Monday, September 9, 2013

Check Please...

Well, another Tuesday ride. Kids back in school, wife at work all day. Schedule open, might as well check another item off my 2013 Wish List.So I set off for my departure spot on the Heart of Iowa Nature Trail and aimed my counterfeit Fat Ralph for Hoy Bridge! I had to have it!!! I cannot recall how it was that I even came to know about this bridge. I suppose that I saw a picture of it on Google images. That seems to be where I learn everything these days, Google images. I'm such a basal level learner. "Me see picture, me like picture, me learn what picture mean." There should be a school curriculum based on Google learning. Home schooled, that would be easy. Anyway, back to the bike stuff. So I had a customer a few weeks ago who lives in Cambridge, a pass through town for the trail, and I asked her and her husband if they knew anything about Hoy Bridge. Stacie Link said that her parents lived a few miles from it, and she gave me some detailed directions about how to find the trail head to get to it. (Also, talked to her husband, Carl, about my Mongoose Beast and wouldn't you know, he went and ordered a green one. Good on ya, Carl!)
So the dusty trail is not continuous between the towns of Collins and Rhodes, and I had to ride about 2 miles of blacktop to get to the continuation of the trail that would eventually get me to Hoy. The day was perfect for riding a fat bike on a crushed rock trail. Plumes of dust followed me in the windless air. Silty, glorious dust peeled off of the tires and coated my legs, and the frame, and the wheels, etc with a fine coating. (Actually provides some sun block I believe..) Non-stop to the trail's continuation and I could feel that I was on the verge of discovery. Exploration, such as it is in today's society, is still alive if you go out and throw a little something at it! Cruising through this more rustic part of the trail was fun. There is more grass than gravel. It got real quiet as a result, and I could hear one of the most elusive sounds of all. Nothing. Not the same as not hearing anything, mind you. Later!
                                  Iowa: It's a magical land where vintage Volvos spit out fatbikes!
                                                         Faked out Nukeproof fat hubs.
One large arch and some vertical supports would have done, but this is a study in concrete form and function. A real cool old gem in the midst of the Iowa wilds. The bridge that is, not me!!!!

2 comments:

Matthew Moggridge said...

Fat Ralph! I want one! What an amazing bike – and what a great post too. Hope all is well out there. I was in Cleveland and Pittsburgh a few weeks back, but I'm guessing that's miles from Iowa. One day, perhaps, we'll do a ride together. I love that Fat Ralph! Cheers, Greg.

Travel Gravel said...

Yes, Matt, the Fat Ralph is quite an interesting bike. People seem to be in absolute shock when they see me riding it. The brake is a kick brake, like a child's bike. Pedal backward in enough time to slow down before you smash into something. It is actually a Mongoose Beast that I repainted and badged as a Ralph. Too much fun for one person to have, that's for sure. There is a thread on www.ratrodbikes.com under the forum heading Fat Rats, where someone is trying to get a Beast in England. You might check it out. Only $200 US dollars. Cleveland again? or from earlier in the summer? You're quite the traveler. Hope you're well over there. Keep up the rides my friend.