|Welcome to the Jungle- Iowa style.|
I had gotten the Blackborow DS out about a week or so ago and toodled around with my wife, so it was all cleaned up and ready to go. So I left and decided to go check out the Green Belt. I had no idea how many changes I would see, but changes were guaranteed. This is the Green Belt we are talking about here, after all. A place where change is constant and has been for as long as I can remember.
I didn't bother checking the air pressures in the tires, as they felt good enough and a little softer was going to be better since we had seen rain a few days ago and a light shower had passed through only a couple of hours before my ride. I figured that I was going to need flotation and traction, so erring on the soft side was going to be fine. In fact, the roll on pavement was only mildly annoying, so I knew then it wasn't too low after all.
|I hadn't gone very far before I had found some obstacles to cross!|
|I snuck up on this kayaker, who never realized I was right behind him.|
|For Locals: There used to be trees on the left here at the point where the dike makes the 90° bend.|
|This made me smile! Old school Green Belt returns, if only for a short while!|
Along about 1990 or so, I had been riding a mountain bike through the Green Belt on a regular basis for a year, maybe a little more than that. I'd walked/hiked through here for several years prior to that. So, I knew the trail then quite well. This spot was a shallow dip that the "feeder creek" trickled over at times, but was mostly just an easy corner with a significant dip. As some may recall, the late 80's were severe drought years in this area, so water run off situations were rare. That all changed in 1990.
We had a few gully washers and after one particular hard, long rain, I went out on the trusty Mongoose Sycamore and was flying along. I was looking to make the corner here, but when I got there, water was running over the trail at this very spot. Okay, that had happened before and the water was maybe 6 inches deep at worst. However; after so many gully washers, the ground had eroded, and it was, in reality, as deep as you see it above in the image. The water level at that time covered everything you see there up to level with the trail. I had no idea what I was in for!
Well, I hit that corner with a head of steam, and the next thing I know I am face down in the mud. I had cleared the water, but my bike! I looked and it was gone! Then I could barely make out my saddle just under the surface of the rushing water. Ha! The entire bike was submerged and it had been sucked right out from underneath me. My forward motion carried me over the water. Crazy! So, there was a bit of a "fishing" for a bike after that, and ever since then that ditch has been there.
I made it around to the lake with a couple more slight detours around fallen trees, stopping to toss off a few branches in the way, and hiking around two more really big downed trees with no work arounds to keep me on the bike. There were a lot of places with standing water, mud, and the usual helping of sand. The canopy of greenery was so thick it was a bit of a cold slap in the face when I got out to the lake and felt the cool breeze in the air.
I stopped to adjust my head set and I took a few images of some pretty yellow flowers as long as I was stopped. I also was trying to diagnose a creaking noise as I was riding. (You never stop being a mechanic), and I have it down to a set of worn out bearings in my flat pedals. I guess it is time to start looking for a suitable replacement set. I'll likely go with the Fixation Mesa MP pedals. Those have been stellar for me on my Ti Mukluk.
|It was good to get back into the dirt again.|
That was a good thing.