Tuesday, September 22, 2009

High Bridge Loop

Finally! It has been about a year and a half in the making, and I was finally able to go out on my original gravel loop. The loop that created my thirst for ridin' dirty. The loop where I would bomb down washboarded gravel and suffer like a pig on the other side. All altitude is bought and sold on this loop as the downs are almost exactly equal to the ups. This is the loop where I would head out the door and my wife, not knowing if I was going road riding or gravel grinding, would have to ask! (That was a long time ago, she knows now that if I'm on a bike, I'm on gravel:) I would simply respond, "High Bridge Loop!" The route was impassible because of the construction of the UP's new bridge. They had a cement batch-plant set up on one side of the valley, and a multitude of trucks, excavators, etc. constantly droning around. I think they even had guards posted at the ends of the old bridge to keep snoopy locals and FRNs away.
I realized today that there is quite a bit of pavement on this loop. In fact, the first 20 minutes are on pavement, then you approach the top of the river valley and the gravel is waiting like a dusty, gritty escalator to take you down the first bombing run. Rumble over the Wagon Wheel Bridge, under the new High Bridge, and it's up, up, up! From there it's over the Humpback single-lane bridge, down and up through Hippy Holler, down immediately to Tilley's Hole, around to Water Works Hill (Iowa Games roadies know this hill) and home through town. I had not a single problem while on the dirt, but had 3 morons encroach upon my rights while on the paved roads in town. You know the story, it never changes. Some day I'm going to make a billy club and mounting rack. Make it quick release so I can pop it onto whichever bike I'm taking. Got a problem with me riding my bike Buddy? Say hello to my Little Friend! But I digress, for the post here is about enjoying a favorite old route. I used to keep track of my times on this route, and the fastest I ever road it was 56:06. Today was a lot slower than that, but I did stop for pictures, and I guess I'm not 34 anymore. So I'm told anyways;) Later! Travel Gravel!


MrDaveyGie said...

I hear ya, on the "pavement morons" I have a 5 mile stretch of pavement before I hit the peace of my back woods gravel roads, and I can feel the relief of no more drive by close calls from those morons when I cross that line.

bluecolnago said...

i'd use spring clips to hold that billy club to the top tube :)