Saturday, June 09, 2012

3GR Report

Leapin' Lamas!
The 3GR went off once again after a two week hiatus. I wasn't sure if anybody would still want to come out again since the rides just started. I made it over to Gateway Park by 5:20pm, and waited.......

One rider came by and asked if I was the leader of the 3GR. I welcomed the new rider and found out his name is Jesse. We waited a few more minutes, and with no one else showing up, we set off. Not far up the bike path we ran across Mike Johnson coming the other way on his Fargo. He joined up with us to make it a trio.

As I stated yesterday, I was going to take a bit of a different route. Mike knew the roads I had in mind, but Jesse was all new to this gravel deal. Fortunately for him, the roads had cleared up tremendously from the first attempts at the 3GR. Now we had cleared out lanes to ride in and in many places the roads were packed in as well as chip seal.

That isn't to say that there weren't patches of new gravel and chunky goodness, because there was. I tried to give a few pointers to Jesse to help him out in those parts. Hopefully it helped! He seemed to be keeping up at a good pace, so this 3Gr was a bit faster than some of the others, barring the spanking I got the night it was just Mr Fry and I.

So we went out on Strymon Road, turned at Mt. Vernon westward, then back north on Big Woods Road. This took us on relatively flat roads past a lama farm and on north of Janesville where the road turned into Garden Avenue. Then we zig-zagged up the old Trans Iowa V3 course past the south side of the Camp.

Ivory Rd. Bremer County
Then we zoomed down the hills along Quarter Section Creek and over to our south bound turn. All this time I hadn't realized we were enjoying the benefits of a tail wind and shelter from the woods near Camp Ingawanis, but we were.

As we emerged out of the river valley, I found out there was a fairly stiff headwind. It wasn't too big of a deal, but when you are heading back, it isn't my favorite thing to have happen. No big deal this day though, as the riding company was fine and the conversations kept my mind off of the winds.

Now we were getting back to the "old course" for the 3GR at the intersection of Marquis Road and Streeter Road.  From here on out the rollers would get bigger and at the end, become outright hills with fairly steep grades.  The road was a bit chunkier with gravel too, which made for a bit more resistance, but not too much.

Tiger Lillys- Already!
We got to the corner of Streeter and Mt. Vernon where we turned eastward and back out of the wind. On the westward stretch we saw another cyclist coming toward us with dust flying off his wheels. It was a shirtless, helmet-less mountain biker.  He probably freaked at the site of three geeked out riders and all of us hauling down the hill toward him. Made me wonder if we were roosting as much dust as he was. We exchanged waves and carried on our separate ways.

From there it was a easy ride down towards Big Woods Lake and the bike path. Back to the cars and then some nice chatting for a bit. It was a beautiful evening for a ride. The skies had nary a cloud, and the wind wasn't too bad, really. Surprisingly, it didn't even feel all that hot either. Just a lot of dust, but you'd expect as much on a gravel grinder, or at least you should.

So that was that. Another successful 3GR ride. Join me next Friday at 5:30pm at Gateway Park if you'd like to check this out for yourself.

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