Friday, August 14, 2009

Gravel Season Approaching

The time is nearly here when the riding is at its very best. The time when those after work rides are the perfect temperature, the light is just perfect, and the gravel dust is a little heavier and clings to your legs. Ah, fresh gravel dust, makes you want to ride all day. You know when you can scrape the sweat-and-dust created mud off of your shins that you've been putting in some miles. Better not get too far ahead, we still have to deal with August after all.
I went out tonight on my classic loop. Added another cap to my totem pole. Appropriately, it went on the lowest possible spot. This was the last bottle of PBR that I brought back from Minnesota. Pure rot-gut, but it's 6 point rot-gut, so whatever. Can a person even buy PBR in bottles in Iowa?
I am kicking myself for not going down to Indianola last weekend. It started raining here as soon as I got my car gassed up, so I pulled the plug, stayed in Boone, and watched the Iowa Games 1 lappers come up Waterworks Hill. A beast for damn sure. One ballsy kid came up it on a fixed gear. Nice. My list of hopeful races for the rest of this year is a short one. 7 Oaks, Sycamore, Sugar Bottom. Can't see a way to race the 24 right now, but you never know what might happen. The solo men's should be a real fight this year. I hope that attendance is good for the sake of the event. Too many people go just to hang out. You need to race people! The sport won't grow from people watching!
If there are any of the Iowans out at Leadville who might be surfing blogs, I wish you all the best of luck! Leave an update in the comments if possible. And please, if there is a way Lord, don't let Lance win. That would be nice of you. Thanks. Later!

This picture shows a couple of interesting features of Central Iowa Gravel. Notice from the shadows and vehicle tracks how deep the stuff is here? This is typical of my area. About 2 inches deep in many areas, making the search for a good line a challenge. Also, a classic Q Avenue rolling obstacle. These two were not afraid of me at first, but probably smelled the PBR funk as I got closer and took off for safety. One still had a wad of grass in his mouth as he scampered off. Also, the top of this hill is where Marshall and I watched the meteor showers Tuesday night. We saw a total of 74 in about 2 hours! What a time we had. A great way to bond even tighter while strengthening the love of being out in the "wilds" of this great state. Do yourself a favor and check out the Orionid showers in October. Should be the nights of the 20th-23rd, but they're wildly unpredictable so who knows. Hop on your favorite ride and check it out! Travel Gravel!


bluecolnago said...

that, my friend, is some wicked looking gravel....

lance who? (yeah, he won. bummer)

Travel Gravel said...

It's not like me to dislike someone so strongly, but I sure do hate me some Lancy Pants. Also, not a fan of Brock Lesnar. I think I could take them both. I'm so funny:P

Speedblend Guy said...

Deep gravel. Fun stuff to navigate.

Last year's RAGBRAI, on the first leg from Missouri Valley to Harlan, the portion from Mo valley to BeeBeeTown was chipseal. To scope it out, I rode it about a month or so before the ride. Yowza! They'd just gravelled it, and it was thick and deep. So I'm barreling down a hill and a dog runs out from a hidden driveway, on the attack. The only thing I could do is go faster...if I swerved I would have fishtailed on my ass picking out gravel with Cujo gnawing on my privates. Of course, being fresh gravel there were barely any worn tracks to ride in. Man, I could have pinched off an iron bar with my butt cheeks! Fun stuff, that!

Travel Gravel said...

"could have pinched off an iron bar" I'll have to tuck that one away for future use! Speaking of, there was a stake in the ground next to my beer totem. I'm scared that the county is going to move the fence that it is a part of, so I'm contemplating a pre-emptive rescue and recovery mission with the sawsall!