Sunday, August 11, 2013

3GR Report: Local Knowledge

Spectacular weather
The 3GR rides of late maybe have had the very best weather for bicycle riding that I can ever remember. This last one has been another brick in that wall of goodness. Just clear skies, little to no wind, and pleasant temperatures.

Now, Mike was along once again, so what little wind there was came out of the North, because he is the "Mann av Nordavinden". Every time he's been on the 3GR this year, that's the direction the wind has originated from. Coincidence? I think not! 

We also were joined by a new rider named Tony who has been just getting into the gravel scene here and interestingly enough, knew all about the history behind our route. I'm a history fan, especially for the local scene, which is being lost to some degree around here. Tony filled in a lot of gaps with his knowledge and I came away with an even greater appreciation for the area and for Tony. Thanks man! 

We did scoot right along for all that jibber-jabber though, as we completed the route in 2.5 hours. I think that is the fastest 3GR this year. 

L-R: Mike and Tony
The ride started out about as always with a bunch of chatter, but then we all grew quiet for a bit as we found ourselves upping the pace a tick from the normal 3GR ride pace. Everyone seemed to be plugging along okay so I didn't see any need to back off. I was under a time constraint anyway, as I had to be back home by noon to allow Mrs. Guitar Ted and my daughter to head out for some "Girl Time". 

The ride for today was the Vaya. I had taken the steel fork off of it on Friday and went back to the carbon Winwood fork for now since  I am pretty sure my steel fork is a recalled one. (Gotta check on that yet.) The Vaya really shows how a lower bottom bracket makes a huge difference on a gravel bike's ride. Way, way more stable, even with the rounded Panaracer Pasela tires which I wouldn't say were anywhere near ideal for the road conditions yesterday. On the Gravel Mutt V1, these tires would be a nightmare, since that bike has a skyscraper bottom bracket height.  Gravel was loose and chunky in many spots yet, but there was some relief to be found along the edges of the roads. 

Just about the end of the line for these....
I recall seeing Tiger Lillys in the ditches back in late May. I figured flower season had come early and would have been long gone by now, but the relatively cooler summer and timely rains have kept the roadways beautified right into August. I suspect that will start to finally stop soon, but this summer has been tops for flowers. I have really enjoyed it.  

Tony helped me appreciate the route more, as I said, when he shared his knowledge of several things, including Ivanhoe Road. He says that Ivahoe was a traditional Native American path and that the settlers built farms along it. We also surmised that it served to pass goods from Waverly to Denver, since the road runs in a fairly straight line between the two, but the terminus of each end of that theorized pathway has been lost. Only the middle remains, and we get to ride on it. 

As stated, the ride went quickly, even after Mike peeled off to get himself back to Cedar Falls when we were closest to that city on the loop. I felt really good. The best I have in a long time, and even afterward I wasn't "zapped" of energy, just naturally tired and hungry. It sure is nice to be back on the upswing with regard to my health.

1 comment:

Jason said...

I had similar conditions in NW Minn. yesterday; weather was truly glorious! I also did 2 1/2 hours.