the opposite direction!
Along about twenty minutes later I ran into sprinkles. I stopped at a right turn briefly to assess whether or not to grab the rain jacket. I didn't think it would be necessary, and in the end that proved out to be correct. The rest of the journey in was uneventful. I turned in almost 3.5 hours of riding which I was pleased with. The bonus was that I wasn't dead or really wasted when I got back. The single gel was enough, and I felt pretty okay on Sunday as well. I am not sure if I've actually figured something out, was lucky, or if I am all the way back from the hit of Trans Iowa, but it was a good ride for a change More "normal" than not, which is progress. I'll take it.