Wednesday, July 05, 2023

Country Views: 4th Of July Ride

Escape Route: Sergeant Road bike path.
The plan was to get up early, get out by 6:00am, and beat the impending doom of heat that the weather-people were claiming was on our way. Well, they didn't say anything about an early morning thunderstorm! So I ended up having to wait a bit before heading out.

I had been checking out previous 4th of July rides and noticed that I had used my Noble Bikes GX5 probably four years in a row for the 4th, so I thought I'd change things up and ride the Twin Six Standard Rando v2. Besides, Twin Six has a motto for the bike, "Freedom Machine", which fits the theme for a 4th of July ride rather nicely, I think. 

I experienced some consternation when the Wahoo wasn't cooperating with me, (more on that later), so I had to just forget about that and focus on just having some fun. Once that was decided, I was off and rolling.

This is about as clear as the skies have been in over a month.

Not everyone gets the 4th of July off from work.

That rain I spoke of? Well, that and the combination of several other days of thunderstorms and showers has conspired to make the roads wet. Kind of like a Springtime situation. Everything was at least somewhat mushy. Some places more than others. I could see the impression of another cyclist's tires in Aker Road, so I knew I was fighting that a bit. Not to mention a fairly stiff headwind. 

Most of the corn isn't quite this tall, unlike other years, I suppose due to the dry weather in June.

Man! I was sure glad to turn out of that South wind when I did. I wasn't firing on all cylinders or something. My breakfast wasn't settling well with me, and at times I felt nauseous. I never got real comfortable on the bike and I felt tired. But I plugged along anyway. 

If you look close here you can see the chicory flowers. Obviously, the road was pretty chunky here!

Pretty sano flag display here.
Heading East the road was difficult in spots. There was alternately either lots of gravel with a wet base or just mushy dirty gravel. Sometimes there were good lines. I was quite surprised at the condition of the roads out there. 

You can see how the dirt is getting pulled up through the gravel in spots here due to the saturation of water.
I was surprised to find a lot of trees missing here.

I rolled up to the sharp hill where Quarry Road crosses Dysart Road. This is the area where Quarry Road takes its name from as there are quarries at each corner here. All of them are retired from active usage and have been filled with water for years now. 

There always were trees lining the road here so thickly that you couldn't see the small lakes formed by the quarries. But I saw now where there trees are gone, grubbed out right down to the Northwestern lake's shoreline. Big huge piles of chipped wood sit there now. I'm not sure what is going on here but it sure looks interesting.

Rolling North and I was thinking about how this ride was going to end. I could just go over the Cedar River on the CVNT bridge and head back the "usual way" or I could try something different. I needed to think about something like that because I needed the distraction from not feeling the greatest on this ride. 

I was contemplating one way, which I had done once, but I wasn't feeling it, so I ended up taking this bike path on a whim. It ended up dumping me right back into the road after about a half mile. I mean.....why?! Why even bother making that bit, unless they have plans, but sheesh! It was not only a dead end bike path, but the road had zero shoulder and traffic was going 45mph. Nice! 

Day lillies have been severely stunted this year by dry weather. This was the best I've seen this year here.

Almost off the gravel by this point. The roads were mushy the entire way.

I ended up over by the casino in Waterloo, a very high traffic area, and I had to blitz across an intersection that had been designed with no concern for pedestrians or cyclists at all. Then I found another bike path. It went about a half mile then it made you cross at a busy turn off to an amusement park to get to the other side where the path picked up again, only except there is construction now, so it's closed. 

Oh yeah, and ALL of that is brand new and really stupidly designed. Great! I should have just stayed on the road.Then there was this.....

Adventure time!

Honestly, this was great. No traffic since the road was closed, obviously, and no construction was going on because it was the 4th of July. Perfect! I could navigate this with no issues since I would have no cars at all to deal with. 

It was muddy, but rideable. Barely. I laid down some awesome mud chunks on the bike path once I cleared the area. Then it was on toward home and the end of the ride. 

Barns For Jason

I actually had never been on the Shaulis Road bike path this far East. So, because of that. I ended up riding by a barn I hadn't ridden by before and well, there's another Barns For Jason pic now! 

I ended up with 32 miles and got back before it got brutally hot. So, despite my not feeling great at all, and hurting everywhere, I got a ride in and that felt great. I hope to log another this week at some point, maybe Friday. We'll see, but this was a great opportunity that I had and I am glad I took it.


Tomcat said...

I'm glad you got a ride out in the country despite not feeling the greatest.

I was a little sad when I saw a bunch of those trees cut down on the north side of Quarry road. As a regular out in those parts, I really enjoyed that shaded section of gravel.

Guitar Ted said...

@Tomcat - Thank you!!