Monday, July 10, 2017

Chunky Goodness

Saturday was a good day of cycling for me. I got up early and went to our local farmer's market. Ya know........I wonder how many of those folks are actually farmers. I know some of them are, actually, because they have business cards that say so. Business cards make you all "official" and stuff.


We got a lot of awesome vegetables and depending on your view of tomatoes- fruit. We got some raspberries, dandelion jam, and some other goodies. I love a good farmer's market.

Then I took Mrs. Guitar Ted to a coffee shop and I had a nice pour over. Love that......

The afternoon was time to grind some gravel. I was not disappointed either. It seems that Black Hawk County wanted to make darn sure I got a good dose of the chunkey goodness so they laid down a nice fresh carpet of crushed rock for me. I am so lucky they look out for me so. (<===sarcasm)

Ditch to ditch covering of fresh gravel. It makes for screaming thighs. (And other parts of the body!)

I had thoughts of doing a big mileage ride, but then I cut that back a bit, but I had to come to a realization once the ride started. Fresh gravel everywhere means slow going. You basically are herding that bike down the road at a slow rate of speed, all the while your legs are churning out a never ending cadence. There is no rest. Even down hills are pedaled (mostly) when there is this much gravel.

For some reason, I chose roads with boring flowers. These yellow lilies were an exception.
I only complain a little bit, mind you. I've run across enough fresh gravel to know how to ride it and what you can expect for times on a ride when you encounter a lot of it. I also knew that Saturday would be a lot shorter ride than I had hoped for. Kind of bummed, but at the same time, super grateful to be out there. It was a beautiful day.

My daughter renamed my Tamland "Captain America". Gee......I wonder why? 

So anyway, I got in 30 miles and it was great. I figured out some stuff, thought through some other things, and saw a lot of beautiful country on a couple of roads that were new to me. How can you complain about that, even if you had to slog through several miles of loose, deep, fresh gravel?

I don't know that you can.


phillip Cowan said...

I always wonder where does the gravel go when it goes away? You know they are laying down tons and tons, yet one day it will need it again.

Guitar Ted said...

@phillip Cowan- You know, I am pretty sure someone asked this in a comment earlier this year.

In my opinion, much of the limestone rock that is crushed up into gravel in Iowa turns to dust. It literally gets ground up. The evidence of this is in the plume of dust every vehicle kicks up when they travel down a dry gravel road. Some of it naturally decays off as the limestone weathers and gets washed away by rain and snow melt. Then a smaller percentage gets simply knocked off the roadway, primarily by snow removal, but some of it is also scraped away by graders which run over roads at least once a month if not more often. Lots of times gravel gets pushed back into the road bed by vehicles traveling over the road when it is wet.

Roadways don't get "piled higher" or "graded lower" since maintainers try to keep current road elevations and grades constant. They do an amazingly great job of that here. Of course, not all gravel roads get fresh gravel at the same rates as others. Traffic count plays a big role in that, as does weather.

There may be other reasons gravel "goes away", but I think those above account for the majority of them.

Robert Ellis said...

That's cool! Try to load some live footage on the blog.