Thursday, June 16, 2016

Country Views: Part 2- Flowers

Summer is here, despite what the calendar says, and flowers are popping out all over out there. I decided to dedicate this "Country Views" post to one of my favorite things about riding gravel- flowers! 

This is just the beginning of the Tiger Lillies. The ditches are about to explode with these things. 
 
A close up.

These were found only right on the edges of the roads.
While the thistle is considered a bad weed, it sure has a pretty blossom.
The Iowa Department Of Transportation often plants these lavender colored flowers for ground cover in the ditches.
It was pretty hot out yesterday, but it wasn't oppressively humid. The wind was a pretty stiff breeze out of the Southeast and I ended up just doing a shorter loop yesterday. I just didn't have the gas to go longer for whatever reason.

I am still experimenting with the wool jersey and with that Brooks Cambium saddle. They are both showing a lot of promise, so I may actually stick with the saddle and add more wool to the Summertime riding wardrobe. The jersey isn't hot at all. It doesn't really feel one way or the other. However; when you compare to a "traditional" synthetic jersey, it doesn't sit on your skin and feel sticky or uncomfortable when things get sweaty and the air is humid. The saddle is wonderful compared to what came off before it. I do detect a bit of give but more so on pavement than on the gravel. I was a bit surprised by that.

So, I found out a little while ago that I had to switch focus in terms of my upcoming events. Odin's Revenge, one of my absolute favorite events, is now off my calendar due to a special date. I have to attend a special family function that weekend, so I had to send in my drop out notice the other day. It kind of is a bummer, but it is for a very good reason, so I am not upset.

First cutting of hay has been baled. 
So, that leaves the upcoming Guitar Ted Death Ride Invitational to get ready for. I need to verify a few things so longer rides to do that may be happening. I do know one thing, and that is that I will likely be using the Gen I Fargo for this gig since I found out during my "Kanza Ride" that this configuration didn't bother my recovering left shoulder at all. Yesterday, during my shorter ride, on the T-6 Standard Rando, it bothered me a lot. So for whatever reason, a traditional drop bar isn't feeling the best yet. We will see how I fare as the time draws closer, but I really think the Fargo is the way to go here.

More Country Views coming soon!

5 comments:

Steven Butcher said...

I,too, really enjoy seeing all the beautiful wild flowers while out on my rides! I'm reminded that wild flowers often come and go quickly. I tend to think of many of my rides as "nature rides" and ride at a relaxed pace so that I can enjoy creation while it's there to enjoy.

phillip Cowan said...

I'm very interested to see how your long test of the Brooks Cambium works out. I had a Brooks B17 Special once. It was beautiful, honey with copper rivets and rails. I loved that saddle but couldn't get it to love me back. It turned out to be the biggest ass hatchet/taint hammer I've ever been on. I rode it for 3 years during which time I smeared it with proofhide and just about every other unguaint and ointment on the market all the while waiting for the legendary Brooks comfort to appear. It never did. Perhaps it's just my peculiar anatomy. Anyway the Cambium looks
like a different breed of cat so I'm hopeful.

P.S. No self respecting Scotsman should ever refer to the thistle as a bad weed. Lol.

Guitar Ted said...

@Steven Butcher: I think you and I are on the same wavelength there. I hope that you get in several of your "Nature Rides" this year!

@phillip Cowan: That's a lot of work, (it sounds like it was), to get a leather Brooks to work. Perhaps it was too wide/wrong shape? If so, the Cambium C-17 may not agree with you at all as it has an almost identical shape when compared to the B-17. There are narrower Cambiums though.

And I was praising the beauty of a thistle in bloom once when my wife shot me down on the idea of putting one in the flower bed. I guess that was the Scot in me just then, eh? At any rate, I still love to see them in bloom while I am riding.

phillip Cowan said...

I think the reason I stuck with it so long is because it was OK for 20 miles or less. More than that not so much. I took it on Ragbrai in 07. It nearly spoiled my trip. Maybe I should look at the cutout version. As an aside, after I threw in the towel on the B17 I was looking for an el cheapo replacement until I found a long term solution. I remembered from Kent Petersen's blog that he had once recommended the Avenir 100 as the best of the cheapass saddles. So I ordered one off Amazon for the princely sum of $26.00. You know what? Kent was right. That silly thing was one of the most comfortable seats I've owned. I still have it and throw on any bike that needs a saddle. The Brooks? It's long gone and good riddance too! As for the thistle I think it's a very beautiful flower and hardy too. Anyone who's tried to eradicate them probably already knows this. I guess if the boss says no thistles in the flower bed that's that. Ya gotta keep peace on the home front. Sorry to be such a longwinded internet pest. I'll shut up now.

Salmon said...

Sorry to hear your won't be making it to Odin's, I was looking forward to a selfie with Guitar Ted.

I have a B-17 that I have just about given up on. Apparently my nether regions don't have the patience to wait for the legendary comfort.