|Volage's Viaje was the ride for the day.|
I suited up and got rolling, stopping to get a bunch of images of the bike by an old, cement elephant that sits just off the bicycle path in Exchange Park in Waterloo. It is a last remnant of an older park that once existed on this site called Robinson Crusoe's Island. It featured many really cool things for kids to explore, play on and around, and fired up imaginations- mine included when I once visited here as a child. I remember the fake footprints and thinking they might be real. Such is the fun and mind of a child. Now all that remains is the elephant, and probably most folks these days have no idea why it is there, or what it represents.
Well, anyway.....I got going and hit the gravel North of town and headed out into the country. The wind was at my face as I headed out on Burton Avenue. Being that the light was pretty horrible for color imagery, I switched to black and white mode, seeing as how it was sullen and gray anyway, it seemed to suit the mood of the day.
|Grain Bins & Elevators|
|Harvesting activities were still ongoing despite the wet weather|
|Lots of corn still to be harvested yet.|
Suffice it to say that I saw this as a good thing and powered along until I needed to stop for a"nature break". Fortunately there still is a lot of corn left in the fields yet, otherwise it gets a lot harder to find a good place to do your business at. A quick stop in a rattling, dry stand of corn and I was off again.
I got as far West as Streeter Road and turned South. Okay.....that's a tailwind now! Not much of a push, since the winds were lighter now, but it makes a difference anyway. The rain had saturated the gravel at some points to where a hint of mud was seen to be splattered on the fork and bottom bracket. But mostly, it was such a fine rain that it soaked into the roadbed and what traffic there was had pushed the stone into the dirt in many places compared to what I had seen here last Saturday. It's a welcome difference from the dry, hard as stone road bed we've bounced over all Summer long and into Fall. Now the road bed was softer. More forgiving.
The bike was fitted with some 700c X 40mm Kenda Happy Medium tires. I had always wanted to try these out, and now I can say that I think they seem to be fine tires. Of course, I can't really compare to anything I've used since Spring because of the softer road beds, but in the looser, deeper gravel, they seemed to be okay. Hopefully I can get a read on them in the short time I'll have this bike around.
|Yes, the sky looked like this! Like B&W against color.|
It is funny how at this time of year, before the hard freezes, how any rain combined with cooler temperatures wakes up the grass and it turns that emerald green again, like it was in Spring. A last flash of life before Winter sets in and puts everything to sleep for a few months or more. Even some flowers have returned to grace the ditches again for a short time. It will be short too. Next week we're supposed to get pretty chilly around these parts. But it is late October, after all, and Winter is at the doorstep.
I made it home and had some lunch and made plans for recon of the Trans Iowa course this weekend. That and building up a gold fat bike are what's on the menu for this weekend. It should be a busy time ahead for several days......