Monday, March 21, 2016

Adventures With Dave

Wet, cold, but we went out anyway.
Saturday was forecast to be dreary, chilly, snowy, and possibly rainy. I discarded any thoughts of putting out an invitation to anyone publicly to join me for a ride, but I was definitely going out. I just wanted complete freedom as to the route, time, and distance for the effort. Much, I figured, would be dictated by the weather, so inviting others may get into more disappointments and trials due to the weather, and even hoping that anyone would dare to come out was aiming too high, I thought. Dave contacted me about whether or not I was going for a ride, and I explained myself to him. He was game anyway, so at 8:30 am, I stopped by his home to pick him up.

The first thing that went wrong was that Dave's Garmin locked up on him. Okay, so I am not a big techno-geek when it comes to gadgets and riding, so I didn't see this as being a downer. Rather the opposite, in my opinion, but Dave was a bit put out by that, and I guess I can understand that. Anyway, so we saddled up and made our way through the town to the North, thinking we would be heading out into the wind, and enjoying a tailwind coming back.

Grey skies and drizzle.
The wind wasn't bad at all, really, but it never really ever quit drizzling rain on us, unless, that is, it was snowing. The precipitation was never heavy enough to soak my base layer on my legs though. It was just an odd day, in more ways then one, as we would find out later. Dave had a new Brooks Cambium saddle, so we stopped at a point North of town so he could adjust it. Once we started pedaling away, Dave let out an expletive and I found out that he had misplaced his phone. He thought it was back at his house, maybe in the yard, or on a railing. So, he was, once again, pretty put out by his misfortunes.

The ride went straight North up Burton Ave and on to Kildeer in Bremer County. The interesting thing about this particular road is that it continues to climb and descend, but always more climbing as you go, all the way up to Ivanhoe Road. By the time you get close to Ivanhoe, you are on a gravel road roller coaster that has some pretty steep, punchy climbs.

Burton Avenue turns into Kildeer not far up the road from here. 
Just north of the intersection with Gresham Road, I noticed a skunk in the middle of a field, several deer, and I saw a huge fish splash in a creek as I crossed the bridge that spanned it. We had seen two hawks so big we thought maybe they might be immature Eagles earlier on as well. Apparently, the wildlife was not deterred by the somewhat inclement weather. I haven't seen this much activity in terms of wildlife in quite some time.

Dave wasn't inspired though. He was dragging behind a bit on the climbs and was complaining of a heaviness in his lungs which he said was making it hard to breathe. Hey! We all have our "off-days", so I backed it down a bit and we stuck together, conversing and grinding away up to Ivanhoe Road, then East to just North of Denver. Kind of a backward tracing of the first part of the 3GR route.

Dave on his "Bird Of War", as he likes to refer to his Salsa Cycles carbon Warbird. 
A little "hero gravel" on Ivanhoe Road. Mostly we experienced fresh graded gravel on this ride though. 
A "frost boil" and fresh gravel patch. We haven't had roads this torn up from Winter in several years.
Continuing on it was apparent, as we turned South, that the wind had switched up on us and was coming from the Southeast now. Oh well.....a headwind ride it is then! We were okay with it, since the wind wasn't very strong, and we were having a good ride despite the wind. We were passing Denver on the East when Dave called out to stop. He wanted to fiddle with his tire pressure. I was asked if I had a pump. I did. An old one I bought back in 1996 that I was packing on this particular day. I hadn't used it in a long time, but it was always a reliable pump. Dave tried it and promptly let out most of the air in his tire. Whoops! Set for Schrader. Back then, we didn't have "smart pump heads".

I took the head apart, and smacked the back end of the head to pop out the little plastic piece I had to reverse, and hey! Where was the gasket? Oh great....... Well, Dave had a CO2 cartridge, but his inflator wasn't right, and he burnt that up into thin air, mostly, without getting the tire inflated. So, here we were with a bad pump, no more CO2 carts, and no way to pump up the tire. It was enough that we decided to call in the cavalry, and I placed a call to my wife to come and fetch us in Denver at the convenience store, a mile away as the crow flies. Only we had to walk further.

Despite our failed attempts at inflation, we had a good ride. This was as far South as I got!
I can heartily recommend the accommodations at Casey's General Store on the South side of Denver.
Well, we made it over to the convenience store, and Dave kindly bought me a muffin and himself a slice of breakfast pizza. We sat down at one of the tables inside by the front and waited for Mrs Guitar Ted to arrive. When she did, she got herself a hot cup of coffee, and we chatted for about 45 minutes before loading up to go home. But not before Dave noticed something odd underneath his bib shorts on his inner thigh. He dug around and pulled it out.

His cell phone!

Yep. It was just that sort of a day. We loaded up and carted Dave and myself back home, and afterward, I went to the shop and bought myself a shiny, new mini-pump. The old 1996 model has been permanently retired!

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