Saturday, May 07, 2022

Country Views: Too Wet To Plow

Escape Route: Sergeant Road Bike Trail South
Recent rains, which have been consistent and at times, heavy, have contributed to a resurgence in water levels in local streams and rivers. That's a good thing, but the consistency of rain added to the colder than normal temperatures have led to a situation for farmers that may get critical soon. Time to plant is running out, and the fields are too wet.

That doesn't keep me from riding out there though. When I get the opportunity, that is, and with my son now serving as a juror I have a window for riding opened up to me now that I wouldn't have had he still been going to college. 

So, last Wednesday, before it got gloomy and rainy again, I got out for a great ride South of Waterloo. Things were not normal in terms of temperatures for this time of the month, but they weren't really cold and it was not real windy. That meant arm warmers and a wind vest, otherwise it was normal riding gear. 

I decided to ride the Black Mountain Cycles "Monsercross" model bike I have. The one I call either "Orange Crush" for obvious reasons, or "#49", which refers to its serial number designating it as the 49th BMC ever made and sold. I have it set up single speed, so this was factored into my route and how far I'd end up going.

The roads were really pretty tame. Lots of good lines and hardly any chunky gravel.

It is too wet and chilly for planting now. The only activity I saw was this farmer moving some feed for cattle. 

I tried riding from the house and then down Sergeant Road bicycle trail to Aker Road and then I thought I'd go to Quarry Road and see how it was going there for me. I also needed a 'nature break', so I thought maybe that might happen there as well. The roads were fantastic. Lots of good lines due to the recent wet weather and hardly any chunky gravel sectors, although there were a few.

Quarry Road looking East

I finally stopped here near the intersection of Quarry Road and Kimbal Avenue.

I got to Quarry Road and just kept going East from that point. I felt pretty good, and the southeasterly headwind was no big deal. I kept pedaling until I found a bridge over a tributary of Miller Creek and there I stopped, finally, for that long awaited 'nature break'. It's tougher to find discrete places to take care of business when the crops are out!

A little respite from the winds was provided by these woods near the intersection of Dysart Road and Quarry Road.

It has been a few years since I've seen standing water from rainfall in ditches!

I had decided that I would try to get to Foulk Road at this point and then North to its intersection with the Cedar Valley Nature Trail. From there I'd have bike trail back almost to my home. But first I had to weather a few more miles of headwind and hills to get there. 

Once I turned North on to Foulk Road, I was out of that headwind, but Foulk was covered in more chunky gravel than any of the other roads that I had been on so far, so it was basically a wash. But that was okay as I had on the WTB Raddler tires, which are really squared off tires, and those rode over the loose rocks just fine. 

A rough looking shack seen along Foulk Road.

I only had to ride about a mile of the CVNT to get to Evansdale.

Once Foulk Road crosses HWY 218, it turns to a chip seal road until you get a couple more miles in and then it dead ends at the CVNT. Here I turned left and went about a mile before crossing the Cedar River. Just before the bridge I saw a figure crouched alongside the trail ahead in the distance. A rider with bike trouble? Nope! It was a woman taking her leisure during a 'nature break' of her own. What can you do? I just waved politely and kept on moving. She returned the wave. Life goes on....

The Cedar River as seen from the dike near Evansdale. The river hasn't been this high in two and a half years.

I wound my way through Evansdale on bike paths and the designated bike lane until I got to the riverside trail which leads from the outskirts of Evansdale to down town Waterloo. Then it was an easy six or seven blocks to the house, and that was the end of the ride. 

I got in a solid two and a half hours on the ol' single speed Orange Crush. It was a very nice outing. Not too much of anything, and I was happy I got to ride for more than two hours.

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