|I needed to do this. Fresh air, BIG skies, and the smell of dirt.|
Well, the good news is that the weather has been improving massively since last weekend and Saturday it was supposed to get into the 50's. N.Y. Roll was holding his "Bar To Bar" ride which we reconned the route for the previous weekend. I wasn't interested in doing that, but he was going down to a bakery/coffee shop earlier Saturday to grab a bite and a cuppa, so I asked to join him.
N.Y. Roll came by the house just before 9:00am and we swung downtown to Rockets Bakery where a couple of other guys going on Dave's ride were already munching on pastries and drinking the black goodness. I grabbed a cup and drained it, then bid the gents a farewell and good ride as I wanted to hit the gravel North of Waterloo. N.Y. Roll had told me that there was some fresh gravel patches on the roads up that way, and I was eager to hit something other than smoothed out, "hero gravel" from the long Winter.
I wasn't disappointed either. In fact, it was good from the standpoint of one of my goals, which was to get some good review time on something I am looking at for RidingGravel.com. There was everything from the smoothest of smooth dirt, fluffed up dirt, rutted out road, regular gravel, and the aforementioned fresh patches. There had been some grading, but there was more of the stretches of mud, rutted out sections, and just damage from the Winter than there was graded road. Amazingly, the snow is almost all gone.
|The odd silo and round bales broke up the horizon line here.|
|There were only a couple of places left where you could see that there were really big drifts.|
So, I had to "hit pause" on the song, and then I had to figure out the compass directions. Easy enough, but nothing looked familiar until I came up on a cemetery which jogged my memory. I knew I was still near Denver, but I was no where near where I wanted to be. In fact, I hadn't crossed C-50 at all, and I was still in Black Hawk County!
|The gate says "Pioneer", but the name was changed back to "German Burial Ground". (More on this in another post someday)|
Now I used to worry about dogs here. That farm had four which almost always would come out and give serious chase. Fortunately, the house is far enough back from the intersection that once you reach the downhill, the dogs had no chance. Now as I came in from the North, the farm was to my right hand, and I was listening intently for the sound of barking, or heavy panting and beating feet, if the dogs should be ambushing me in silence.
I did see some sudden, fast movement on the other side of the fence line. Whatever it was, it was being quiet and was going to easily outrun me to the opening near the intersection. "Oh man! I'm going to have to deal with these mutts!", I thought, and I was still a good 50 yards away from the corner, still going up. Then suddenly a brown creature leapt above the fence line! A deer! "What the what?!!" Well, it was obvious there were no dogs! But a deer was the last creature I expected to see coming out of that yard!
|Another cemetery. Another picture.|
|Flock of birds straight ahead!|
Then I made another wrong turn! I ended up going down Burton instead of going two more miles East. Oh well! I ended up getting in three hours of good riding and another step closer to being ready for the Gent's Race coming up in two weeks. The itch for gravel was satisfied, but I definitely want more.