|A field of harvested corn off Mc Chane Road.|
I rolled into La Porte with 55 miles under my wheels at 10:30am. Pretty good time and an hour in the bank against my time limitation of 5:00pm. I decided not to go to the convenience store and instead I stopped at the gazebo on the Cedar Valley Nature Trail to rest and swap out clothing.
By this time it was pretty warm, and a vest wasn't needed. I took that off and rolled it up and stowed it in the frame bag. Then I sat down to munch another half of a PB&J along with a few Dot's pretzel sticks and water. Meanwhile a group of cyclists came up the CVNT and rolled into the gazebo where I was sitting. These were recreational cyclists out for fun. Some of them recognized me as that "legendary gravel guy". I retorted back saying, "Well, I am either legendary or an idiot. One or the other!". This brought a round of "Oh no! You aren't an idiot!", until one of them piped up and said, "Maybe you are just a legendary idiot".
All in good jest there, no offense taken or given. I then packed up my stuff, popped on my helmet, and headed off to hit up Reinbeck Road and a big push Westward. The Sun was riding high now, and the wind, which had come up before I started going West, was out of the Southeast. So it was a quartering tailwind. That was nice!
|Head West. Looking up Reinbeck Road.|
|Some bridge construction on Kimball Avenue near the intersection with Reinbeck Road.|
Unfortunately Reinbeck Road was a complete mess of fresh, deep gravel. It was as bad as it was when I started the ride back near Janesville. The deep gravel was taxing my legs and the heat was getting hotter. I also had been distracted by the group back in La Porte and I had forgotten to take some ibuprofen and electrolyte tablets I meant to take. The ibuprofen to deaden my left shoulder pain, brought on by the rough, deep gravel, and the electrolyte tabs because I was sweating a lot by this point into the ride.
I knew there was a good place to stop at the intersection of Reinbeck Road and Ansborough Road. That's where I stopped and downed the pills and took a bit of a rest from the hard pedaling through all the fresh gravel. Once I left that spot the gravel let up a bit and it was more typical roadway for several miles, which I welcomed. Now I was getting into the Southwestern corner of my route. Here I had to make a detour into Tama County so as to avoid some paved roads. This allowed for a trek through the three straight miles of Level B Road on 110th.
| A field harvested and worked up already- and there is the rig doing the work off in the distance!|
|Near to the end of the three miles of Level B Road on 110th in Tama County.|
The plan was to stop and eat my last half of peanut butter and jelly sandwich on one of those three miles of dirt. I also ended up taking off my bandana from my head and my Sun-sleeves. It was beastly hot by this point. Like Summer-time, really hot! Worse than Gravel Worlds had been this year. I didn't bother to look at my phone to check the weather then, but later on I found out it had reached the 90's! From 40° to over 90°! No wonder I was cooking! What a wild swing in temperatures.
But the good news was that I had reached this end of the course by noon. I had 35 miles to go and five hours to get it done before my time limit! I must have been pushing it really hard on Reinbeck Road and not realized how hard I was going. I had bagged another 30 minutes since leaving La Porte City. Crazy! No wonder I felt cooked.
So, I came up with a plan. I needed to break this down into chunks. I decided I would go ten miles and rest. That meant I would have three chances to stop before the end. Okay, let's put this to bed then!
Next: Part four, and the final chapter to the GTDR/ToBHC story.