Monday, June 25, 2018

It Started With A Bang......

Temporary fix, but not good enough for 10 hours of driving.
Thursday I was getting everything organized after work. I had caught up with repairs, so I wasn't necessarily needed on Friday at the shop. I was planning on bugging out to Lincoln Friday morning instead. I had to get the "Truck With No Name" gassed up and then get home to pack.

The tank was full, and as I pulled out from the convenience store, I heard a loud clunk. I thought my front suspension had maybe made the noise. Then I heard rattling underneath the truck on the 10 block drive home. "Dang it! Something is wrong!"

I got home and inspected the underside of the truck and then I saw it. My gas tank was hanging weirdly. A strap broke that holds it in. There was no way I could use the truck to drive to Lincoln Nebraska in this condition. My wife needed her car, so no use trying that idea. My trip to the Solstice 100 was over before it even began. To say I was bummed would be a massive understatement.

To make matters worse there was something wrong with the driver's side door lock and I just about broke off the key. Fortunately I had a spare, but that would also need looked at. Friday morning I spent jerry-rigging up a strap to hold the tank in so I could drive the truck to the repair shop. Parts are ordered and as of this writing I am still truck-less. Probably will be till later this week. At least I ended up going out and having a wonderful evening and dinner with Mrs. Guitar Ted Thursday night.

Saturday I went out and rode by myself to assuage my disappointment. 

So, new plans were laid to go out with my family later on Saturday to see a movie. Saturday morning the weather was perfect for riding, and I got out and headed down South for whatever I could grab for a ride. I didn't know how I would be with fitness or how the roads would be, but at least the winds were a non-factor, being very light.

The gravel was extra chunky and thick in Tama County in places.

I ended up having to do battle with some very aggressive Red Winged Blackbirds, to start out with. Twice I had to dismount and throw rocks at the devils before they'd let me pass. Then I learned something about their behavior which I used to my advantage. Well, two things, really. One- they don't bother you at 14mph and above. Second, they do not like it if you can see them coming. They will abort their attack if they see your eyes. So, I was bobbing and weaving at times trying to make sure I stayed in eye contact with these birds because they know how to get into your blind spot. Once they see you are on to their game, they leave you alone. It was kind of like dog fighting aircraft. Actually I was having fun with that.

That was on Aker Road. Then, inexplicably, once I got off Aker that never happened again. So, I enjoyed the rest of the afternoon bird-attack free.

Two miles of Level B roads- no muddy mess! Surprising!
I went through Buckingham on new pavement, which was nice, then back into really chunky gravel west of there. I got North far enough to catch some more adventurous roads. I thought heading up the Level B road on 110th in Tama County was a fools errand, since we'd had so much rain recently. However, I only had a few sticky spots and the rest was fast, albeit a bit soft. I was pretty surprised I made it all the way to the west end of that stretch. Then I decided to go through Reinbeck and see what was happening- (not much)- and I headed out West on the Pioneer Trail back to gravel.

I saw this pretty pink flower and lots of others Saturday.
The roads either side of Reinbeck were "hero gravel". Super smooth and very fast. Earlier in Tama County I had encountered lots of deep, chunky gravel, but this stuff around Reinbeck made me forget about that. This area also was my third county ridden in for the day. Once I left Grundy County it was back to Black Hawk County's chunky goodness.

Barns For Jason
While riding out of Reinbeck I figured I could get in a half century and still be good for the movie time. So that's what I ended up with. 52 miles to be exact. It wasn't the Solstice 100, this wasn't a race report, but it was something. I'll take it. No reason to be down about the situation. It was out of my hands anyway.

And while it wasn't what I was expecting, while it was disappointing not to see all the friends and acquaintances I have in Lincoln, Nebraska, it maybe was just what I needed. I had an issue at about Mile 40 with my shoulder, the perennially problematic left one, getting pretty sore. (I blame the non-flared drops on the Jamis), and I had all I wanted in the 52 miles I did ride. Could I have finished the Solstice? I'll never know, and it doesn't matter. I got a wonderful ride in and it was a near perfect day out.


Greg said...

I am really liking the "looks" of the Jamis and wheels. Look forward to a report on them.

blooddoc23 said...

Gosh your corn is getting tall!

Ben said...

Had to laugh a little about liking Grundy gravel this weekend. I live at the edge of Grundy County but within a few miles of Tama, Marshall and Hardin Counties. Most of spring, cursed Grundy and headed for those counties (although it's finally worn down a bit in Grundy for the summer!)

Rydn9ers said...

Missed you on Saturday, MG said you had vehicle issues on Friday so we knew you weren't going to make it. Sounds like you got in a decent adventure on your own.

MG said...

We missed you this past weekend, Brother, but I'm looking forward to riding with you again soon!!