Monday, May 02, 2022

Country Views: May Day

Escape Route: Various Cedar Valley Bicycle Trails.
 April. Sheesh! What was that?! All I know is that it really was not a good month for me and cycling. The weather..... Oh my! Just not a good month. 

Nuff said- moving onward.....

So the first day of May and guess what? It is windy as all get out, cool, and dreary. Uggh! Same deal, different month! So, I had about enough of this nonsense and I wasn't going to fritter away a perfectly good chance to get out on a ride because of crappy weather. Besides, Mrs. Guitar Ted was out of town and both kids were at their jobs. No sense in wasting time then!

I've seen bad May weather and I've seen it snow in May, but having to dig out the Winter bibs and shoes again was depressing. Oh well.... I had a plan and I was going to execute said plan. 

Big Woods Lake Park is a pretty nice place to ride through.

I finally reached gravel when I got to Leversee Road.

I planned on traversing Westward via mostly bicycle paths to stay out of that strong Westerly wind. It was blowing pretty steadily at around 25mph or so. That made the 40's feel like lower 30's outdoors, thus the Winter gear. 

Once I got through the bike trails and as far West and North as I could get on those, it was only three miles more Northward to get to Bennington Road and then get on East with a major tailwind. The roads weren't too bad after all the rains we had either, and there was no fresh gravel. 

Bugs and a Barn

Bennington Road looking East with all its waves and bends running off into the distance.

It sure looked as though it could rain at any minute, but the weather said no chance. But I still felt less than prepared with no rain jacket along for the ride. Thankfully, it never rained a drop! Still, it was chilly, for the first of May. Especially when I should have been in short sleeves by now. 

All this cool, wet weather has postponed Spring and Spring planting as well. I did see a few fields planted, but many fields haven't been touched since last Fall. There was zero farming activity on this day to boot. It just hasn't been good for plants, flowers, or fauna so far. I imagine we will end up having one of those "zero-to-sixty" Spring into Summer deals with a three to four day transition from cool, 40's and windy to 80's, humid, and windy. 

Spring has been slow on the uptake due to all the cool, wet weather. Here a scene from along Wagner Road.

Sometimes a pasture would provide a brilliant splotch of green.

Going East was pretty easy, as expected. The roads improved to 'hero gravel' status, and I was cooking along rather well on my Noble Bikes GX5. The wheels were a bit of an issue because of their deeper carbon profile and the wind was catching them and jerking the bike around. That was about my only complaint during this ride. 

An example of where some field work has been done.

Redwing Blackbirds flitting about in the air above Moline Road near Donald Street.

There were a lot of birds everywhere. All types of whistling, singing, and rasping voices could be heard in every little grove and along the weedy ditches. Redwing Blackbirds are back enforce and they were building nests and getting ready to go on patrol. I saw three Redtail Hawks chasing each other. It was nice to see some wildlife activity after so long with everything dead and quiet out there. 

As I came down East Donald Street alongside Gates Park Golf Course, a gentleman sitting on his porch waved a hearty wave and asked, "How far ya goin?". I replied, off the top of my head, and trying to be modest, "About 20 miles!". The man shouted "You da Man!" as I rolled away. That made me feel good. 

And I actually went about 27-ish miles, in about two and a half hours, so that was very good. I felt pretty bushed when I got home out of all that wind and cold!


Okie Outdoorsman said...

Great photos, as usual! Really like the one of Bennington road. That small strip of dark blue sky on the horizon sets it off for me. Really appreciate the photos that you take on your rides. I try to do the same with mine, but not always with as good results. As I am getting older, I am enjoying the photography part of the rides more and more. Great blog, Mark.
Thanks for posting!

Guitar Ted said...

@Okie Outdoorsman - Thank you! I appreciate your taking the time to comment with that.

I love when I can grab an image like the Bennington Road one. It shows that Iowa is definitely not flat!