Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Country Views: It's All Downhill From Here.

Escape Route: Sergeant Road bike path.
 Another great day, another windy day! This time the wind was out of the Southwest at 20-25mph. Nice. So, that meant I was going South. Again.....

I don't know, but coming back with the tailwind seems better to my mind than the other way around. You might not agree. You do you. 

So, this was a test day. If you read the last post before this one, you know that I made some changes to the Pofahl Signature SS bike. That was what I tested. More on that in a minute....

I also slapped the Wahoo Elemnt ROAM GPS on to see if it would work on a bike without a speed sensor as well as it does with one. And if it didn't, what was the difference. I'll save the results of that test for another Wahoo update. 

I had a few hours to spare, so this wasn't some epic ride day, but it served the purposes I had and well, I had fun, so there is a bit of foreshadowing on how the changes to the bike went. It was pretty hot out, so I made sure I had plenty of water and I set out to find the gravel. 

I shot this over my shoulder. A horse checks me out as I ride away from it.
The Red Wing Blackbirds are teaching their offspring how to fly now. It won't be long before they are gone for the year.

Summer is on he wane now. You can tell by the shorter days, the crops are maturing, hay is being gathered. The Red Wing Blackbirds are teaching their young how to fly. Soon the country will become a much quieter place. When those birds leave the silence can be deafening out there. 

This brought a song to mind and I rolled it over and over in my mind as I rode Southward. Pink Floyd's "Learning To Fly". The lyrics that I could remember made my smile, as they seemed to be fitting at the time:

"Toungue-tied and twisted

Just an Earth-bound misfit I"

This freshly cut alfalfa field smelled strongly as I rode by.

The Pofahl was great.
The changes made to the Pofahl were good. The jury is still out on the saddle, but it isn't terrible. I won't be able to say anything definitive until after I've ridden on it for at least 3+ hours. But for the 25 miles I put in on this day, it was fine. 

The Redshift ShockStop Stem (provided to me at no charge by Redshift Sports, by the way), is a no-brainer. It was perfect on this bike and that's usually what I would think of that stem on any bike. Those stems just work. 

Some Queen Anne's Lace (Wild Carrot) in the ditch here.

My Grandma Stevenson used to tell me that when the wind blew the tree's leaves up so you could see the underside that it meant rain was coming. 

I finally made it around my loop to where the wind was at my back. Of course, things went a lot easier then. I had a chance to look at the elevation readout on the Wahoo. It was becoming apparent that I was going to end up having more descending than climbing. It truly was all ( well mostly) downhill from there! 

This road section was sprayed with soybean oil to reduce dust for the adjacent farm. It smelled bad!

The recent rains have revived the Day Lillies.
Just like we are on the backside of Summer, I was on the backside of my loop, and before you knew it, I was closing in on Waterloo again. I know I am privileged to have such access to these roads, but I wish I didn't have to ride so much in the city to get to and from the gravel. 

Spoiled, I am. I know it. But I don't like dealing with traffic. 

I don't find bicycle tubes very often, but I did on this ride.

So, I saw a bicycle tube and as I slowed to turn around to pick it up off the road, I spied a bit of a Velcro strip, the type of which you'd find a cyclist using. Maybe a tube jumped ship because the Velcro gave way? I wasn't sure. All I know is that the tube was for something like a 700c X 40mm tire and that it had been in a tire that had sealant in it. Perhaps it was an emergency spare tube someone was carrying and it slipped off the bike where it was Velcroed on? The tube seemed to hold air, so I've no idea what was going on, but I picked it up nonetheless. 

It was a good ride. Single speed is a different animal than geared riding and so I was a bit more tuckered out at the end of it all. It's good for me. I need to work a bit and I figured this ride did the trick. Plus, with a busy schedule for the week ahead, this might be my only chance to get out. 

Gotta grab these rides when I can. Summer will be over soon....

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