Saturday, March 30, 2024

Country Views: A Windy Outing

Escape Route: Exchange Park
 Since the snow earlier this week it has finally warmed up and it has begun to behave like Spring. That is why this is not a "Brown Season" post, although it could as well have been since there is very little that is green out there. But, it is Spring, so this is a "Country Views" post, the first of 2024. 

I have a component that I needed to get ridden for an upcoming review so you won't get to see my bike just yet. That will happen later this coming week. 

The day was Sunny, but it turned more and more cloudy as a system was rolling in that was going to bring rain late into the evening hours. This was preceded by a strong East-Southeast wind. The strongest I had ridden in yet this year, I am pretty sure. 

I was of a mind to ride North, since it had been quite some time that I had done that, and wind be damned, that is what I did. The crosswinds were wicked. I had a handful keeping the bike on-line. Good thing the roads were about as good as they ever get. Hardly any loose gravel, lots of smooth road bed, and the occasional pothole to dodge.

Heading North wasn't too bad on Burton Avenue.


Heading North I figured on getting to Gresham Road and then I thought I'd head East and cross Highway 63 and then see how I felt. Going North wasn't too bad with a quartering tailwind, but when the wind came out of more of an Easterly direction I was left to work it uphill on my own. 

At least it was warm. The temperatures were in the 50's. Any colder than that and the windchill would have factored in a lot more to make it a very unfavorable riding day. But with it nearly being April, and having some Sun to start out with, it felt warmer than it would have a month ago. 

A good looking barn on Burton Avenue. I'm sure I've used this for a "Barns For Jason" before!

Going East was brutal with the strong headwind.

Turning onto Gresham Road and heading East, I was met with a mighty gale that was roaring in my ears so loudly that I feared I may be overtaken by a vehicle and not hear it until it was too late. I therefore kept checking over my shoulder every so often, hoping to avoid such a fate. 

I had nothing to fear, by the way, as I saw nary a single vehicle during the entire gravel portion of the ride. Of course, it was mid-afternoon and on a Good Friday, so maybe everyone was settled into their farmhouses and getting ready for Easter. 

A collection.

Another nice barn, this time on Gresham Road.

The slow-grind into the wind reminded me how good I had it at Mid-South. I thought about that nearly windless ride and how, if it had been as windy as it was on this ride, how I would have suffered a lot more. Riding this with gears was bad enough, not to mention single speed! 

I was thinking about how this was going to go once I rounded the right hand turn onto Moline Road. The minimal Eastward trek was enough for me to throw in the towel as far as going that direction anymore. 

Rocks piled up from this nearby field over the years.

It is unusual to see so many old-school hay wagons like these sitting along Moline Road.

The road South was not as strenuous as going East, but the crosswind was a monster. I was very happy to have clear, hero-gravel road to ride. That crosswind on a deep, loose gravel road would have been a big problem. I was getting knocked around as it was. 

A good example of how nice the roads are this Spring.

While I was very happy to have these choice conditions as far as the roads go, I have to wonder how long it will last. I already have seen evidence of road graders out there. You have to think that the freshies are going to get laid down any day now with Spring planting nigh on the horizon. 

But I'll take this as long as we can have it. It has literally been years since the roads have been like this.  I was beginning to think that 2-3" deep crushed rock from ditch to ditch was going to be "normal riding conditions" for the foreseeable future. This clear road way is a refreshing reminder that no - that was not normal.

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