Wednesday, August 03, 2016

GTDRI '16: The Wheels Start To Come Off

With the GTDRI invasion of another Casey's complete, it's time to move on
Gladbrook Iowa:

After clawing my way up C Avenue to Gladbrook, I figured that a little bit to drink and eat was in order. I did feel hungry at this point. I went in and had a V-8, (salty goodness) and got some cold water. After a bit of my trail mix I had gotten at the grocery store before the ride, I went back in for a tenderloin. I ate about a third of this and saved the rest for later. I didn't want to overload myself and have the issues with falling asleep because my gut was busy, like I did with Martin two weeks earlier.

We all had a decent rest, about a half an hour's worth, and still got out of town before noon. I was pretty impressed by our progress. Getting in 145 miles in daylight this time of year is tough, and this group of guys were doing really well. I was definitely the slowest of the bunch by a long shot.

So, we leave town to the North, and finally the Sun decides to shine. Even so, it did sprinkle on us a bit a few miles out from Gladbrook. Turns out it was nothing but a passing shower, but I welcomed the spritzing of water from above anyway, as it was refreshing.

C Avenue was rolling hills, and toward the end of that stint we ran across our third Level B Road of the day. Fortunately, it was dryish, and not wet. You could tell it had been cakey not long ago, but it was firm and fast when we hit it. There was one big mud puddle we had to swing wide of, but many tractors and trucks had already made a good detour for us, so it was no problem.

A fast Level B Road that was pretty flat and smooth.
After this dirt we were obliged to go West a couple of miles to AA Avenue, which has featured in a couple of Trans Iowa routes. At the intersection with AA, we all stopped to gather up again, and we were chatting when a car or two approached, and the driver wished to speak to us. This is when something extraordinary happened.

Now generally when you are stopped by roaming rural motorists, you get the "RAGBRAI Question" or some variant of that. However; I about fainted when this farmer asked if we all had anything to do with that "race out of Grinnell" that was all on gravel roads. He spoke as one who had knowledge of something unique and he seemed a bit surprised when we said, "Oh yeah! You mean Trans Iowa?". He looked astonished, but was happy to find someone who knew about it. Little did he know that he was speaking to four Trans Iowa vets, a volunteer, and the race director. We didn't tell him that though. We had a few pleasantries before he and his shiny Escalade went on their way, followed by another Escalade, and a really fancy pick-up truck behind that. Whatever you want to say about some of these rural folk, they sure do have some fancy-pants vehicles. With that bit of an aside over, we carried on to our next Level B Road.

This Level B has been used in Trans Iowa before.
Barns For Jason
The fourth Level B Road of the day was one we had used in a couple of Trans Iowa events. It was about the same condition as the previous one, but had more tractor tire tracks frozen into it, and more ruts to avoid, which made things a bit more exciting. After that bit of dirt, it was nothing to write home about. We kept going Westward for several miles until we were out of Grundy County altogether and in Hardin County. Along the way, we saw several planes flying low. A couple of bi-planes with roaring rotary motors and a crop duster. Besides that, it was just hot and sunny through this section.

(L-R) Josh enjoys a chat with Scott while we rest not long before we get to Eldora.
The issues for me became more serious as the miles West fell under our wheels. I wasn't getting the power I usually do, and my legs were just burning on every uphill. I wasn't hungry anymore, even though I kept eating and eating little bits along the way. Nothing helped. I was up on water, as I had to urinate along the way here, but it was apparent that I wasn't fueling up properly, and my gut was feeling bloated. Probably a bad mix of foods. I don't know, but I was pretty concerned as we rolled into Eldora. I know some of the guys were worried by the comments I was getting as well.

So, we rolled into town, and oddly enough, it wasn't apparent to anyone where the Casey's store was here. Not that they should know, but it was as if they were thinking it was North of town, when in fact it was West of our route a few blocks. Well, we found it anyway, and I got myself busy with doing whatever I could to relax for a bit and try to recover.

Next: Coming Up Short

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