Thursday, September 26, 2019

Fall Views: Harvesting Just Beginning

Despite threats of showers, I went on a ride South of town.
The season of Fall officially started, in terms of the solar system, but Fall generally is really already happening by now anyway. Even the corn fields and bean fields are being cleared by this time, which, if that isn't fall, I don't know what is. This year has been quite odd in this regard though.

Due to a cold, wet Spring, fields weren't planted until late, and this has caused the harvest to have only juuuuust started now. Many fields are a long way out from being ready. To give you somewhat of an idea of how wacky this growing season has been, I saw a large local farm's truck selling fresh sweet corn on a street corner yesterday. It's almost October! Usually sweet corn is all done by the time school starts.

Farmers are worried that we will have a killing frost before the corn dries down, and if we do..... Well, let's not think about that. A couple more weeks and most of the corn and beans should be fine. But it is getting down into the 40's at night on occasion already.

Anyway, so it's been kind of a weird Fall so far, with all this green-ish corn and bean fields only now just getting dried out to the point that they can be harvested around here. I saw one or two bean fields that had been cleared on my ride. Speaking of riding, I started riding one of the bikes in the "Guitar Ted Lube-Off" challenge, the Noble Bikes GX5, to be exact, and I decided to run South of town to get away as far as I could from some occasional spitting rain. I decided to ride out of that Lichty Park I mentioned earlier, down in Orange.

Clouds were variable, but it felt a LOT like Fall yesterday.
I came across this County maintainer on Quarry Road.
The wind was pretty stiff out of the West/Northwest. Much like a Fall wind, and while it was not cold, it wasn't warm enough for just a jersey either. I was super glad I had a vest. Just right! 3/4 length Twin Six pants and wool socks made the 60's and the chill in the wind feel okay.

The gravel was chunky South of town and there were no lines for smoother travel until I got about four or five miles out. Then it smoothed up a bit, but last night's rain made much of the road surface soft, and it was even muddy in places. I avoided the mushy bits, but even then, sometimes my wheel would get sucked in and man! What a reminder that soft roads take so much more energy to ride! It didn't help that I wasn't really feeling my best on the bike either. The "I'm dragging an anchor" feeling wasn't helped by those mushy bits of road!

Barns For Jason
Despite the presence of heavy clouds at times during my ride. I only got sprinkled on once for a short time. 
Going South felt...normal, going East felt okay, but I could swear that I was bucking a tiny bit of wind in either direction. Maybe it was my legs, because when I turned back North, there it was! The headwind was definitely a quartering one, but I was now pushing against it, no doubt at all. The bits going West were just brutal! Uggh! New roads to me though, and that made it a bit less of a slog. I just didn't like the one mile of pavement I had to ride to make my loop work. Oh well! Roads bagged. Don't have to ride them again.

Barns For Jason- Part 2
Barns For Jason - Part 3- This is a rare one made of brick and wood.
To get the loop in I actually had to go back South one mile after trying to get North, then over three miles, and back up that mile I went South. Roads are fairly gridded out in Iowa, bit things like creeks, ponds, and other natural things. So, sometimes you have to "go round" and add a mile here and there to get where you want to go.

I'm pretty sure there used to be a barn here. Now all that is left is the silo.
The steed for the day: The Noble Bikes GX5
The rain stayed away, for the ost part. I did get sprinkled on right at the end there, but I got the ride in and no drama with weather. So, that was a good deal. two hours in on one of the three chain lubes now. Next up- one of the other bikes/lubes I will be testing. 

In the meantime, I am hoping to get a chance to ride the C.O.G. 100 course for recon Saturday, weather pending. Stay tuned.....

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