Sunday, November 26, 2017

The Turkey Burn Ride Which Was Not Burning Turkey

The invisible part of this image was my main foe. That would be the wind.
There was a long standing tradition here in the cycling community where we would do a "Turkey Burn" ride the Friday after Thanksgiving every year. Usually this was a mountain bike ride in the woods, and eventually it moved to Camp Ingawanis on the "North side" trails.

I don't know when the last one occurred, but it has been several years since we gathered to do this event. I would say it has been five or six years ago, at least. I'm not sure why that is, but I also don't really want to know. It is what it is. Now days I just carry on with my own ride. It's easier that way. I can go out and come in whenever it suits me.

Not that an organized Turkey Burn ride would be a bad thing, but I am also not going to push for that. Too many irons in the fire already. Somebody else can pick up that torch if they want to. But whatever..... On with the ride report!

Of course, I have to say what I did wasn't a "Turkey Burn" ride, since I had ham for Thanksgiving dinner. So, technically it was a "Hamburn Ride", I suppose. Anyway..... I woke up Friday to the temperature flirting with 50°F and heading higher. Yes.... The wind was stiff, out of the South/Southwest, but it was going to be 60°F!! Of course I was going for a gravel ride. I would have been a fool not to, despite the winds. They weren't that bad, but a 20mph, constant in your face wind isn't anything to be sneezed at either.

Resting for a minute or two. The BMC with new Vitorria Terreno Dry tires mounted.
Before I left I actually had to set up a pair of tires tubeless to my HED Ardennes+ rims. I have just received a set of Vittoria Terreno Dry tires for test/review on Riding The set up was a tad messy since one of my valves had a corroded core and I ended up having to swap it out for a new one just before I headed out. With that done, there was nothing holding me back from heading South into the wind.

Once I went out on Aker Road I was struggling to maintain speeds over 10mph against the blast from the Southwest. Everything is super dry, of course, but I was wondering about Petrie Road. It can hold moisture well in a few spots despite a long spell of dry weather. I decided to head on down there and see what was up.

Moisture found. Petrie Road does not disappoint.
It was good. Petrie Road had three muddy spots and the rest was either semi-compacted sandy dirt, churned up sand, or black earth. Pretty much everything in one mile. That out of the way, I headed off North toward home. It was a revelation.

The wind was pushing me along and I was hitting 30 mph easily at times. Funny how that works. The day was warming up too, and I opened up my vest to let in some cooler air. It is late November, but it felt like a fine March day. Only the fact that nearly everything was brown and dead gave away the time of year as being late Fall. I flirted with stripping off my arm warmers, but it wasn't just quite warm enough up here. I heard it got into the 70's in Southern Iowa, and I would have done shirt sleeves in that temperature. Crazy stuff.

That's Hudson, Iowa in the distance.
I made it home eventually and those Vittoria tires? Well, they are pretty dang nice, as I expected them to be. I'll be writing up my impressions on those for Riding Gravel soon, so stay tuned on that front. But before that, I have some other things to attend to, and one more day before I have to get back to the "regular job" to get at that stuff.

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