Sunday, September 24, 2023

The GTDRI Stories: The 2017 GTDRI - Part 2

"The GTDRI Stories" is a series telling the history, untold tales, and showing the sights from the run of Guitar Ted Death Ride Invitationals. This series will run on Sundays. Thanks for reading!

After leaving Kevin to fend for himself and afetr a brief foray into Benton County, it was time to make the small loop near Dysart and over toward Traer where we would meet back up with Kevin again, hopefully.

This was a section of roads that I had eyed on maps before but had avoided due to them not fitting my plans before. However; with the mission of riding dirt roads, this section was desirable as it has a lot of Level B Road action in it. Most of this part of the 2017 GTDRI was a mystery to me, so I was particularly excited about getting to this part of the course.

Rob Evans leads N.Y. Roll and Nick from Iowa City here.

These decorative columns were a big surprise find South of Dysart.

Probably one of the most notable things I have ever "discovered" while riding gravel roads was experienced on this particular GTDRI when we came to the end of another Level B Maintenance Road South of Dysart. We spied an old farmstead, now devoid of outbuildings or a house, with a semi-circular pattern of columns in a grassy area. Was this some sort of weird cemetery? No.....but what was it?! 

At the time and for quite a while afterward, I had no answer to that. But in time I tracked down the answer, which was that a certain member of a farming family took to casting these columns in cement as an expression of their artistic nature. Nothing more, nothing less. But still no less spectacular and unique.

This display of wild flowers in the ditch still resonates with me to this day.

Almost immediately after riding past the strange set of columns we rode past one of the most spectacular arrays of flowers in a ditch that I can remember. I know I've seen a lot of wild flowers, but for whatever reason, this day's flowers at that particular spot are burned into my memory, at least for now. 

We were riding pretty fast yet and now the Sun was up in the sky. I was hanging on, but if it had been any hotter or more humid, or both, I would have been toast by this point. We were, for me at any rate, going way too hard, but I wanted to see this section badly and my excitement carried me through it with an ability to hang with the group up to that point. 

However; when the road dumped out on Highway 63, and Traer was right there where we were to stop, I was more than ready for a rest. Plus, I was worried about Kevin and how things would go with him. plus, we had more dirt on the menu and I was excited to see some more roads I hadn't ever been on before. 

Next: Part 3


fasteddy said...

Thank you for illuminating the origin of those columns! They piqued my curiosity on the day, and I’ve wondered about them ever since!
I’m enjoying reliving that day with you.

Guitar Ted said...

@fasteddy - Thanks!