Monday, May 06, 2019

Country Views: A Rare Sunny Weekend

An ag machine spraying "something chemical" on this field.
This past weekend was a pretty glorious one, well for 3/4's of it anyway! Sunday afternoon went to the ducks as it rained and thunder stormed all afternoon. But before that happened, I got out on a shortish gravel ride.

This year I have a lot of things happening as my daughter is graduating from high school. With that happening, there are friends of hers that are also graduating. So, it becomes a "when can I squeeze in a ride?" situation amongst invitations to gatherings, school functions, and then also trying to squeeze in as much family time along with that as possible.

I, like I imagine many of you bike nerds do, tend to beat myself up if I have to miss a great day, or if I have to take a shorter route due to other circumstances. Riding is a selfish act for me almost every time I go out. I need it, but maybe not in the doses I tend to think I need it in. If that makes any sense. Sometimes I come to an intersection, look at my watch, and do some quick math. "Ah......maybe I could make the longer route work....... Nah! Better go back now." It's a struggle within myself to make a compromise to do the thing I should do, and in the end, most of the time, it is the right way to go.

But that doesn't make it any easier.

Usually, after "The Decision" has been made, I end up being thankful for the remainder of the ride. Thankful that I can even do it. Thankful that I had the time to do it. Thankful for the beautiful day and the beautiful land I get to see. Then I find peace. It's all good........

The roads were MUCH better compared to last Wednesday, but in still pretty rough shape.
Check out that tree to the right. The wind was really blowing hard out there!
There is this thing I liken to telling "fish stories" regarding the wind on rides cyclists do. You know, "It was sooooo windy! It must have been like 30mph right in our faces!", when the reality was that the wind was 15mph. I know because I have fallen prey to the aggrandizing of the wind. Once we brought a wind measurement machine, you know, one of those anemometers? We brought one that was a hand held unit to Trans Iowa. I think it was T.I.v10 or 12. Anyway, I jump out of the truck, thinking the wind was pretty impressive, and the little anemometer says it is 12mph. What?! You gotta be kidding me. Well, I put that thing away for the rest of the event!

But that said, you look at any current weather conditions, go out into open spaces far from a city, and tell me the wind isn't at least 10mph faster than they say it is in town. Try it sometime. I know when I was out the current conditions were for 17mph winds, but if you look at that tree in the image above, it tells a different story. I'm not going to say one speed or another, I'm just saying it was windy!

With the drier air and winds, the roads are now so dry they are cracking!
The other thing I was thinking about out there was how nasty, sticky, and gooey it was just a few days prior and how it had dried up so well that the road way was cracking it was so dry. There is that old saw about weather that a lot of people apply to their regions that goes, "If you don't like the weather now- wait five minutes!" Or three days.......whatever. All I know is that now this coming week we will be back to sticky, gooey, and messy as it is supposed to cool off and be rainy all week. Crazy!

Farmers are drawing patterns on the fields which, hopefully, will be filled with green things soon.
Somehow the farmers are getting crops planted. I don't know when, because I only saw one planter in a field this weekend. Maybe they have some new gizmo that does it while we sleep now. (HA!) But anyway, soon it is to be hoped that these brown fields will turn to green soon.

And somehow or another I'll find time to squeeze in more riding. I have a hundred miler coming up in Grinnell in June called the Prairie Burn 100, and I need to get some longer rides in. Rain, cool weather, and Life are conspiring against me here. Stay tuned......

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