Like today, flying down a gravel road, the hill gets steeper, I don't like to brake if you are not going to run into anything or anything is not going to run into you. It seems counterproductive to the spirit of bicycling. But the hills gets steeper, and I am now going 25-30 mph. The gravel is loose, so I try to stick to the insides of a tire track where there are few loose rocks. Now I am over 30 mph, the last time I can look I am close to 35 mph and rounding a small curve, I start to slide out of the small tire track, back wheel in loose gravel, my senses are all at 110 %. I'm floating, trying to avoid a disaster, trying to avoid sliding face down on a gravel road, I make it this time, the hill tapers, and I have regained control of the bike. WoW!!! What a rush. I can not do this moment justice, my words don't know how. I won't remember this moment in a few days, but I will find another one, and another one.
Then over the next hill, I see a farm house at the bottom, my eyes always looking for the "nice little farm puppy dogs" There sat Cujo, looking like a halfbreed between a Pit Bull and a German Shepherd. He doesn't see me yet. I brush my arm against my jersey back pocket, pepper spray in place. My strategy is to pick up as much as speed as I can, and blow by this canine. I watch his movements as I accelerate, he sees me now, stands up, barks, and is now running towards me. We are both at full gallop, I am going to win, I have enough speed built up, safe this time. I'm just saying it doesn't get any better then this.
I made a one page map from Google Maps, if you enlarge Google Maps enough about every dirt road shows up. I make a route plan, and proceed. So I come to this sign, think about it for a moment and turn around. A mile down the road, I come to my senses turn around and head back. The road goes from softball sized rocks to hard dirt surface. 5 miles latter I am riding on the side of the hill. Even 4" tires are having trouble not sliding downward. I am now at a fork in the road. One lane heads into a valley, the other up over the hill, I stop and look at my one page Google Map, I have not a clue where I am at. I now hear vehicle tires spinning out, I look down the road that leads into the valley and up comes a truck, all head lights broken out, huge monster tires, more rust then body metal, and the truck stops, because I am blocking the way out. Inside the cab sat two monster guys, huge, looking like offspring of 1st cousin breeding, and they are not happy for stopping on the side of the hill. I don't think these guys made it into town or the bathtub too frequently. I feel the driver look me up and down, like eye candy. I am wearing Spandex biking pants, arm warmers that have fallen down below my elbows, a bright colored jersey, spandex leg warmers and Velcro strapped bicycling shoes. I am not feeling like the Alpha male in this situation. I swear I hear Dueling banjos playing somewhere off in the woods. I speak first, I ask, "Is that a dead end down that way" He just looks at me funny, stares for a moment, and finally speaks, "Yeap, it is. My cows are down there, don't go down there spooking my cows" He points up the road, and says, "That way will take you North of Farley, you'll find it." They spin their way out, and I head up the hill behind them. I get the to top of the hill and can see for ever,
I look for a town's water tower. I find one, and head that direction.
Two Iowa beasts of Burden and my favorite cliff mushroom.
I am thinking about tomorrow, it is supposed to rain, I wonder what my legs will have in them. 70 miles of hard FatBike riding today, might take some of the zip out of them tomorrow. But I will ride, somewhere.
Thanks for visiting.