So, I set everything out the night before and got into bed around 9:30pm to make sure I was well rested. About 4:45am I was awakened by lightning and thunder. Hmm......it wasn't supposed to rain. I grabbed my phone and saw that we were in for rain until at least after 7:00am. N.Y. Roll texted then and pushed the meeting time back, but the weather did not relent until almost 9:00am and the ride was off the table for me. I had to be done by 10:00-11;00 am so I could do some things with Mrs Guitar Ted.
So, the ride I did I did solo and I didn't get out until mid-afternoon. By this time it was hot, humid, and there was little wind to speak of to start out with. I grabbed the Twin Six Standard Rando v2 single speed and rode from the house to points East and North. While it was up around 90°F, and the humidity made it worse than that, I figured I shouldn't let all that heat training I did for Gravel Worlds go to waste.
|Looking East up Newell Avenue. |
|Looking East up Barclay Road. The corn is drying down fast out here.|
The country seems devoid of birds now. I only saw a couple of doves. Sounds of birds singing and chirping have been replaced by the constant drone of 'neek-breek!-neek-breek!-neek-breek!' of crickets and grasshoppers with the occasional louder 'bzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZzzzzzzzztt!....zzztt!...zzt!' of cicadas. It gives the country a lonesome, melancholy feel, at least I think so.
A week ago I was working up the giant waves in Nebraska on sandier gravel. Here, in Iowa where I live, the gravel is completely different. We've got that 'white rock' chunky-goodness. It rattles and knocks and makes your bike less stable. We've also got hills, but around here, these just don't compare to what I just rode in Nebraska.
I worked really hard last weekend and I think it gained me some fitness because even though I was on the single speed I felt like this route was easy. I was carrying a lot more speed, and it was okay, even though I am sure I am not yet 100% recovered just yet from Gravel Worlds.
It is almost like when you were young and that hill you had to walk up seemed so intimidating. Then you leave and climb some mountains and come back one day to that hill. It seems all wrong. Where did that big hill go? I know it was right here but all I see is this little rise in the road. Huh!?
And coming back to ride the local gravel now is kind of like that for me. Those hills were a pain earlier this year, but now? Pffft! Not a problem! Not even on a single speed. I felt good, but I know that I had to work at it to get to this point. And I am very glad I did that work. It made the two hour ride in brutal heat and humidity not so bad after all.