|Saturday early afternoon there was still significant amounts of snow on the bike trail.|
Then they kept lowering the expected temperatures and on Friday they were talking about the probability of snow. Up to 2-3"s of the stuff! Bah! I decided this ride had to happen no matter what. So, Saturday looked decent in the morning, but it was chilly. Lower 20"s but then by around noon it was supposed to get up above 30°F and I figured that was good enough. Low winds from the Southeast wouldn't affect the way it felt too badly. I left 'fore noon and headed South to the "usual roads".
I decided not to affix the damnable GPS device to the bike. Sometimes computers and gizmos just get in the way, with me they do anyway, and I wasn't in the mood for more "data". All I needed to do was ride a bicycle and go reasonably fast for 30 plus miles. Do I really need a computer to help me with that? I don't think so. A GPS track and more things to distract me on the ride wasn't fitting in with my needs. Mileage for the year? Pffft! Nobody is going to give a rip about my mileage but my ego. I decided not to feed it. Besides, counting miles is fairly easy in Iowa, and it keeps me sharp.
|This was as bright as it got during my ride- which isn't very bright!|
Interestingly, all this fixed gear commuting had me expecting back pressure on the pedals when I let off on the power a bit, and coasting was......weird. I almost had to remind myself that I didn't have to fear not pedaling a few times. Now watch, when I go back to the commuter bike this week I'll forget I cannot coast again!
|Halfway rest stop for gels, drinks, and shaking off the muck build up!|
At Tama Road I reached my minimum halfway distance and Aker Road South of there looked worse than where I had been. I decided to stop, shake off as much muck as I could, drink, take in a couple gels, and go right back the way I came for a mile. Then I figured on going Eastward a mile to Beck Road and back North on that for four miles.
|Beck Road was almost my undoing.|
The final straw was cresting a hill where I saw what looked like a shovel full of wet, gritty gravel shoot out from under my front fender, and then the rear wheel was surfing so badly the entire bike was weaving uncontrollably down the slope. I had experienced bikes doing this on muddy mountain bike courses, and the next stop, usually, on that train of events is hitting the deck. I was off the bike and walking as soon as I could slow down to a stop.
DuMonde Tech to lubricate the dry, crusty chain. I bounced the bike several times to shake off the grunge and then I gingerly pedaled off to the "T" intersection with Petrie Road.
Fortunately, there was a wide swath of untrodden snow on the West side of the roadway which I could ride on swiftly. Sure, there was a bit of resistance, but the ground underneath was still frozen and the going was safer and far easier. Petrie Road was good, and then once I was back on to Aker it was "home free".
That section on Beck Road was about as bad as it gets without the road being a Level B. I was so surprised I made it out of that four mile section without wrecking something and having to call in for assistance. My decision to jump off and walk a bit was a judicious one and having the tools and lube along to take care of my dilemma was a good thing. I don't always need all that stuff, but when I do, it saves the ride!
|It looks like I got splattered by a cement mixer!|
Oh yeah, and the Robins have invaded big time here. I saw them all over Saturday. Red Wing Blackbirds are starting to stake out nesting spots, and Spring will be starting to get things greener from this point on. I cannot wait!