|A perfect day for riding.|
So, the humidity broke Tuesday evening and Wednesday dawned cool and windy from the Northwest. I had some things to take care of on the ol' innergoogles before I could ride, but just after noon I got out for a little country ramble.
Of course, the desire is to go and ride all day, but that probably wouldn't be a very good idea right now. It is best to take steps up, and not try to knock off some gigantic mileage right away. Plus, the wind was pretty stiff Wednesday. Northwesterly and probably around 15-20mph out in the open areas. I decided to grind it out into the wind first and then go home with a tailwind. That meant going North and West first.
I chose to ride up Moline Road first out there and I haven't been up Moline going North all year. So it was fun to see the old sites I used to see every Saturday morning when I was doing 3GR rides. The scenery hadn't changed much and the gravel was rough. My friend Tony warned me that it would be. He'd seen the maintainers going out a few days back, I guess. So it wasn't just the wind, but it was also the rougher gravel which always adds some resistance.
|I chose the Tamland to ride this time.|
The latest change has been the saddle........again! I have had so many different saddles on this bike I've lost track of them all. Something or another about all of them previous to the newest contender have been a bother to the point I had to make a switch. Saddles I love on other bikes? Not working here. It's weird, and honestly, frustrating. The last saddle, a Pure V, was about as close as I've gotten to acceptable. I was pretty sure I'd stick to it, but then WTB sent out a couple saddles for me to try. One of them, a wider version of the classic Silverado, ended up on the Tamland and so far.....so good.
Anyway, I was going up Moline Road and as I noted the first time I rode it, the hills are kind of tough. They come in one after the other for several miles, each one getting you a bit higher than the next one, This goes on until you reach Bennington Road and then the rollers calm down and are more manageable. Every road North of Waterloo does that, by the way. I just think Moline Road is the tougher route. I will say a couple of other roads are pretty close though.
So, there I was going, up, against a stiff wind, and on rough gravel. I was working myself pretty hard. I bet I was going as hard as I've done since Gravel Worlds, and that was pretty intense. I noted my speed going up and it was steady and higher than I figured I would be going. No "survival mode" climbing! It was actually fun. But I knew I needed to keep the effort in check and not over do it. So, I turned West at Mt. Vernon Road and limited myself to 20 miles. That would be enough on top of already having ridden the cargo bike to recycle stuff and afterward I had planned on mowing the lawn.
|The ditches are rife with these leggy, yellow flowers which bloom in Iowa every August. Note the hungry bugs!|