|Back on Iowa gravel again.|
I've always thought that Gravel Worlds marked the "real" end of Summer. There always are a few days here and there right after Gravel Worlds where the temperatures at night start getting down into the 50's and daytime temperatures can be down into the 70's, on occasion. Sure- you still get the 80's, humidity, and warm, sticky nights, generally speaking, every year, but this year has been very different.
It was almost as if a switch went off after Gravel Worlds this time. The air has been drier, the temps down dramatically both day and night, and the hints of Fall are everywhere if you are paying attention. The corn is starting to dry out, the flowers have all faded, with the exception of August's yellow fellows, always seen about now.
I saw that the weather was trending toward this sort of late Summer version of perfection, so a Saturday ride just had to happen. I decided to ride the Tamland Two, and so late in the morning, I decided to head out North. The temperature was down into the 50's earlier in the morning, so I waited for it to warm up a hair before I headed out. Imagine that. Last weekend in Lincoln it was in the 70's, and now we were almost 20 degrees cooler a week later here in Iowa. Like I said, it seems like a switch has flipped and signs of Fall are everywhere.
|Beautiful weather over the Moline - Andersen Farm North of Waterloo on Moline Road.|
|The vineyard on the North side of Dunkerton Road on Moline Road had this green netting protecting all of their grapes.|
|These tall, leggy yellow flowers and Goldenrod dominate the ditches now.|
|Barns For Jason|
|A flock of sheep grazing|
|Big rollers on Airline Highway|
I took it easy on the paved roads back to the house and walked into the door at noon. A nice 30 miles in before lunch and I had the rest of my day to myself. It's a good thing I didn't go further or harder since by 9:00pm I couldn't stay awake anymore! Maybe I still have a bit of rest that I need to get. But I felt really good on the bike Saturday, so that was an encouraging sign.
Speaking of signs- (again!) The air, the earlier setting of the Sun everyday, the lack of songbirds, and the browning of the prairie are all telling me that Fall is nigh. While it sucks that all the green things will be turning brown and the fields will become barren again, this can be some of the best riding weather of the year. I'm hoping that it will turn out that way.