Thursday, May 24, 2018

Country Views: The Greening

The Year With No Spring. It's definitely Summer out there now
Wednesday and rain........Bah! But the good news was that it was going away and by late morning we had glorious Sun and wind. Yes, we had lots of wind. Right out of the Southeast to begin with, but that would change.

I got out to the North of town. Yes......not good planning in terms of wind. Or was it? I'd get worked pretty hard, and actually, that's exactly what I needed. I have to buckle down on some fitness here because Spring is gone and Summer will be too before long. I need to be getting miles into my legs.

This poor excuse for Spring kept me off the gravel more often than not, and when it was good, well there was Trans Iowa or planning for that. Last weekend was supporting Almanzo, so zero bicycling for me that weekend. Man! Gotta get going on the riding. It's been way too long since regular miles have happened. It's not just me either. My buddy Tony said that riding the Almanzo 100 doubled his miles for the year. Yeah.....

So, North of town I went and I made some mileage East as well. The roads are like total hero gravel right now up that way. Well.......not for long though. I met the maintainer again. This time going North on Schenk Road. I don't doubt that truckloads of gravel are on the way too. These roads looked like post-Winter roads, not mid-May roads. This year has been so jacked up, it isn't funny.

Stopped to visit the Big Rock at the corner of Big Rock Road and Sage Road.
I was riding a pretty nice rig, at least, and it was light and felt fast. The Jamis Renegade Elite I am riding now is on test for and I will be doing a review of it in the next couple of months. It actually has a decent riding carbon fork. I was pretty impressed with it so far, but again- the roads were darn near better than pavement most of the route I took. I am holding out judgement till I get more typical Summertime gravel road conditions.

Barns For Jason
Crops are emerging and the landscape is going from browns and blacks to hazy greens.
Of course, going with the wind makes you feel like a super hero. I was cranking out a rhythm in the big ring and having my way with the Jamis Renegade as I flew down the road. All the while I was well aware that the piper would have to be paid at some point. Would the legs be there? Hard to say.

Barns For Jason- A small barn with two barn quilts.
Eventually I was too close to Dunkerton and decided to head back North and then West. I turned into a heavy crosswind, but it should have been a quatering tailwind. Hmm..... Wind was changing up on me. Fantastic! Oh well, nothing to do but to keep the pedals turning over.

Barns For Jason- With bonus sheep!
I ended up cranking back Southward and by this time the wind was a full on Southwesterly. It was pretty intense and I ended up doing a few intervals into it for good measure. The roads all were decent after the little bit I came across that the maintainer had disrupted. It was hillier coming back into Waterloo as well, which made for tougher pedaling. All good for the legs and lungs. Money in the bank to withdraw later.

Flowers are just starting to pop here. I didn't stop to photograph any, but next time I may do that. Stay tuned for more Country Views coming soon......


Rydn9ers said...

Any back story on that rock? Obviously it's been there a bit since they named the road after it but it seems like an odd place for a single rock that size.

Guitar Ted said...

@Rob E- Iowa, Minnesota, and wisconsin have a lot of "erratics'. Glacial leavings, if you will, that are generally huge rocks that are difficult to remove, so they just become landmarks. we have them all over to the extent that some counties actually paint them in patriotic themes and call them "Freedom Rocks".

Rydn9ers said...

I've seen the freedom rocks on the Covered Bridges ride, one in Adel and one in Winterset, that were all painted up. Not sure why but I thought that they moved the rocks to those locations. Thanks for the info.