Thursday, May 19, 2016

Spring In The Country: Part 2

This post could also be subtitled: "How My Metric Century Ride Cane Up Short", or maybe, "Why I Need A Garmin Device", might actually be better. One thing is for sure, if my life depends upon doing math correctly, I am a dead man. Anyway, someone commented last week that they wanted more of that sort of post, (Spring In The Country), so here you go. Wish granted and all that.....

What a great day for a ride. Big sky over Iowa.
Country church number 1: Hope United Methodist Church
I went out on the usual 3GR route Northward. It was hard to tell what direction the wind was out of, but the skies were big and beautiful. The temperature started out cool, but with drier air in the area, it warmed up pretty quickly. It didn't take me long to ditch the windbreaker. I had a long sleeved Craft base layer with a Giro New Road wool blend jersey over that. The jersey is new and I got it on a suggestion by my friend, Dr. Giggles. We'll see how it works out. More on this in another post coming later......

Barns For Jason
Country Church #2: St. Johns Lutheran Church
I took an Eastward turn and added about 11 miles to the normal loop. I was figuring on this and also adding on the old front end of the original 3GR loop out of Cedar Falls. I was hoping that might add up to 63 miles, but since I don't have a computer or Garmin on the bike, I was left to guess. At any rate, I got in about six miles of road I'd never ridden before, so that was nice. A lazy wind was in my face at this point, and the gravel was fairly fresh, so I had a bit higher resistance while heading Eastward.

Some fine looking horses here.
I was obliged to take a mile section of pavement North. Blecch! Not my favorite thing to do, but it didn't last long!
Crossing Crane Creek
I headed back Westward and with that light tail wind and flatter roads, I was hauling. Despite the rough, fresh gravel, I was making great time through here. My left shoulder has been giving me fits on occasion, and this was one of those occasions. I figured on taking a break when I hit my Northward turn. That came a lot sooner than I had expected too.

School House #1: My first rest stop on the ride.
We stopped at Bennington #4 School last year on a Geezer Ride. It was abandoned as a school and put to use as a hay storage unit for years. You can imagine the rot that induced! It is amazing that it was brought back from such a state and that it now stands as a historical reminder of Iowa's rural one room school houses that dotted the countryside at one time.

Planting beans, most likely.
I didn't see but one tractor out in the fields on my ride. many fields looked freshly planted, and where corn had been put in, little emergent corn plants could be seen straining toward the Sun. Bean planting time is about now, so I suspect much of what I saw freshly put in was put in as beans.

Country Church #3: Another St. John's Lutheran Church
School House #2: Maxfield School
Before long I was back on the original 3GR course and headed up 250th Street. The road climbs a hill just before descending down to an intersection with HWY 63. That hill seems to be perpetually covered in fresh gravel. It makes climbing it a real chore.

Holsteins in repose.
Wild flowers as seen from the ditch near Tom's farm.
The first wild flowers that are not Dandelions are emerging now. I saw some nice purple ones and some pink-ish/purple ones in the ditch near Tom's farm where we stopped on last Summer's Geezer Ride. Apparently his peacock's weren't fond of me clambering through the ditch to get this image as the screamed at me while I was there.

The climb past Ingawanis Woodlands
Hmm......I think there is a road grader in the area! Freshly graded fluff!
I continued on toward the usual East turn off for the current 3GR course but instead I went West and covered the old 3GR course all the way back to Cedar Falls. Then the plan was to hook up bike paths, city streets, and alleyways back to the house to maybe squeak in a metric century. It didn't work out as I was about 9 miles short and out of time. Dang it!

Trolley Car Trail. If they ever pave this it will break my heart. I'm betting it will get paved someday. Too bad if so.
Well, that was disappointing, but it was a great day out on the bike. I'm not sure my shoulder could have taken much more anyway. That gravel was super rough out there. Black Hawk County must have a busted gravel sieve because I saw a lot of fist sized rock on the road today, which is very unusual. Whatever the deal, my shoulder was giving me fits. Other than that, it was a great day out on the bike.


youcancallmeAl said...

Man, I miss the prairies sometimes!!If you're born in the flatlands it never leaves you! That sky!!!!

Glenn said...

This kind of scenery is best seen from a bicycle. It's great to get out and explore. Love the photos!