Monday, February 27, 2017

Marsh Madness

Sunday was another ride in the Fat Bike Series, another gorgeous day for a ride. I was hoping that we could ride in some snow during one of these, but it has been such a mild winter that there has been no snow to crush! Riding along solo got so boring that I decided to turn off of the "polite" route and grab a few miles of good old gridded out Iowa gravel. Am I ever glad that I did too. I found a previously unknown (to me)  example of a Marsh Arch Bridge. Marsh bridges are commonly called "rainbow" bridges because of the distinctive arches at the sides. These bridges were created by architect James Marsh. He was a graduate of Iowa State University, in nearby Ames. The bridge design was patented in 1910 and built by the hundreds throughout the entire country through the late 30s. There are at least 5 in Boone County, one down in Dallas County, and one that serves as the logo for the city of Des Moines with a series of arches (Court Avenue Bridge) The one that I discovered is over Big Creek. The Wikipedia page has a complete listing of the design examples. Fitting that so many of them are within a stone's throw of ISU, where the idea for their design took root. I had a dream to try to ride to each of the Boone County examples this summer. Could be good for some blog fodder if nothing else.
I also had an idea to build a bench along the trail using a long forsaken pair of cement castings from the days of railroading. This will be a renegade build, no permission asked for, or given. It just needs to be done. More on this later. In the mean time...

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Sunday Putt Putt Ride

I did the Fat Bike Series ride again last weekend. It was a great day, just a little windy. Warm, so warm in fact that I saw a caterpillar on the concrete, making his way across a bit at a time. I don't care what the science or other quackery says about climate change, winter anymore is no longer a test of endurance. It's a short bit of cold weather, a bit of snow here or there, and some gloomy days strung in between some nice days. There, that should jinx next year pretty solidly.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Well Worn

Tuesday found me on the road again, riding from Reilly Auto in Ames back to my home in Boone. The roads here have firmed up pretty well, save a few areas of soft gravel in some low spots. Tomorrow is looking like another nice day for riding. I'll be doing the Fat Bike Series again. Madrid to Slater, back to Madrid and out to the HTT bridge for a selfie. Probably going to be annoyingly crowded. And, since there is certainly not any snow around, I'm not riding a fat bike. I'll probably take my 32er for the heck of it.
Picks from the grit...