Saturday, August 20, 2011

Off the beaten path.........

Took Thursday off work, and the plan was to ride my CycleX out to the Field of Dreams movie sight, using the back roads of Iowa, and just enjoy the country side. The problem I found out early was that just wasn't enough tire (35CC) for the gravel. I was spinning out on the climbs and sliding around on the downhills. Sometime the gravel roads ride like pavement, and are hard packed, not today, however, too much loose gravel.
What amazes me on some of these rides, is I am on a road that is just two tire tracks wide, winding in and out and up and down, and then I will round a corner, and there will be some body's home. Miles from nowhere, alone, and, no traffic unless you are coming here.
I was on such a road, and heard about a half a dozen dogs starting to bark as if they were going to show me I don't belong here.

This wasn't going to be good, with all the twists in this road I would not out run them.
Their barking became louder, I couldn't tell for sure if they were behind me or in front of me, the ruts got deeper, my heartrate hit my high zone. Then I saw him walking. A large, strong, fit looking man, 60ish, Tshirt soaked with sweat, a 5 year unshaven beard that went from just below his eye sockets to his Tshirt neck line. He was swinging a large stick in the brush. He knew something was headed his way, his dogs told him. He did not expect to see a man riding a bike out here. I thought he will save me from these animals, I need to say something, nice, so he would like me, something so he would not turn me into tonight's dog food. I started to say something like, "It sure is beautif...." and he interrupted me and said, "You are off the beaten path" with out a smile. He then went on to say, the dogs are all in their pen, and watch out for road washouts" That was it, he was done talking to me, he was living out here so not to be bothered by people, he looked down to the ground, which told me not to talk, and ride through.
Rode to the Field of Dreams movie sight, watched the tourists for a bit, bought a cold pop drank her down, stopped at the local park refilled my water bottles and rode back home.


All in all it was a good ride, my legs were spent, one wipe out in the gravel, and a bike that needed a good wash, air dry, and lube.

Today, (Saturday) I rode with the FatGirl. Those 4 inch tires ride well in washouts, ruts, and gravel.
This bike fully loaded with gear, and water is weighing in at 50lbs. It doesn't feel that heavy, but you really notice the difference when you ride the pavement on a road bike after riding a bike like this for a time, makes the road bike seem like weightlessness.

Rode 70 miles for a gravel Metric. Even took a moment to "plank" it has been awhile, and I didn't want to get rusty at planking.

Saw this sink hole big enough to fit myself and bike in. It twisted downwards and out of sight, maybe one of the 100s of buried old lead mines that are known in this area, that have been covered up and open up sometimes with wash outs. I couldn't resist climbing in.
I rode 70 miles out here, and surprisingly ran into a man that I have seen out here perhaps a couple of dozen times in the last couple of years. Today he called me by my name as I rode by, and told me his. WoW, was a good friend from 35 years ago, and we hadn't seen each other since or so we thought. He had not recognised me either the last couple of years, riding out here, but he read an article the newspaper did about my winter riding, and recognised that was me. He still didn't know it was me he was seeing out here until somebody told him about my century goals and I rode out this way often then he put two and two together.  We had fun talking, and said we will talk again. He is retired and rides as much as I do out here, and he had me wishing I was retired too.

Rode hard, and the 50lb bike didn't feel so light as the day's travel lengthened. Well my legs are now toasted, I hope they have something to give me tomorrow. Well after all it is Sunday, yanno, my day off work.

:-) Thanks for visiting my ramblings.



Harry Legge's Cycling Blog said...

Nice to be seeing posts again. Daughters have a way, don't they?

Anonymous said...

Sometimes its a small world, and sometimes its a world full of surprises.

Dan O said...

Interesting folks out there in rural Iowa. Running into a pack of dogs out there - yikes...

Melissa in MN said...

Since he spends all of his free time on the bike, this is the only way I can keep tabs on him! He doesn't believe in using the phone. So blog he must, otherwise I worry about him!

dawn marie giegerich said...

You read that guy right.

welshcyclist said...

Great ramblings Davey

Travel Gravel said...

How cool is that! I wish I could find some of my old friends out on bike rides today. So many hours spent on bikes as kids, the magic is still there for some! (reminds me of the closing lines from The Polar express:)