Sunday, August 05, 2012

3GR: Solo Again

Cooler than it has been lately...
The first 3GR for August was yesterday and going in I had a funny feeling it was going to be a solo ride. You see, Mike was at an event in Eastern Iowa, and Craig- well he only comes up every other weekend, and this was an "off" weekend for him.

That and the fact that thunderstorms were forecast for around late morning, and I can totally see why folks maybe wouldn't check out the 3GR this time.

Too bad. You missed a great route.

I decided to change things up and go a bit further North than we have been to get on to Ivanhoe Road in Bremer County. It is one of my favorite area roads to ride on. But before I get to that, let's back up a bit.

The ride started out with me feeling a bit less than stellar. I don't know why. I just couldn't get comfortable with my saddle, my left hand kept going numb, and my right leg, especially the inner thigh, just was feeling uncomfortable. Even my knee on the right side felt weird. I had my typical power and speed though, so I kept chugging along, it was just distracting and bothersome.

Going under the bike trail here.....
The roads were dry, of course, but they were really wash boarded and lots of fresh gravel patches were around. The ride was a rough one! Then there was the wind, which seemed to be against me going North and East, which was the first two thirds of the riding after I got to Gateway Park on my Orange Crush.

At least it was cooler than it has been lately!

The skies were mostly overcast, but for the most part, I never thought it was going to rain on me during any part of the ride. So at least that was consistent with about every other 3GR this year!

I did notice a lot of tarred roads in Black Hawk County too. People must be getting really frustrated with the dust. While we haven't had rain for over a week before the ride, it wasn't really as dusty as I remember last week's ride being, but then again, it may have seemed less dusty due to the wind. Other than these things, I did the "regular" route up to the corner of Hilton and 260th where instead of going straight on 260th, I made the left turn on Hilton to go further North.

Lazy, winding Ivanhoe Road in Bremer County
This is old T.I.V3 route here, and I always imagine what Ira Ryan must have been thinking when he was out here alone on these roads in the middle of the night in 2007.

I was just glad I was riding these roads in broad daylight, as the scenery is pretty good up here. A couple of big, tall wooden trestle bridges that are now rail trail for cyclists are visible up here. In fact, the road goes right underneath it in one place.

Ivanhoe is "off the grid" and there are not many roads in Iowa that are that way. I suspect that this is a former trail, dating back to before there were any "official" roads. On the map, it is pretty apparent it was once the main way from Waverly to Denver Iowa. Now it is just a quiet country road, little used, but perfect for riding a bicycle on as it wends and winds its way Southeastward.

I ended up turning South at Kildeer, which becomes Burton Avenue in Black Hawk County. Mostly down hill here, which was good, since I was pretty beat by now having bucked the wind and rough roads most of the way so far. The wind was almost a tail wind now too, which was a relief.

I ended up just taking Burton all the way into Waterloo, since I had no reason to ride back to Cedar Falls. By the time I got into town I was getting pretty cooked, but I did the whole ride non-stop except for waiting for a couple cars at intersections, so I felt okay with that. It also was getting pretty dark and rainy looking by the time I pulled back up to the house at 11:00am.

Great timing as it turns out- not more than 15 minutes later it was raining.


Captain Bob said...

Does next weeks fat 3gr start in cedar falls again? Pam's working so I have to find someone to watch the girls. Really looking forward to it!!

Guitar Ted said...

@Captain Bob: That's the plan. Gateway Park at 8:30am with fat bikes. I would love to have ya along for the ride!

Carson said...

Making me miss that area, great post man! Always enjoyed Ivanhoe Rd!