|Yeah.......Iowa is flat. Image by Carol Bassett|
I have seen the Rockies, and they have their own majesty, but the Great Smoky Mountains and Blue Ridge Mountains are no joke. Go there if you've never been there. I am super glad that I did.
One more thing- I've never seen so much tobacco product on display as I did in the Southeast. One place had a ten foot long by five foot high selection of cigarettes, (not behind any counter), and that same place probably had thirty varieties of chewing tobacco, (which was behind the counter), on display as well. Here in the Mid-West cigarette usage hasn't gone away by any stretch, but it is rarer than ever.
Then there was the selection of craft brewed beers that you could get at any convenience store. Weird. Here I have to go to a specific liquor store to get "the good stuff" as the chain convenience stores here barely touch what I would consider even basic craft beer selections. Man! I saw about a half a dozen beers I would have liked to have tried. Wrong timing though. We were always on the move when I saw the stuff and short on cash.
Anyway, it was an amazing trip and I am really glad and thankful to have gotten the opportunity to do it. I wouldn't change a thing about it. However; I wasn't on the bike for a week. That kind of presents a problem looking ahead.........
You see,I have an event in less than two weeks coming up that is 200 miles in length and includes the hills, (and more like them), that you see imaged here by Carol Bassett. Yes........those exact hills are on the course. They come just before the halfway mark of the event.
|The last bike ride I had a week ago was the first long one in a while.|
The good news is that the forced rest I got over the past week has made me get better in terms of the cold symptoms, but they aren't 100% gone yet. I'd say I'm at 90% in that recovery, but obviously, my legs and lungs haven't been tuned up the way that they should have been. This has led me to take stock in my goal for the Spotted Horse and I have had to make a tough decision.
That decision being, I don't care anymore about goals for this event. While that sounds odd, I am sure, it is something that takes the pressure off my mind to expect anything other than a nice long bicycle ride in some beautiful territory on October the 7th. There is no reasonable way to approach this event as anything else for me at this point. I have the cards dealt to me and they are what they are. It is not what I wanted. But it is what I have to work with.
The weather is cooling off soon, and I am happy about that. I always look forward to Fall riding, so this will be a good time of the year to get out there and enjoy some Iowa countryside. Heck, I may even just take the single speed. I'll decide after I get a ride in this coming Wednesday on it. There is something I need to try first on it though.
|It's not like the Spotted Horse has the only tough hills in Iowa though. Image by Celeste Mathias|
But at any rate, I have those other single speed specific I-9 wheels and I will try those set up with some WTB Nanoraptor tires I have. I'll have to go re-up on my latex mold builder so I can make my "MG's Special Sauce" tubeless solution though. (Don't ask me about it.) I've run out of the home brew tubeless goop at this point. I need to remedy that in this household which has so many bikes set up tubeless it is ridiculous.
But if that doesn't work, it isn't like I do not have other bicycles to use. (<====HA!) So, short of the Pofahl working out, I'll likely take the good ol' standby Fargo Gen I or my Tamland. Either one I am quite confident will be a good rig for the Spotted Horse.
So, the "next thing" is coming up and I have to try to do what I can to get ready to go. After the Spotted Horse I may do another Geezer Ride, so stay tuned for anything on that coming up soon.