Monday, July 13, 2015


Escaping from town on some fresh Burton Avenue blacktop.
Saturday I had to tend to a family affair, so there was no riding. That meant that after church on Sunday, I was going to try to fit in some hot weather training for the upcoming Guitar Ted Death Ride Invitational. 

So the weather cooperated for sure. It was in the lower 80's by the time I was getting ready and was getting hotter. The humidity was up there at 74%, and the winds were stiff from the Southeast. I decided not to go to the South, and went North first, since that would guarantee I would bake right off the bat. It worked, by the way!

The route would be shorter, since I hadn't done anything big in the way of a ride since Odin's Revenge and the onset of a head cold I contracted right about the same time as that event. I figured I would make a run for the county line going up Burton Avenue and crossing over on the county line to Moline Road and coming back into town. The wind and heat would be tough, maybe, but I need to start doing something to get ready for this upcoming century-and-a-little-bit-more ride I have coming up in less than two weeks. The GTDRI will have boatloads of climbing, and I am sure it will be hot, humid, and tough as nails, just like it always is this time of the year. But hey.......that's one of the reasons it's called a death ride. It sucks the life out of you. Maybe you make it to the end before that happens, maybe you don't. 

Burton Avenue looking North. There's hills up there!
Tire shredding gravel. Fresh gravel just dumped out all across the road, about three to four inches deep! 
I finally escaped the grasp of the city and hit the crushed rock. It was mighty hot, what with the humidity, which always seems to intensify the Sun's rays. When you can close your eyes and know a cloud's shadow has passed over you, that's hot! Anyway, Burton Avenue had been the recent recipient of a freshening up on gravel. It was spread ditch to ditch and it was three to four inches deep.

The Standard Rando was pitching, scrabbling, and ploughing up the gravel but I managed to stay within my limits and not blow up. I was drinking regularly and even took along a bit of nutrition on this short ride because the heat really taxes me. I was hoping to have smooth sailing, but I wasn't going to be surprised if I struggled. I just haven't had a lot of really hot weather riding up until Odin's and now this ride. Plus, I was coming off that cold which meant I'd likely not be on top of my game.

Still looking up Burton Avenue here. More fresh gravel dead ahead!
I stopped in the shade of the old East Janesville Church for a few images.

You know, those county maintenance guys are fickle. They sometimes only freshen up short patches of road, but this time they did the entire stretch of Burton Avenue, minus where landowners had oiled the road in a few spots to keep the dust down. So I had several miles of fresh stuff with a mostly climbing route. High resistance training unlooked for, but fully welcomed! The turn down the county line Eastward was at the site of the old abandoned East Janesville Church. I stopped and took a few images here. Who knows how much longer this old building will remain standing? I wondered how many people walked out that front door just married. What their hopes and dreams were. I wondered how many people wept at funerals there. All forgotten history now.........

Burton Avenue changes names as it continues on into Bremer County. I wasn't going that way this time though 
The corn is tassled out already in spots. My bike is actually about a foot above the dirt of the field here. That's some tall corn!
The fields are all filled now with beans and corn, mostly. The roads get sketchy at intersections this time of year, since you cannot always see approaching vehicles, nor hear them properly if the wind is up and you are facing into it. So I was wary coming up on some corn fields that were on corners yesterday, and so should you if you live in the Mid-West.

Turning the corner put the wind at my face and the trip back home was cooler as a result. Plus, the county hadn't gravelled Moline Road yet. Woo Hoo! I felt pretty good and made it home, fairly tuckered out, and ready for something cold to drink. I was real glad that I didn't plan on doing anything longer, I'll tell ya that much! It reached up into the low 90's before I got home, so I got my hot weather training ride, for sure!

It's a good start though, and now I just need to keep that ball a rollin' till the GTDRI.

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