Monday, July 24, 2017

No Dust Ride

A field of flowers and puffy clouds. A near perfect riding day.
We've had some real gully washers lately around here. Rain at night, generally speaking, has been heavy and persistent, most of the end of last week anyway. It rained once while I was at work so hard that I knew it was raining by the sound I heard on the roof. Where I work it has to rain really hard for me to hear it.

Well, Saturday was sunny, but it was beastly humid. I rode a couple errands on the Big Dummy, and that about wasted me. I think I got a bit of heat stroke last week on my Guitar Ted Death Ride Invitational recon, so the residual effects have stuck with me throughout the week.

I ended up not doing much after the errands so I decided to wait until Sunday afternoon when the weatherman was saying that the humidity was going to start clearing out. Only one thing- there would be a stiff, Northwesterly breeze. I'll take it over no wind and high humidity and heat any day!

So, I set up the Tamland for the ride. By the way, my daughter has named this bike "Captain America", since it is red, white, and blue, and she is in to all the super-hero movie stuff. I'm good with that, so from now on, you'll see the Tamland referred to as "Captain America". Okay, so with that out of the way.....

Yeah, I was ready for a ride after lunch and headed out straight North toward Burton Avenue. There was a wind, sure enough, but it wasn't so bad that I could not just keep grinding away at it. I stopped to take a picture of a field full of flowers and then headed on Northward. I never really knew how far I was going to go. I was just making plans as I went based upon how I felt.

I saw a lot of Monarch Butterflies.they seemed to like these orange flowers.
I ended up going all the way in to Bremer County and then hitching a ride East on the Waverly Rail Trail which then turns into the Readlyn-Grump Trail, (Really! Readlyn-Grump!) Readlyn has a "Legend of The Old Grump" and holds a celebratory "day" every year to observe it's legend. Anyway..... I didn't go to Readlyn Sunday. I turned off before that thinking I'd get a nice tail wind push back to town, (which I did), and get in about 40 miles of riding. I came up short on the mileage by a mile and a quarter. Oh well! My math skills aren't the best.

The gravel was pretty chunky Sunday. I couldn't find much for smooth lines in either county I rode in. The weird thing was that it wasn't dusty. Usually chunky, fresh gravel equals dust and lots of it. However; those rains I mentioned must have washed all the dust away leaving just rocks. I looked down several times at my WTB Resolutes and they were clean and bluish-black looking. Generally you look down at your tires after riding several miles here and they are off-white. The dust usually coats the tires in a fine gritty mess. Even the cars I saw, which were few, weren't kicking up much dust. That was kind of weird since it wasn't cool and wet or raining.

The ride was good.  I didn't feel anything negative due to last week's rough ride nor did I have any issues, really. It was fun to get away form the town of Waterloo for a bit and enjoy some solitude on the bike. While I did not get any further with the recon for GTDRI, I did get out North on the gravel, which I had not done for a long time. Too long. I like riding up that way a lot. I also thought that it was a nearly perfect riding day. It was so beautiful out, and despite the wind, I had a great time. I likely won't experience a "no dust ride" anytime soon out there, that's for sure!

1 comment:

jkruse said...

as they should, that's butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa)!