Saturday, May 18, 2024

Country Views: Single Speeding In Spring

Escape Route: Sergeant Road Bike Trail.

Wednesday I decided to get out of the house in the morning and hit the gravel. I did not know which way I was going to ride, but I knew that wildfire season was here again this year and I wasn't going to wait for Canada to ruin my plans again!

A quick check of the weather before I left said the winds were light out of the North. Okay, so North is the way I was going to go! It was also a bit chilly. The 50's when I left and headed toward the upper 60's by noon. I didn't know how far I'd want to go but I was determined to ride the Honeman Flyer single speed bike. 

Now I had purposely set the seat height a bit lower than my norm on the bike due to the super-slack seat tube angle which puts the bottom bracket ahead of the nose of the saddle by just a bit. It seemed that I was getting on with that well, but as I started this ride I was nagged by the feeling that my saddle was too low. If you've ridden long enough, as I have, my opinion is that you get more sensitive to changes in position. So, I was fighting this feeling all the way out of town that my saddle was too low. Princess and the Pea? Maybe a little bit.

Did you ever think you could ride under one of these? I have thought that, but I resisted the urge!

That grey box on legs? It is a honey dispensary. You leave cash and take some honey when there are jars in the box.

I went up Burton Avenue, again, but this was on the single speed and I wanted to test myself on hills a bit. What better way than by single speed? I felt strangely comfortable scaling the long grade off Dunkerton Road. Hmm.. 

I never am one to claim "fitness gained" or that I am having an exceptional day because usually there is a good reason for my "superman" feelings and that not because of my health or strength. But the weather people said the wind was out of the North, light, almost nothing. 

It appeared that more field work had been done since my last trip out here.

  I was taking a shot of the barn in the foreground and later on saw I captured another one! The water tower for Denver, Iowa can be seen in the distance. 

I ended up going further North than last time. I went all the way to the Black Hawk/Bremer County line and turned on Marquise Road to go East. Again, I was feeling pretty strong, despite the chunky, freshly graded gravel which had shunted me off to the extreme right hand edge of the road to find any relief. Once turned onto Marquise Road though, things were exceptionally smooth going. 

East Janesville Church

Wildflowers are starting to appear!

I also discovered why I was feeling so good going up Burton Avenue. It was because the wind was actually out of the Southeast and it was blowing harder than the weather people were forecasting. Terrific! But now everything made sense. 

A freshly planted field in Bremer County

Oh, and the Red Winged Blackbirds are out patrolling already as well. I could hear their sharp chirps at me as I rode down Marquise Road. These weren't very aggressive birds, but later on when their eggs hatch the males will get downright stinky about things. 

Meanwhile the wind, which should have been a pain in the patukis, wasn't a bad thing to deal with. The super smooth road didn't hurt. This continued as I turned South on Sage Road. I was having fun now knowing that - yes - It was me all along. Ha!

A tractor pulling a disc kicks up a cloud of dirt as it moves slowly across this field.

A modest planter rig readies to put some seed into the ground.

The weather was warming up and I was feeling great. The Honeman Flyer was doing well. Oh yeah, I stopped earlier on and raised the saddle. That was a great move, by the way. Things felt so much more "right" after that. Might have had something to do with my performance. Maybe....

It is hard to see, but some crop has emerged here in this field.

The Honeman Flyer at The Big Rock
I made it home in something around two and a half hours after I had left the house. A great ride on a fine late Spring day. I'm really happy with the bike, and I was happy about my performance on this day. Much better than the last ride out that way.


Ari said...

How have you been liking that new bike?

Guitar Ted said...

@Ari - I still like it a lot. It rides so smoothly and I can stay in the drops as long as I want to.

teamdarb said...

Ha, I have ridden under and waved several to go over the top. Never had an issue, and the farmers are always smiling.