Sunday, July 28, 2013

Tough Making it Back to the Car.

Whew - glad I made it back to the car.  Think I bit off a little too much yesterday with my bike ride.  But, with the weather, I had to get out and was not paying attention.

Low 70s, sunny, and a breeze from the North at 1 pm - end of July!  Drove down to Silver City.  Was not sure how far South I would ride.  After all, I was only at about 200 miles for the year.

The first goal was to make it to the Silver Creek Bridge.  Made that without any problem.  Stopped for water and a couple photos.  One to 305th St.  When I got that far, I figured I had the energy to do the distance to Malvern and have enough left to ride back.

Was glad to make it to Jahnke Road and the pavement.  Nice, easy rolling on into Malvern.  Stopped at the depot to drink my bottle of G2 and eat a granola bar.  Snapped this photo while resting.

As I turned around to head North to my car, I realized how windy it was out in the open.  At that point, I figured I might have some problems at a couple sections of the trail.  Stopped a couple times to rest and stretch my legs.  My arms were bothering my, too.  Think my saddle had tilded down a little during my last ride - putting more stress on my arms. 

Made the normal rest stop at the Silver Creek Bridge.  Had a swig of water, popped a Shot Blok in my mouth and headed back up the trail.  I knew I could have problems with the little climb up the hill from Gaston Rd and North. Took a breather and climbed back on the bike.  Was slow going (5.5 mph) up that little grade. 

The worst places were about 100 ft before the trail breaks out into the open.  The trees created a wind tunnel effect.  Took it easy and eventually made it back to the car.  Drank most of the water I had in the car and popped another Shot Blok in my mouth.

Was exhausted when I got back.  Drank lost of water (even though it was not very warm) and a quart of PowerAde.  Spent most of the evening in bed stretching the sore legs.  Don't think I will be riding this afternoon.  OH - my log went over 200 miles for the year during the ride.  The ride was about the slowest ride for the year - at 7.1 mph.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

RAGBRAI Riders Have Left Council Bluffs & Lost Riders

The traveling party called RAGBRAI (Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa) left Council Bluffs today.  Next stop, Harlan.  Word was that traffic was blocked along the route from MAC Center through town.  This basically split the city in half.  About the only way to get across town was on South 9th.

I heard about this at coffee at Panera Bread.  Luckily, I did not have to get close to the route. 

After noon, I figured it was safe to drive into town to run errands.  At Quick, I saw two guys on bicycles, looking lost.  I asked if they were "OK".  The one said there were OK, then after a pause said "But I think we are lost".

I guess they were!  The had missed the turn toward Underwood about 1- miles back down the road.  Besides being lost, they did not have a map.  I moved the car to get it out of the roadway and grabbed a Iowa highway map.

Showed them where they were and how to get back on the route.  They asked if there was a route that is somewhat "flat".  I told them there is no "flat" road out here.  Showed him how to get them to Underwood and back on the RAGBRAI route.

Just about that time, another rider came South - he was on his way back to CB from Minden.  He suggested the same route, and conformed for them that there was not flat roads out here.

They were from out East (DC or such).  The one doing most of the talking said his wife had called and wondered where they were.  He told here "In Iowa - We did not go the wrong was to Missouri". 

I felt good - that I had done my good deed for the day.  The talker said what he liked about Iowa was that everyone was so helpful and friendly.  Left them to heard North on L52 toward Underwood.  I should have took their photo - but was already down the road toward town.

Made a good story when I stopped in at the bike shop (Xtreme Wheels). 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Driveway Re-worked

The driveway has been getting pretty bad - specially at the end where it meets the road.  Combination of packing from driving over it for years and the county adding more gravel on the road, there was a low spot there.

Of course, the spot filled with rain water.  It would be muddy.  A pain.  So, when a guy came by the house yesterday, looking to repair the driveway - I was all ears. 

We talked for a while and eventually he gave me a price ($450) for the end of the drive to the road.  Grading, layers of stone and "oil", and rolling.  He was offering to do the rest of the driveway, as long as he had enough material on the tank.  Keep saying - "we will do a good job for you".  But could not pin him down on a price.  I wo;ld him I needed prices, I was not going to give him a "blank check".

The crew started on re-working the drive.  I stopped them when they were cutting too much away from the grass.  Though there was gravel under the grass -- it was an old field road - and I did not want the area into a drive.

Anyway, they did what they could to restore the area.  Then went to work on the rest of the drive.  Graved the whole think from the concrete apron to the road.  Feathered the transition to the road.  Then started layers of "oil" and stone, rolling in the stone after every layer.

When that was done, the boss (previously I was dealing with the "salesman"), it was time to see what deal he was going to offer me to finish the job.  All the time, the "salesman" said they were hoping there was enough material to finish my drive.  I asked the boss, did they have enough to finish the drive and what would be the price.

He checked the tank - and said they had the material.   We haggled on the price for a while and eventually settle.  So, I have a re-worked drive.  Looks much better.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Dog Days

Got out for a couple bike rides in the last couple weeks.  Seems like I am busy, its too hot, or its too windy.  When it stuck my head out of the door this morning, it was looking to be a great morning for a ride.  Kitted up and loaded the hybrid on the car rack and headed for the Wabash Trace Trailhead.

The thermometer in the car registered 74 degrees - not too bad!  But when I arrived at the trailhead and unloaded the bike, I realized it was also very humid this morning.  Well, I am here, see how it goes.

Plan was to ride to and around Lake Manawa.  That was same route as my last ride (and had logged the fastest speed for the year).  That was a little cooler morning, knew I was not going to make that speed.

Took it easy on the way down to Lake Manawa.  Decided to ride the Nature Trail ti add a little distance to my ride.  Besides, I had not ridden that loop for some time.  Today's photo was taken on the Nature Trail.

Continued on the Indian Creek Bridge.  By the time there, it was getting a bit HOT.  Turned back towards the trailhead.  Did a short detour to the levee at the mountain bike trails.  Back to the main trail and on up to the Wabash.  By the time I got back to the car, I had enough. 

Its time to change to early morning ride - like sunrise.