Monday, June 27, 2022

Country Views: Focusing On The Good & Not The Bad

Escape Route: West 5th >> West 6th>> Bike paths.
 It was a ride that started Thursday and got interrupted and finished Friday. That was just part of the many frustrating things about the ride, but I'm getting ahead of myself here. So, let's just get back to what happened on Thursday. 

There was a little bit of excitement as I got ready to ride on Thursday. I did not have to ferry anyone anywhere, (both my children have no drivers license yet), and I had a beautiful, Sunny day to ride as much as I wanted. That doesn't happen much this year, so I was stoked about that. 

There was also the fact that I thought maybe I had the Hammerhead thing figured out. (Stay tuned for the complete details of that saga) So, I had made a route and was hoping to follow the prompts on the device and see how that was to use. 

I got the Raleigh Tamland Two out so I could do a bit of testing on some tires, but also to finish up this round of the Guitar Ted Lube-Off testing, (look for that later this week). It was all coming together, and I was out of the door by 2:00pm and figured on not being back until 5:00pm. Then things kind of went downhill

I'll spare the details on the computer bit for a dedicated post, but yeah, it didn't work.....again. Then I was about to make the right turn on the riverfront bike path and the phone rang. It was Mrs. Guitar Ted. She forgot to tell me we all had dental appointments and that Jacob and I had to be there by three. It was about ten after two at this point. So.......

I didn't get here until Friday morning
The Cedar River from the CVNT bridge. Looked like it might rain, but I was going for it!

So, I made that appointment, by the way, after a bit of an outburst of frustration on the ride back home! But I had a window to get it done the next day, Friday, so I made a plan to get out and to try the testing again. Things weren't as nice weather-wise as Thursday, though, as thunderstorms were forecast to hit by late morning into noon. 

Finally! Gravel headed South on Foulk Road

This is not one of the biggest sprayers out there, but I still gave way to the extreme right side!

So, the computer was working, well, until part of it wasn't, but I decided that I wanted to ride, not futz around with a GPS device, and it was still giving turn-by-turn navigation. So, I pushed onward down Foulk Road into a pretty stiff wind. 

I like this farm on Miller Creek Road. It is pretty unique as far as outbuildings go.

That climb ahead on Cotter Road is one of N.Y. Roll's favorites in the immediate area

I had a chance to take a mile East on Miller Creek Road which broke up a long slog South into the wind. I was glad I put that into the route. Plus I got to see one of my favorite farms in Black Hawk County. Then it was South again, but only for four more miles. Then I was hoping that the Westward stint on my route would provide some relief from this wind I was bucking up against. 

A semi-tractor trailer rig leaves what looks like a jet contrail of dust behind it as it traveled North.

A stop on Quarry Road at Miller Creek to attend to a few things.

So, I turned West, and I could tell that yes- the wind would be less of an issue, but Quarry Road was full of deep, fresh gravel, and it went all across the road. There were no beaten in tracks yet, so bumping along on that was a slog continued. Now it wasn't the wind, it was the gravel. No relief! 

I was feeling something rattling that shouldn't be rattling. So, I figured a brief stop to check over the bike and futz with the GPS was in order since I was approximately half way through my 33 mile loop. What I found, I found by accident, actually. I had checked over a bunch of things and when I couldn't find what I thought I was hearing, I chalked it up to the slightly sloppy lever pivots on the TRP brakes. So, I grabbed the bike by the bars and the saddle to yank it off the bridge railing and....

What?! A loose saddle! The Salsa Ti Regulator has two 6mm bolts that clamp from the sides and both had backed off enough that the saddle could slide back and forth on the clamp easily. Wow! I was glad I found that, because had a bolt backed out all the way, well, you just cannot get that bolt anywhere. 

The sky continued to look iffy all the way back on Quarry Road.

That wasn't all. I decided I wanted the tracking to work on the GPS, and that maybe I knew how to get it going, since it was frozen. But once I got the thing going it would stop everything completely at random, and I'd have to go back and push buttons until it went back again, and the vicious circle continued for about four revolutions before I got frustrated and just shut the dang thing off. 

Then my free hub started slipping. Gah! And the gravel was still super deep and loose, my saddle wasn't right, and my GPS wasn't working, and this ride was going to........

I stopped myself right there.

This corn was pretty lush and dark green.

Another one of my favorite farms to ride by in the county.

Yes, I had a lot of legitimate things to be bummed about. But instead of focusing on all of those things, which were undeniably there, I also decided I needed to find the things that were going right, and there were a lot more of those things than there were things that weren't right. 

Whew! That actually made things a lot more tolerable, and you know what? I started to enjoy this ride I was on, for the first time the whole ride! The free hub hiccuped a few more times, but then it stopped and didn't do it again for the rest of the ride. I thought it was going to fail, it was so bad there for a while, and of course, it still needs looking after.

The gravel got better once I turned North on Ansborough. A lot better. And I had a tailwind. I didn't really need a GPS, and my saddle wasn't perfect, but it was okay. Better than okay, actually. I just was getting too caught up in my pity party. 

That oncoming truck was kicking up a lot of dust. Also- No GPS- No Problems!

Oh! And I never did get rained on, despite the darkened skies.

So, I ended up coming home well under three hours for 33 miles, and that was with stops. So my riding was above average for me, despite the wind and the deep gravel. I was pleased with that too. But then our washing machine and dryer went on the blink.

It never ends! But we'll be okay. there are a lot more things going right that I can look to and the things going bad are usually not that big of a deal.


Phillip Cowan said...

Good to see the Tamland dusted off and out and about. What has happened to Raleigh USA as a company? They seem to be all but defunct.

Guitar Ted said...

@Phillip Cowan - Yeah, that's a great question about Raleigh. You are right, they seem to be very silent. Their contact page is the only thing I could get to come up of their website.

I know that things were never the same for that company (the USA branch) after they went consumer direct. Then the pandemic hit and I suppose supply chain issues may have caused them to have to shutter the company. I know that most dealers dropped the brand when they went consumer direct back in the mid-twenty-teens.

Well, I am happy to have the Tamland Two. I always keep my eyes out for a through axle version as they are out there, but this one is good. Nothing wrong at all with how it rides.