|Escaping the city was made a tad bit more difficult due to flooding.|
I decided to get out and try to put in a decent length ride. Now, for me anyway, that is something over 40 miles. I deem anything less as a "short ride" and I am often less than satisfied with rides of that length. I need to work on that......
Anyway, I got out the "Bubblegum Princess" and prepped for a journey out into the country. I had been thinking that I was getting a bit bored with the same routes all the time. I needed to do something different. I didn't leave time to research a route and make cues, so I was in a bit of a bind. Rides I know from memory are the same ones I was trying to avoid this time! What to do? I figured I could ride the planned Geezer Ride route which never happened, but I wasn't thrilled about that direction. Then it came upon me what I should do.
Back when I rode mountain bikes almost exclusively, we used to do this thing where we would ride our typical loop backward. Then it became a "new route" because everything was backward and reversed from "normal". Climbs were descents, lefts were rights, and descents were climbs. Plus, you saw the route completely differently. You noticed things you had passed by a million times and hadn't seen before.
I decided to employ this scheme and ride the old 3GR route clockwise instead of anti-clockwise, which was the way I had always ridden that route. I couldn't believe I hadn't tried it the other way before. Now that said, there were parts I had ridden both ways, but much of it I hadn't, so I was excited to try this out.
|The fields are turning gold and brown, and the sky was marked with wispy clouds.|
|It won't be long before the harvesters will be busy in those fields out there.|
|Barns For Jason|
Now Streeter is hilly, and coming North I had to grind a long, long grade we generally coast down. Fresh gravel made the grind tougher. Steady as she goes! Make a rhythm and stick to it. The climb wasn't too bad, and I ended up on the false flat going across the county line. The dark smudge on the horizon ahead was the Denver Hills, and the road seemed to drop off to nothingness as I approached.
|Looking back at the closed bridge on Ivory Road. I took this shot over my shoulder!|
|Nasty section of washed away gravel road. You wouldn't want to hit that at any speed!|
|Where gravel is born! The gravel quarry is located in the Denver Hills east of the Boy Scout Camp|
That would be the small dog tied to a post outside of a dog house. He's been there for years. He barks and goes berserk every single time I've ever ridden by there. Poor thing! He's barked so much his voice is hoarse. I've a mind to cut the critter loose and set him free, but my friends with "dog knowledge" say that's as bad as tying him up forever, so, I don't know about that idea. Anyway, it's amusing and heartbreaking all at the same time.
So, then it was straight East and into the teeth of that wind. It was okay, just a bit slower going and I had to take it easy up the longer grades which feature into Ivanhoe Road. But right before I made it there, I stopped to take a rest and to take in the beauty of the area with all those leggy, yellow flowers waving in the breeze. This would have been right at the corner of Ivanhoe and Ivory. Just before the passing under the trestle bridge which used to carry a rail road, but now carries the bike path from Waverly to Readlyn.
|Ivanhoe Road looking Southeast where it goes underneath the trestle bridge.|
|Once the sight of a German church? Most likely, yes.|
I hypothesize that this empty space was where a church once was. Many rural churches had the cemeteries in the rear of the church, or off to one side or another. In the back is most common with Lutheran churches in this area though. This being an obviously German cemetery, it most likely was Lutheran. Some online sleuthing turned up that there was a church in this location. The church was founded in 1861 and moved to Denver, Iowa in 1902. According to a plat map of the township dated 1894, St. Paul's's also had a school on premises as well as the church building proper. That would account for such a large, empty space here today.
I love history! (And being able to look stuff up in the innergoogles). But, back to the story of the ride....
|A patriotic themed barn quilt as seen on Sage Road.|
As I stopped the Lab got behind me, which is generally what a dog does when it is afraid and sometimes they will snip at you from behind becuase of their instinct. This one just sniffed and barked though. The other dog actually approached me from the front and looked as if it wanted to be petted. It licked my shin and my hand but as the other dog was barking it seemed unsure what to do. Finally the owners came out and the situation was diffused, but the yellow dog wasn't ready to let things go.
I eventually got away with apologies from the farmers and a nice wave goodbye. Then I made my way back to Waterloo with no further incidents. Once back in town though, I had to re-route due to a train parked across 4th street. That tacked on a couple miles so I ended up with 44 plus miles on the day. It was a good ride, and my legs were glad it was over.
That's a great start to my getting ready for the ICGravel event coming up on October 27th. Hopefully I can get in a lot more rides like this.