Tuesday, May 05, 2015

So, What Else Have You Been Up To Lately?

Dirt home from work: The Bluebells were out last week.
Trans Iowa was obviously on my brain for quite a while during the month of April, and now with all of the hoopla behind me I can get down to the business of writing "normal" stuff here on the blog. That is, if anything found on these digital pages can be considered "normal". 

So, anyway, I got done with Trans Iowa early and Sunday was a relaxing day with my family. Monday, which post-TI normally finds me a wreck, was just a normal day with extra time on my hands. Jeremy texted me about riding the 3GR course, so that's what we went out and did.

It was a good ride back on the old stomping grounds and I did okay, I think, considering I'd been off a bicycle for the better part of a week. The day was perfect. Not a cloud in the sky and the winds were light. Well......it wasn't totally perfect. On the way out of town I ran over a tack. A real tack. How often does that happen? Anyway, the result was a flat tire fix before we even reached the gravel.
On Monday last week I fixed a flat tire. (Image by J. Fry)

The rest of the ride went without incident and was marked mostly by rough, fresh gravel and seeing farmers in the fields planting. It ended up getting warm by the end of the ride and my feet were roasting in my Fasterkatts. Hopefully that will be the last time I need those boots until this Fall.

Then it was back to the ol' grindstone. I was fearing that, having been off for four straight days, the repair backlog was going to be deep. However; as the bad weather was a negative for Trans Iowa, it was also the reason the repair backlog was manageable. In fact, it was easy to integrate back into the work flow and as far as that goes, I was happy. There was a bit of a sadness for the week last week as my boss' mother died the day of the Meat-Up and we sent along our condolences and commiserated with him following the memorial service when he came back to work..

So, besides that dark cloud, work went well and I was able to relax after work most of the week since I busted out the huge Trans Iowa report in two days- Monday and Tuesday- so I could effectively take the rest of the week off from the blog as well. After work times were also marked by "Fat Fargo" rides and that was fun to get back out into the woods again after a long break. I'll have more to say about the "Fat Fargo" concept soon, so stay tuned on that front.

Then came another weekend and the first "3GR" of 2015. If you are fairly new here, "3GR" stands for "Gravel Grinder Group Ride" and it was something I cranked up on Saturday mornings early on in 2012. I did them for two years, then I took last year off. However; I missed those ride times, and with events on the horizon, the 3GR is a great way for me to tune up fitness and lay down some consistent miles. Saturday was a great day for a ride too.....

A rather large, (for 3GR) group showed up. There were six of us in all. 
The roads were deep with dust or torn up by graders. It was tough to find any good lines.
The rolling hills in the area of the Boy Scout Camp are fun. 
A grain auger dealership in the middle of no-where. This same road also has a Honda marine repair shop as well!
Farmers were out again getting the fields prepped and planted.
The big story for the 3GR was that the roads were deep with dusty sections, or covered in fresher gravel. There weren't any good lines, really, and it was very dusty. Then there was a stiff Southwesterly wind which was gusty. You know the wind is bad when it whips up gravel dust and pushes it down the road like a mini-dust storm.We were struggling to stay at around 12mph, and there were a few rest stops coming back.

We also made the stop at the coffee shop and I enjoyed some great conversation with Robert, Tony, and Craig, who made the trip up from Mount Vernon just to ride with us. I was pretty cashed out afterward since I had put forth a pretty big effort in an attempt to gain some fitness for the Dirty Kanza 200 coming up at the end of the month here. I'll have more to say about that coming up as well.

So, things have swung back to normal in the last week or so and now I am looking forward to a really busy Summer of bicycle riding and more. There will be a trip to the races, Mother's Day, and the aforementioned DK 200 all just in this month alone. Okay........here we go!

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