Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Country Views: Into The Fire

Escape Route: Martin Luther King Jr BLVD.
Last week I was posting about how cold, wet, and windy it had been. Well, between the end of last week and Tuesday it went from the 40's to the 80's. Well, that just means less clothing, right? No more Winter gear and wool now! It was time for a ride. I had some errands and chores to do, and then I left about 3:15pm for a good ride to the East of Waterloo. 

To keep things in the single speed mode, I rode the Gravel Bus, and I wore typical Summer gear - for the first time all year. And I needed to. It was in the upper 80's with about 80% humidity and a light North breeze. 

I didn't really have a route plan, I just took off down Martin Luther King Blvd and pedaled until I reached Newell Street and went East. Despite heading Northeast on MLK, I felt great. Like I had a tailwind or something. It was kind of uncanny. I also wasn't expecting to feel so good on the first hot, humid day of riding for 2022.

Geez! Ya can't go anywhere incognito anymore! Seen on Newel Street.

The trees are starting to leaf out now.

The drought monitor shows that a lot of Black Hawk County is caught up on moisture now. However; the Eastern side has missed out on a few of the most recent rains and I thought things looked drier out that way. There was not much evidence of standing water, and fields were being worked all along my route. 

A rig out planting through some 'trash'

The sky had that hazy look I associate with late Summer.

I saw several planter rigs but the way things are being done now is so different. It used to be that fields were worked up into a fine dirt carpet, but now they just drill in the seed right through the trash on the top of the field from the previous season.

One of those roller rigs. A side-by-side is coming down the road from the North.

The Gravel Bus in repose.

I find it odd these days that farmers have evolved from using simple, plain pick-up trucks to side by side quads. I guess the new big, fancy trucks are too nice and too big to do actual 'work' so these smaller, more nimble machines which are more economical to use and cost far less are the new 'pick-up truck'. 

Back when I was young no one wanted a pick-up truck unless they needed a tool like that. Anyway, it has been a few years, and things have ceratinly changed, haven't they?

Pretty far out on Newell here.

A big ag sprayer takes up nearly the entire width of Nesbit Road here.

I continued to feel pretty good as far as the legs went. My hands weren't as happy, but these are the first couple of 2+ hour rides that I have done since the Gents Race the first of April. I am sure I will acclimate again, but it takes a while every year. 

Despite the heat, I was rolling well, and I turned up Nesbit Road until it jig-a-jogs and becomes Oxley Road. South then on toward Young Road and I figured then I'd come back from Elk Run through Evansdale and then Waterloo. 

This planter was panting right through some cover crops.

Another field sprayer racing across a planted field.
I was pretty pleased with my hot weather performance. I usually wilt the first few times when the weather turns fiery again. So, maybe all that hot weather training I did last year is still paying dividends, or.....? I just hope it continues to hold up when I ride now. That was fun!


DT said...

Too bad bikes don't come with AC like those big tractors do!

Guitar Ted said...

@DT - Ha! Yeah, there was a couple of times I was thinking about taking a dip in a creek to cool off!