Monday, September 30, 2019

Fall Views: N.Y. Roll Ride

It's a jungle out there!
Saturday was a planned, very early morning ride with N.Y. Roll. I figured that we should get our ride in early, while my family slept in. My son was in a high school football game Friday night and that meant that nobody at the palatial Guitar Ted Productions headquarters got to sleep before 12:30am. Yeah.....I did not get a lot of sleep either. 

The alarm went off at 04:30 am and I rubbed my bleary eyes and jumped to it. I met N.Y. Roll at the Stone Castle Estates, where I was greeted by his dog, Ella, at the door. After a short chat, we were off in the direction of the Cedar Valley Nature Trail (CVNT), going Southeast out of town, so we could explore some roads that N.Y. Roll had been on and a few he had not been on.

Fall air was in play as it was about 52°F at the beginning of the ride, and it dipped down a bit from there. There was a mostly cloudy sky, (although we couldn't see anything at first), and a light breeze out of the Northwest. All in all it was pretty pleasant, actually. I wore my base layer, my Twin Six Standard Wool jersey, wool arm warmers, a vest, Showers Pass shorts, Zion liner, Twin Six wool socks, and I cut up a couple plastic shopping bags which I wrapped around my toes and then I put on my Shimano RX8 shoes over that. I wore a tube sock (or "Buff", as they are called) under my helmet. I was warm all ride long and never was really uncomfortable. Temperatures probably dipped into the upper 40's at some points, and it got up to 58°F by rides end.

I rode the Noble Bikes GX5 with a clip on rear fender fitted, and a Revelate Tangle Bag, along with an old Carousel Designs bento bag. I used the Giant Recon HL 1600 front light and a Bontrager tail light. Equipment was spot on for this ride.

A ghostly N.Y. Roll rides alongside me South of Waterloo, Iowa.
N.Y. Roll wanted to head over to the CVNT and take that to Foulk Road which would lead us South to gravel, eventually. Once we hit gravel, it was readily apparent that the previous day's soaking rain had not been fully absorbed here. I couldn't really see it, but it was more about how the gravel sounded and felt. It was still to dark to make out much, even with our bright LED torches leading the way.

N.Y. Roll advised me that we were looking for Miller Creek Road and there we would go left. It wasn't long and we had made the corner and when we did the dead flat road, on a river valley floor, was not very well drained or solid. In fact, it was in classic, "Trans Iowa condition", being mushy, muddy, and it was causing a lot of extra effort and concern for my drive train. While I never heard any crunchy, snappy weirdness from the chain ring or cassette while it integrated with the chain, I did get a bit of skipping at a couple of points. Mud was flinging off my front tire in the light beam, and I could hear the maelstrom of grit pounding off the carbon down tube and off the back of the seat tube. Not a pleasant sound! I was sure hoping this was an odd situation and that the rest of the roads were going to be better.

N.Y. Roll wanted to turn onto Cotter Road eventually, and when we made that turn South, we found that the road trended upward in elevation and the road was much firmer and faster than what I had been on before. Of course, now the light was growing as the Sun, somewhere behind those clouds in the Eastern sky, mounted up and brought forth day.

Up and into drier territory on Cotter Road. 
Stopping for a nature break.
N.Y. Roll's plan was to show me a set of rollers with a big drop off on Cotter Road, and then to head into Benton County a bit, before coming back North and eventually into LaPorte, Iowa. There the plan was to hit the original Rocket's Bakery and have a pastry and coffee.

Pushing further South.

Eventually we went South past LaPorte a bit and then circled back around and North a hair to catch HWY 218 North into LaPorte. Oddly enough, while several cars went out Southward, we were never passed by a car or truck all the way into town and on to Rocket's, it was free and clear. Riding pavement was a bit different, but sometimes I actually do this, and I haven't forgotten how.

Drafting into LaPorte from the South on HWY 218.
Someone carved what was left of an old tree into a corn cob. 

Once we got rolled into town it was on to get a pastry. I was hungry for the last six miles or so before LaPorte and I was ready to have that and a nice cup of coffee. The temperatures never did really warm up much, despite the Sun peeking out.

Highly recommended if you are ever in LaPorte, Iowa. The Rocket's Bakery blueberry fritter was great!
Heading out of LaPorte, the Sun actually shone for a bit.
After a bit of coffee and an excellent blueberry fritter, it was back on the CVNT toward Waterloo and home again. It was a good ride and I got 46+ miles in the legs by 10:00am. It was nice to be back and spend the day with the family.

Riding along the mighty Cedar River in Waterloo, Iowa.
The Noble GX5 after I returned home.
The bike worked great, and so did I! Ha! But seriously.... I did have to modify the seat tube water bottle mount with a B-Rad rail to get the bottle mounted lower than stock so it would clear the Tangle Bag. Then the SKS clip on fender was a Godsend. Without it I would have been plastered with mud and wetter than I was, and therefore colder too.

I am looking forward to more early morning rides! Thanks N.Y.Roll for getting me out there.

No comments: