Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Country Views: Calm Before The Storm

Arguably the "first" day of Spring 2018 was Sunday.
You just knew it had to end sooner or later. Winter was chased out of the State of Iowa on Saturday and Sunday was gorgeous. Stunning blue skies, Sun in copious amounts, and the temperatures soared into the upper 60's for the first time in the year. (At least around here- Southern Iowa is a different story.)

I decided to head out after a late lunch since I had to play bass guitar at church Sunday morning. I chose to wear my Bontrager long sleeved jersey, a nice wool one, and it was very comfortable, but barely so! The wind, out of the Northeast at 15mph, (add more for being out in the country), was keeping me fairly sweat free. Had there been little wind it would have been a different story.

I decided to hit up Newell Street to the East of Waterloo. It doesn't have many good North-South turn offs until you get several miles East of the city. That meant I was up against the wind until Pilot Grove Road where I finally made the turn to the North.

The roads are fantastic.....well, at least they were on Sunday! The County maintainers will be out pronto to layer on the gravel fresh, thick, and chunky for the Spring planting spree that is sure to happen around here quickly now that the weather has finally cracked. Last year corn was all planted by Trans Iowa time and this year nothing has happened......yet! 

I stopped by the cemetery we stopped at late last Fall on our single speeds.
 The roads are incredibly dry. Really dry. The dust is in mid to late Summer form here. Once fresh gravel is laid on top of this the dust will likely be ridiculous. Trans Iowa will be really something else unless it rains, what with the dry, dusty gravel. Riders should consider face and mouth coverings. For real. It's gonna be a scene!

But then again, if it rains, and stays wet up until the event, then it won't matter. Who knows! I've seen it flip-flop for Trans Iowa before.

Barns For Jason

 Once I had the wind at my back the miles flew by. The roads were smoother than pavement, at least most of the time. I ended the ride by visiting the Big Rock of Big Rock Road and tacking my way South and West toward Waterloo again. Once I got back in the City it was crazy busy with traffic on West 4th. The construction season will have that street way too busy for cycling, I suppose, most of Summer.

These carbon 650B wheels from Irwin Cycling are pretty fun.

 The country is just turning the corner from Brown Season to Spring with the ditches just starting to blush green on the edges. Soon the dirt will be turned in the fields and new furrows will be made by the planting equipment.

Birds are still migrating through the state. I saw a huge flock of Red Wing Blackbirds Sunday. They haven't quite set up shop around here, which should happen any day now. When they do, the birds will be harassing me every mile out there! Turkey Vultures soaring in the air are not finding much to eat, not yet. When the animals start moving again we will see more road kill. Then those soaring scavengers will be busy again.

Hoping for some flowers soon. Nothing to see that way yet. Stay tuned.........

1 comment:

Oolong4Go said...

25 miles of gravel this afternoon, only hit two pieces of farm machinery on the roads, but did meet a grader, and can verify that the graders have been very busy in Floyd and Chickasaw counties during the past two days.