|Six miles to the start|
That park is about six miles from the house, so my Geezer Ride started at 11:00am to give me the time to cover those six miles with time afterward to sit a bit before the planned noon time start. I need to be a good host and all!
I took a nice, easy pace getting there on the Pofahl single speed. I was geared 37T X 18T so it cruises okay on the flats. The day was perfect. Even the wind, which was stiff at probably 20mph out in the country, was from the "mostlyWest", maybe a bit from the Northwest, so going into that to begin with on fairly flat roads would be nicer. The only way it could have been better was if it would have been a Southwest wind. Oh well! At least it was not humid at all and the air temperature was climbing to a nice and comfortable 80°F for the bulk of the ride time.
There were few folks already at the park when I pulled in and we had more arriving. To start out with, there were eight of us: Ken from Pella, Shannon from Pella, Martin from Williamsburg, Aaron from Little Rock, Arkansas, Josh from Burlington, Ross from Cedar Falls, Robert from Cedar Falls, and myself. Yes, there were 9 in the end, but not to start out with.
|Shannon (L) and Ross. Bike Iowa represent!|
|Big sky, freshly turned soil in the fields, and freshly laid gravel met us early in to this ride|
As I related in my post for the recon of this route last weekend, there was a lot of fresh gravel, and that was also the case yet for this ride. Headwinds and fresh gravel! Oh yeah! Everyone seemed to be ignoring that though, given the amount of chatter I was hearing from those in attendance. The route took us down Holmes Road eventually and we entered Hudson on the pavement from the West where a driver gave us the "angry throttle" as they passed us and went speeding off into the distance. Whatever!
|Old Glory flying in the wind on Holmes Road|
|(L-R) Robert, Josh, and Shannon heading Southwest on Eldora Road where we picked up #9 and a flat tire.|
The first of those was a phone call from my wife. All the riders respectfully stopped as I took the call which was about meeting some friends after the ride. So, with that small interruption out of the way, I figured we wouldn't have to wait so long now for the brewery to open. However; as we were sitting there, someone pointed out that there was a bicyclist coming up the road. I strained my old eyes to see up the road and discerned a figure riding a bicycle which resembled the one I saw on the back of the vehicle just after the ride's start. Sure enough, it was Ray from Des Moines, who had indicated that he had intentions of making the ride. He was indeed on a Fargo, but a new one with the 27.5" X 3" tires and nice carbon Whiskey rims. Pretty blingy. So, since Ray was out of breath from time-trialing it to catch us, we delayed just a bit more to allow him to recover.
|Ross holding the stone "tooth" that punctured his tire. Image taken at the Broad Street Brewery|
After Ross got his Ogre back up and running we took off and then headed South on V Avenue toward Reinbeck. The final approach was on the Pioneer Trail in to town. Robert and Martin missed the turn, and since they were so far ahead, I couldn't yell at them to stop and go left. Instead, they reached HWY 175 and went in to town that way. As we rounded the corner on Main Street to Broad Street we saw something that we all found surprising and rather pleasant.
|There was a barbecue competition going on in front of the Broad Street Brewery complete with cask beer on tap.|
Our little group integrated in with no issues and we had a really nice time there. Extraction was going to be difficult, as our group was enjoying the beers on hand and the food which was completely unexpected. I couldn't have scripted a better mid-ride stop, and it was totally all by chance that we had as much fun as we did. That's why you have to come to these rides. You never know what might happen along the way!
Eventually we peeled ourselves slowly from the bar seats and booths, remounted our bicycles, and slowly made the left turn on to Main Street leaving all the frivolity behind.
|Reaching the turn to start heading East and then eventually back North again.|
|At the start of our Eastward trek on 110th's three mile stretch of Level B Road.|
|Ray, (L) and Ross looking up the road for our errant three riders to come back and tackle Petrie Road. (behind them)|
|Eventually the "Bonus Miles" club members came back to us.|
Then it was a few easy miles back to the cars where my wife was to pick me up and whisk me off to a friend's birthday party and a long night of conversation. The Geezer Ride was a success, everybody seemed pleased, and I was encouraged by the turnout. We'll do this again, sometime. Next Fall will be a different route, maybe somewhere else, we'll see.......
Thanks to all who came out to ride. I had a great time with you all!