Sunday, April 28, 2024

Country Views: Necessary Medicine

Escape Route: Unnamed bike path
Thursday was THE day. Yes, the only day that would work. That's because the weather is taking a turn for the wet and windy for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.'d think it was Trans Iowa weekend or something

And traditionally speaking, it would have been scheduled for this weekend. My, my! This would have been quite the epic edition of T.I. had I still been doing it. 

But of course, that is not happening and so it is just a note to make mentally. This time of year the thoughts about the old event are inescapable for me. There are reminders everywhere I turn concerning the event. 

And to top it all off Wally Kilburg's untimely passing only added to my mental state. I don't blame him, certainly, it was just the way it all worked out, but the timing of his death was sort of ironic in that it happened between Iowa Wind and Rock and what would have been T.I. weekend. It all just fits too well, if you ask me. 

It bothers me - all of that stuff does, and I needed to get away for a minute or two. A bicycle ride almost always cleanses the palette, so to speak, and this ride was about that, mostly. I just needed a break and a reset.

The Cedar River at Evansdale

The Cedar Valley Nature Trail

To get out of town to gravel going East takes a lot of riding. Same thing going West. The wind was pretty brisk out of the Southeast so heading into that wind first was a priority. The dirt roads Southewast of Waterloo were the target. That meant a LOT of paved bicycle trails.

A smaller planting rig which would have been considered huge when I was a child!

The farmers were well aware of this impending storm system and they were hot on the trail to get things planted so that this rain would be a benefit to them. There were tractors and whatnot crawling around all over out in the country. 

I was hot on the trail to get a ride in, and I was working against that stiff breeze the whole way out. The first dirt road was McKellar Road and I was still going into the wind! That said, it was still fun!

McKellar Road: Dirt dead ahead!

Seen off Weiden Road.

I went South on Weiden Road's dirt section, past Washburn, Iowa's grass airfield, and then a bit East on blacktop to turn out of the wind, finally. The road was Golinvaux Road, which isn't long, but it has got to be the coolest named road in Black Hawk County. 

Weiden Road's dirt section.

Gollinvaux Road. Cool name - short road.

The tail wind push was awesome. The condition of the gravel was as well. However; there wasn't a lot more gravel to enjoy. Soon it would be back to the bike paths and back home. I tried to enjoy the scene while I could and soak it in. 

It isn't as though I hate pavement. It is just that most of my life has been along, on, or near gravel roads. Ever since I was a kid staying in the Summer on relative's farms, seeing my first serious girlfriend who lived on gravel, or ever since I rediscovered gravel riding in the early 2000's, I have seemed to have an affinity for the country and Iowa gravel. I enjoy the solitude, the closeness to nature, and even the wind and hills. 

Now I am old enough that my friends I made because of gravel are starting to die and disappear. That's sad, but at least I had the opportunity to have been touched by their lives and especially because it was due to gravel riding. I hope I have touched others lives as well.

 I thought about that a bit on this ride, and I came to the conclusion that it was all good. Things come, stay for a while if you are lucky, and like a puff of crushed limestone dust, it all blows away in a second. But that road you are on doesn't stop. Not yet......

So, I keep riding. It\s the medicine I need. It's where I need to be to strengthen my spirit.


MG said...

Amen, Brother… Thanks for putting that into words.

scottg said...

Even when your friends are gone,
they will still teach things,
and help you.