|Started out in the white stuff......|
I went home from that Fall recon with more questions than I had gotten for answers. The Winter came in early, and recon had to be put off till when the roads got clearer. That happened in January, but I got sick, and then I got sick again recently. In between there I managed to get the first leg reconned. But that left a big reroute to look at.
So this past weekend was the first shot I had at doing anything about the issues we found last Fall outside of the first leg being scrapped. It was a long haul to get there and I was accompanied by my recon partner-in-crime, Jeremy, on this mission. Once I rendezvoused with him Saturday morning, we headed South to Grinnell to eat at the Frontier Cafe.
A short shout out: The Frontier Cafe is down town just off 4th Street on Main Street. We "found" this place a few years ago doing recon and were wowed by the reasonable prices and good breakfast fare. The restaurant is in an old downtown business building with a spacious interior that retains much of its late 19th Century appointments- A fully intact tin ceiling, Iron support poles made to look like Grecian columns, and wood panels and trim work. Back when we first started going there, things were in a bit "worn" shape, but this past visit showed that the Frontier Cafe has refreshed its look and it is very nice inside now. They still retained all of the past which was good. It is mostly a fresh coat of paint and some new do-dads here and there, from what I can tell. Go there if you want breakfast in Grinnell.
|The image doesn't do the steepness of this hill justice. Jeremy measured 13% with his Garmin.|
Then it was off toward another newly proposed section. Another checkmate! Another short section of pavement. Maybe a half to 3/4's of a mile. It stayed in. We moved on. Happily, there were no more surprises in the form of closures, missing bridges, or in terms of additional paved sections.
In fact, the reroute got rid of about as much pavement as we ended up finding again. It was a wash. But all was not a loss here. The pavement isn't all in one long section now and we got two, much more safe highway crossings out of the deal along with some rad roads which we did not have originally. Besides this, we found two stellar convenience stores as well. Really, really nice ones. One is so nice I wonder if they won't kick out sweaty, dirty cyclists. I'm serious. I do not have the service hours, but their positions on the route guarantee you would arrive there long before closing times, if you arrive there at all.
|Just another steep climb, that's all.|
|Mmmmm! Level B Road!|
There will be a cutoff time announced for Checkpoint #2 very soon. I had to get the reroute verified before we could do that. It also should be noted that there are about 8 less miles in this leg than there were before. Stay tuned on a final word on the cutoff times coming soon.....
Other than that, the next time you hear anything about the course will be after the final run through we do in April.