Monday, March 09, 2020

Country Views: Spring Winds

NBD for N.Y. Roll Saturday. Headed out via bike paths.
I was chatting with N.Y. Roll Friday and asked him about maybe doing a "Rocket's Ride", like we had done last year in the Fall. It was supposed to be pretty warm here, like up into the 50's by noon, so I figured it would be a perfect time to put in 40 miles and have a little fun while doing it.

Except that I had forgotten to figure in the wind factor. And yes.....there was wind! 

I also had forgotten that I had Mrs. Guitar Ted switch the alarm clock program to ring only Monday through Friday, not on the weekends, so we could sleep in Saturdays. So, that mistake cost me a bit in leisure time in the morning. I had told N.Y. Roll I would meet him at 7:00am. Well, I awoke at 6:35am! Good thing I took the time to lay everything out the night before. I arrived at N.Y. Roll's home only two minutes late. I saw his new bike propped up outside, so I knew he hadn't left yet. After a quick hello to his dog, Ella, we were off on our way.

N.Y. Roll actually had accounted for the wind, so he suggested we head out on the Cedar Valley Nature Trail which is partially lined with trees. The idea being that we would be sheltered from the Southwestern wind. Unfortunately, this meant riding on top of the unprotected dike along the Cedar River's Eastern side to get there. A distance of maybe four miles including the trek through Evansdale, a small village just outside of Waterloo.

Cedar Valley Nature Trail >>> Great American Rail-Trail.
N.Y. Roll and I discovered that the Cedar Valley Nature Trail is now the Great American Rail-Trail. Actually, it is part of that larger trail. But that didn't stop N.Y. Roll and I from deciding we were going to start calling the CVNT the "Great American Rail-Trail" anyway. So, there!

This was better than being out in the open going South, but not by much!
N.Y. Roll's new steed- A Santa Cruz Stigmata. Here parked outside of Rocket's Bakery in LaPorte City.
We finally made it to our destination which was really good as far as I was concerned. I was in such a rush to meet for the ride I did not get any breakfast and after 20 miles of headwind, I was hangry! N.Y. Roll said he hadn't known me to be so grouchy! Well, a quick pastry and a couple cups of coffee later, I was sated. Time to move on. The proprietor of the establishment told us that were were the first cyclist customers of the year. He was happy to see that biking season was underway. I guess that means that N.Y. Roll and I were "first place" at something! Probably the only "first" we will attain in 2020. 

N.Y. Roll thought the gravel section was a race. On our way home again here on Cotter Road.
Barns For Jason. This is on Miller Creek Road.
N.Y. Roll wanted to come back via Cotter Road to see if "the ducks" were going to be out on a certain bridge over Miller Creek. These "mythical ducks" are supposedly very unusual looking, but I've never seen them, despite N.Y. Roll telling me I was within two feet of two of them on our Fall ride. (I think he is losing it, but I humored him anyway.)

There was a LOT of fresh gravel out already, and every road was super dry. I don't think the frost is out yet, but with the weather we are having, it won't be long and it will be. Then "normal" conditions will ensue, as long as we don't get a bunch of rain, or another cold snap. This is 100% opposite of what we had going on last year, that's for sure! I'm also 100% more happy about it. So what if it was heinously windy!

N.Y. Roll with his version of "The Look".
It was an outstanding day to be out as this was really Spring-like.
The wind was something, and I was worked pretty hard, but that is good for me. I need to get some semblance of shape going for our Gent's Race appearance in April. This early Spring weather is just great from where I sit, and a little strong wind will only help make me stronger in April. And it is Spring! The Red Wing Blackbirds are back, which means most all early season birds have arrived now in Iowa. Once the Turkey Vultures show up again, things will be "back to normal" once more. Ha!

A disembodied hand trying to steal my bike at SingleSpeed Brewing. (Actually it is N.Y. Roll)
N.Y. Roll was in a chatty mood and so he wanted to hold forth at SingleSpeed Brewing after the ride, so that's what we did. It was a great way to cap off a fun, but strenuous ride, and I appreciated the opportunity to hang out with my riding partner for the day a little bit.

More wind on tap for the days ahead, of course. It is March, after all. What should we expect? But at least the weather is nicer and we maybe can look forward to many days of Springtime riding fun unlike last year.


Phillip Cowan said...

20 mph winds with gusts to thirty yesterday! Good training day if you were heading south. In the midwest we don't need mountains, we have the wind, lol.

NY Roll said...

I think next time I need to pack PBRs for ditch beers. Thank you for humoring me

sherpaxc said...

Is that an old Carousel Design works top tube bag? If so, that is some OG stuff right there!

Guitar Ted said...

@sherpaxc - Yes, it is. I have the matching seat pack as well. (Thanks to Todd S if you happen to see this, by the way!)