Monday, March 29, 2021

Country Views; Going To School

Escape Route: Moline Road
Saturday, and really all last week, was wet. Too wet for my tastes and so I did not get out to ride in the country on that day. It was also pretty dreary all week long last week. No Sun! So when I saw that Sunday was supposed to be partly Sunny, the high winds did not deter me from getting out there. 

It wasn't supposed to be particularly warm, so I did use a pair of thermal tights, a long sleeved wool jersey, and a soft-shell jacket. The humidity was super-low for this time of year, so that all worked out and I stayed pretty warm. If it had been wet air, well then I maybe wouldn't have been as happy, because that wind! It was every bit as bad as that other day recently that I rode, and the only difference was that this time the wind was out of the Northwest. 

So my route plan was to go North first and see how I would do. My knee, my right knee, as you might remember, had gotten a little twinge of pain riding into that bad wind last time. Well, I tried not to push too hard. Spin to win! Ha! But that's the best way, and it worked! I didn't suffer any knee pain despite going five miles straight into that punishing wind. And Moline Road is all rollers, mostly uphill, which makes it harder.

Looking West down Mt. Vernon Road

East down Bennington Road

Five miles was enough too. I don't think I could have been going much over ten miles an hour, and probably slightly less than that, into that wind. As I approached Bennington Road, I could tell it was time to bail out of that brutal wind or my knee was not going to continue to hold up. So, I hung a right and weeeeeeee! It was soooo much easier to pedal! 

Looking Southwest from under the eaves of the Bennington School house.

Sage Road looking South.

I stopped at the Bennington Schoolhouse at the corner of Sage Road and Bennington Road. I thought it wise to give myself a break so I wouldn't overtax that right knee. For some odd reason I was also out of the wind there, which did not make any sense, as I was on the Western facing steps of the schoolhouse. Anyway.... Maybe I was getting a bit of a 'draft' off the farm outbuildings across the road!

I made my first "Big Rock" visit of 2021 at the corner of Big Rock Road and Sage Road,.

Surprisingly, this was the wettest spot I came across after a week of rains.

The roads I saw North of Waterloo are in spectacular shape and very fast. I saw very little fresh gravel, although I suspect that won't last much longer. I also was a bit surprised by the lack of any mud to speak of and that the roads were still very dry. This after a full week of steady rains. That just shows you how dry it really was before last week! 

So it turned out to be a successful test of the right knee. I wasn't wanting to ride too far with that massive wind. Even riding South there was enough side force that going down hill at approximately 30mph was sketchy at times in the gusts. So no matter which way you were headed, it was no picnic for one reason or another. 

Hopefully the Spring winds start to subside a bit. I can deal with some wind, but this heavy wind stuff is not going to work for me long term. But Spring will be waning soon enough. I probably should just enjoy it while it is here!


baric said...

So what is your take by now on that Redshift extra long Bar Tape and those top grips? I have had my eye on those top grips ever since seeing them at that Sea Otter video a couple of years ago and preordered and received a set just last week. Thought about the Drop Grips also but seeing incompatibility issues with my bar end shifters after a good closeup shot in your review last week. I've used various Ergon Grips on at least five different flat or alt bar bikes over more than a decade and am a huge fan. Solve all sorts of nerve and bad wrist pain issues. Love my Redshift stuff for the same reasons, especially that Shockstop Seatpost on washboard roads. Anyway whats your thoughts on their bar tape in the long run, time for a rewrap.

Guitar Ted said...

@baric - Yeah, well I guess it works fine. To be honest, I haven't given any thought to it. So, that speaks well to the tape working like it is supposed to. It definitely has a very grippy hand feel. I like it.