Monday, September 16, 2019

Fall Views: Dramatic Skies

Rain was on the radar, but I bet on it missing me.
Saturday was going to be a hit or miss day on getting a ride in. I had errands to attend to, plus rain was in the forecast. Originally the prognosticators were saying it wouldn't hit until later in the afternoon, but when I checked the weather in the morning, the radar showed a big mass of precipitation headed right for my area.

But, you never know when it comes to weather here. Just as it has in several instances this past Summer and Spring, the big mass of rain fizzled out before it got here. We maybe got a few drops. So, I was good to go with regard to a ride in the afternoon after all.

I managed to get ready and get out the door after 3:00pm. The skies to the Southwest did not look inviting. Hmm.... I also decided to start from a different spot this time. I went to a little village, now a part of Waterloo, called Orange. There I parked in the fancy new school lot and switched to riding gear for my ride. As I went through a back street in Orange, I discovered a small park, Lichty Park, that would be a perfect launching spot for gravel rides South of town. Putting that into my memory banks, I moved on and hit the one mile stretch of chip seal to Ansborough Avenue and headed South on gravel.

Before I left I peeked at the radar on my phone and saw that the darkening skies were due to some thunderstorms moving in a Southeasterly direction near to Orange. I bet that these would not drift Eastward and drag me into their wet clutches. Onward I went....

The dramatic clouds, darkened skies and golden fields made for great contrasts. 
Despite the threatening skies, I never got wet.
The wind was stiff out of the Southwest this particular afternoon. A pretty stout, consistent breeze that made the really chunky gravel just South of town a real chore. Holy Cow! They used some heavier gauge stuff, or laid it on thick, or something because the rattling I got was the worst I have had in some time. Thankfully, once I got South of Petrie Road, it seemed to get a lot better. The gravel, that is, not the wind. 

Barns for Jason
These oddly colored turkeys ran down the road with me for a bit.
The wind made the entire Southward push a big workout, so I knew that coming back was going to feel like I was on cruise control. I chose to come North on Beck Road and there are some hills, but with the wind I felt like a super hero on the bike. That's the pay-off when you are suffering going into the wind, that is, if you plan your route correctly and don't get shifting winds.

Barns for Jason- part 2
I just had to stop and take this image. FYI- This barn has already appeared as a "Barns For Jason", so it can't be used again.
The beginning of the return loop was good with the tailwind, but suddenly the wind laid down and there wasn't a thing stirring. That was okay. It still was far better than a headwind! The clouds looked menacing in the not-to-far-off distance, but they never got close enough to worry me. Later on in the day it did end up raining though, so this "window" of opportunity was good to take.

The super-chunk gravel greeted me back to Waterloo and I ended my ride. It was a good ride, and the colors were fantastic against the darkened skies out there. Trees are juuuussst starting to get showy, so soon Fall colors will be on full display here in the Cedar Valley. More riding will be planned to take advantage of this as well. Stay tuned.....

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