Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Back On It

I visited Petrie Road again.
This post-Trans Iowa period took a bite out of my riding. I wasn't in any shape to go out into the country again until last week. My first post-Trans Iowa ride was down to visit Petrie Road, the only through-Level B Road in Black Hawk County which isn't linked to pavement or dead ended into a limited access highway.

I'd heard a rumor this section of Petrie had been declassified to Level C Maintenance, which means it gets gates and access is only allowed by the local farmers. I can see this happening someday as the farmers that live around this road are stumping for that change. Especially one farmer that we ran afoul of during T.I.v12. (It all turned out okay in the end.) They are tired of getting visitors in the dead of night that have gotten stuck trying to traverse this nasty strip of Iowa dirt, clay, and sand. I get it. But I hope it doesn't ever happen, for selfish reasons, and I admit that.

The ride almost was a bust right out of the gate, as I completely forgot to bring any water. I didn't realize this until I was well into the ride I had planned, so I couldn't turn back home and grab a water bottle and still have time to do what I wanted to do. However; I figured out how to make my route swing through the city of Hudson and the Casey's that is there. That made the ride doable without putting myself into water deficit. Onward to Petrie Road! The bonus was that I now had the wind in my favor as I made my way there.

Not a lot of greenery out here yet.

I found that the rumors of Petrie's demotion to Level C were wrong. That was a good thing to see. The road had water pools, mud, sand, and ruts a plenty. The agricultural activity has been high on Petrie's Level B section and those machines have the sandy bits churned up pretty well. You had to pay close attention to the ruts as the wrong choice might lead you to a dead end into grassy strips along the road's margin's or lead you to a wicked transition between ruts. The Vittoria Terreno Dry tires are really champs out here in stuff like this. I was glad to have had them on.

It was great to get out again. I missed it terribly. That said, it's been slim pickens for riding time due to various obligations, family time, and weather. Plus I have basically had to start from zero with training. That's another thing Trans Iowa always did. Knocked me backward a couple months in training. But now I am looking forward to more regular riding times.


Barturtle said...

I was wondering what Level C was, after seeing one outside Grinnell. So, what would happen if a cyclist happened to, in theory of course, go around those gates?

Guitar Ted said...

@Barturtle- Theoretically it can be viewed as trespassing. I'm not sure how the law views such a matter though. My understanding is when a road becomes Level C it is under the jurisdiction of the landowner adjacent to the road, but ownership of the right of way is retained by the County. This allows the County to re-open the road at anytime they see fit. Or to use the road as a throughway in an emergency, etc.

Level C's can range from ride-worthy riparian stretches of beauty to non-existent, impassable former roads which only exist on plat maps. We came across one during a GTDRI which had the gate open, so we pushed through and as it turned out, it was one of the best roads we got to ride all day. A perfectly good two track through a beautiful wooded pasture. Usually I avoid doing any riding on Level C's and I encourage others to not ride them as well without express permission from the adjacent farmers.

Ari said...

As bike mechanics we also get stuck inside repairing bikes while the sun shines outside. In another life I will work at a Ski shop!