I figured I would also try out my clothing choices, since Wednesday's weather would be similar to Saturday's. Cold, windy from the North/Northwest, and sunny. I selected wool base layers for the top and bottom, then some 3/4's Endura Humveee pants, and a short sleeved Pirate Cycling League jersey. I also wore a Zoic jacket over the top and started out with some lightweight, Answer full finger gloves. On my head I wore a fleece cap under my trusty Bell Helmet. Eyes were protected by some Spy "Daft" eyesheilds.
I got out by about 9:30am and headed North. I figured I would get the windy part done first. I headed toward the Cedar River then wended my way along the streets and bike paths until I reached Shirey Way, which I suppose is named something else these days. I remember when this two-track was a legitimate road with occasional traffic and a legend about ne'er do wells practicing some midnight sorcery back in the woods that lined the roadway. Hard to believe now more so than it was then.
|Spotted this bird doing some heavy lifting over the John Deere Foundry building.|
|There used to be not a few houses down here, but with several major floods, the government bought out the owners and moved them out.|
|Old Shirey Way, now a part of Hartman Reserve.|
|Snag Creek was like a glass mirror.|
I went down the paved bicycle path, which takes you right to Black Hawk Park. Then I rode the park road past the firing range to the turnaround. That's where the gate to the old fire road begins on the South end.
|A stop mid-way through to the Washington Access end of the fire road.|
|A colorful open meadow near the North end.|
|A farmer's field very near the North entrance.|
Fortunately, I was able to make good headway, and the dead falls ceased to be an issue from the last third onward, so it was a good ride on a very rustic, sometimes muddy pathway. The end on the North side dumps you out into the Washington Access to the Cedar River, which was looking rather disheveled these days. Kind of sad to see that.
|I was obliged to take about a half a mile of pavement to Ford Road.|
|Then it was mostly "Hero Gravel" from then on out!|
The gravel was fast, packed down, and therefore quite smooth. I was flying along with little effort. Then I was obliged to turn East, and while it made for some slower going, it was still not all that bad. The cross wind did catch the frame bag a bit though, I noticed, and I was fighting that just a wee bit in gusts of wind. But before I turned East, I found something I hadn't noticed before....
|The half moon hadn't set yet. As seen above Bennington Road.|
|Just before getting back into town, I saw this deer which ran in front of me for a bit.|
I was a bit bummed, as this was the wheel set I was going to use on the bike this weekend, but now I think I will have to switch back to the wheels I used at Odin's Revenge. Hey! It could be worse. At least my shake down ride served to show that issue up here instead of on the ride Saturday!