Thursday, September 13, 2018

Too Early

End of the line for the single track here.....
The Cedar Valley just experienced some major flooding. The crest was over the weekend and the flood warning went away after Tuesday. Wednesday I decided I needed to get something other than gravel riding in. A steady diet of gravel, when I could ride, was all I had done since "fat bike season" ended last Spring.

So, I grabbed my single speed Sawyer and decided to go see if the single track in the Green Belt was still under water or what. Originally I had no intentions or thoughts that I even could ride in the Green Belt. I figured I would end up on top of the dike, at best, and just do some viewing of the carnage.

I saw that the flood gate, which is used to close down the road when the water is high in the Green Belt, was open. I figured I'd go take a look. The grass was dried out, so I went down in and found that it wasn't bad. I got sucked in and tried the wide "single track" which runs out to Ansborough and the parking lot there. Actually, it wasn't bad for the first half.

Well, then it got slimy, the wheels packed up, and I was sliding like I was on ice. Not sinking in, but slipping. The mud was firm, just really greasy. I had to walk it, but then I came upon the end of the line. (See the image at left here) The flooding changed things and the old way was gone. It was time to figure out how to go forward, because, you know......going back wasn't an option! I mean, c'mon! 

So, I looked around for a way forward and eventually I did find a way. It involved a bit of wading, some bushwhacking, and trudging along with a bike that probably weighed 50lbs with all the wet mud stuck on it. 

The way through was found here. Yes- it was a mess.
I managed to get to drier ground, scraped off a bit of mud, and then tried riding, which didn't last long. I was off again pretty quickly, and this time I just gave up and walked out to the parking lot area. There I grabbed a stick and scraped a bunch of mud off and then headed up onto the dike on the North side of the Black Hawk Creek. I ended up riding a while hoping that the dry grass would clear off the mud, but this mud was so wet and sticky it wasn't coming off. So, I stopped and grabbed my tire lever and went to work.

Finally cleaned up.....well, kinda!
Okay, so the Green Belt isn't quite ready yet. My bad. Too soon! But it was fun to do a different form of riding and break it up a bit. Hopefully things bounce back soon around here because Fall is so great for riding the Green Belt. I gotta get my fat bikes going too. Meanwhile I have a very messy Sawyer to clean up! That's the price you pay for playing in the mud.

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