Saturday, October 22, 2016

56 For 51

I rode my annual Birthday mileage yesterday, a day ahead of the actual date of my birth. I decided to hit a trail that had always caught my fancy, the Three Rivers Trail. It is one of our few crushed rock trails, running a total length of 33 miles each way between Eagle Grove and Rolfe. It is about as flat as the stereotype of Iowa would suggest. There are 22 bridges on it. They vary from 15 footers over drainage culverts to a couple of longer100 footers over the rivers.
I just love the sound that crushed limestone gives of under big fat tires. I could go into my theory on negative ionization from the disruption of varying gravel substrates here, but I'll save that for its own post. What I will write about is the lack of food stops on this trail. I should have carried my own food, that's a given. But I didn't and I nearly had to pay a price for it. I blew through Humboldt on the out bound leg, thinking I could surely grab something in the next town. Well, all they had in Rutland was a pop vending machine. It would not accept dollar bills, so I was SOL there. So I set my sights on the next stop, Bradgate. This little town was hit by a terrible tornado about a decade ago. I had hoped that there was some sort of convenience store at least, if not a bar or somewhere to get food. Well, I was wrong again. There was not a morsel to be had unless I was willing to eat some of the corn that was being piled in the middle of main street. Not a good day nutritionally. I finally suffered my way back to Humboldt and ate some nice salty fries at Hardee's. Ok, so the mileage I turned out was about 56, so I banked a few extra above and beyond my years. I got schooled on not being smart enough at age 51 to bring real food. Still, a day in the sun at age 51, I'll take it.
Some photos, if my phone and Blogger will allow.



4 comments:

Matt Moggridge said...

Nice post, Greg, really enjoyed it. And yes, always pack your own food, especially on a 56-miler. Happy Birthday, by the way. Keep on riding. I've just bought a new mountain bike: a Specialized Rockhopper Sport with 29in wheels. Got 27 gears too. You might have read that I fell off the bike, but I'm fine now.

Travel Gravel said...

I am too guilty when it comes to settng out for a long, time consuming ride like that. Too many times I have loaded up,think it all through, then cave in to the "important" things I should do instead. Have to say, blogging a bit here and there at least gives me a reason to ride.
I have read your blog pretty diligently, and I applaud your choice to buy a new bike. It looks nice, and you'll appreciate the bigger wheels. Google "origin of 29er bicycle" and read anything from an Iowan who calls himself Guitar Ted. He's a walking, riding, 29er encyclopedia. They're dangerously close to Lycra Monkey bikes due to the origin of the wheel size. Only your chilled out attitude is keeping you from the dark depths of Lycradom. I know your friends will keep you safe!
Enjoy life over there Matt. Continue to take time to do something for yourself. And keep on riding!

Travel Gravel said...

Actually, you'll find him under "gtedproductions"

Matt Moggridge said...

I'll check him out, and yeah, I'll keep the Lycra Monkey wolves from the door somehow. I must say, though, that the bigger wheels make the ride much faster (and easier too). After the fall I felt that the hybrid with it's small tyres was just not right for me; I'm used to the fatter tyres and I think the mountain bike is easier to control and throw about. They're more forgiving. I'm sure you've come off a bike in your time and I have too, but it's not a good feeling. I'm kind of alright now, but I think I'd have trouble running, so there's a few weeks before total recovery can be claimed. Hope all is well. My next stateside trip will be Nashville, but I'm guessing it's a fair way from Iowa. One day, though, we'll meet up and ride the gravel. Hope all is well in the USA.