Hit the store Friday eve just before the rain. loaded up 30 lb of groceries and hit the pavement in time for the much needed rain. Just a singlespeed that needs some wrench time before the snow flies. Long week at work. First week at work since Ragbrai. Just wanted get dry, eat dinner and veg. Ended up staying up til 2am downloading music and watching Gettysburg. So Saturday I was shot.
It has been at and above 90F with very high humidity since mid-June. Having completed the annual tour of the State, Ragbrai, on a bagged out tandem I was in need of a day off. So I sat around all day in boxer shorts and an occasional t-shirt and downloaded more music, finished Gettysburg, No Country for Old Men and Little Fockers. I ventured outside just once. it was late and the rain was starting up again. Had to tarp the outside bikes.
Sunday had to be the day. I have had over 100 miles every week this year. In fact the week of Christmas ended may former streak with a mere 85 miles. This had been going on since 'Brai 2010. Sunday I was at 82 miles.
Mary and I opted for the "Southern Route" to Carlisle, Iowa, and fast bikes. She rode her trustworthy trek 1600 and I my LeMond Versailles. 12 miles from our house to Casey's General Store and the Summerset trailhead. Mostly county roads and with baseball season over (kids league) the first stretch should be traffic acceptable. It was.
I felt like shit. August can do this to me. It has been a high mileage year. I am knocking on 5000 miles. But I yearn for cooler weather. Today was 88F and humid. however, sweat was not as bad as 'brai. My first 5 miles were miserable. Nothing quite as bad as not being up to par doing something you love. My lungs hurt from the increase demand for oxygen. After 5 miles when we hit Easter Lake I was feeling better. Perhaps going over 20 mph on the flat helped. I love speed without effort.
Just past the lake we turn north in a rural residential neighborhood. A moderately twistt blacktop with a few bumpy hills to get the blood going. The road straightens out for a nice short downhill that goes by "Lollipop Lake" and the Great Ape Trust (Hubbell park). We all know that the study of monkeys is best in the land of corn and harsh winters. Right turn on SE 45th.
A climb past what appears to be a salvage yard hidden by overgrowth of trees and weeds. A rustic white man in a baseball hat shouts something at Mary but she presses on. When I get to him I can only understand "Hy Vee" (local grocery chain). A brief exchange of his incoherence and my dead brain reveals that he is askign us if we are doing the Hy Vee Triathelon on Labor Day weekend. Nope.
A much deserved downhill to the Highway 5 intersection is next. Somehow my right foot unclips which normally is not an issue. But today it is. My beloved rightside Nike became an Air Jordan, the sole separating from the front of the shoe. Very difficult to flip the pedal to spd side up. I wait until the stop.
Left turn on 5. Run the guantlet! Vehicles are either going our direction to get on the bypass or coming at us from the bypass. 4 lane but they need to turn on our right. Some go straight. Big ring action, time to revisit the 20s as we pass the ramps and head into the village of Avon Lake. Said village is a collection of modest homes around or near a large pond. There is a General Mills facility on the west end which probably explains the shitty road surface. I hit the bad pave at 25mph and promptly raise my ass off the seat and start dodging holes. Traffic now has ceased. Safe once again.
The rest of the trip is uneventful. The road smoothes out. We do not see the Golden Retriever that chased my son last year. The final stop sign is like a mile from Carlisle. we take a nice road into town past the park and the house with the rhino and past the HS football stadium straight to Casey's. We opt for sodas and take them to the trailhead shelter.
Small world indeed, Lori Edwards is there. We last saw her on 'Brai in the park shelter in Atlantic, Iowa. All three of us ditched the bagger bikes of that week for fast road bikes for today. She and her frends are heading to the Summerset Winery. We are turning around.
An old timer and possibly WWII vet greets us and prceeds to share his life with us. 60 years ago he would ride a Columbia singlespeed from des Moines to Osceola, Iowa, at night without lights or reflectors on Highway 65/69. 40 miles? He also claimed to have been a Hells Angel or had ridden with them through a cornfield to escape the cops one time. I failed to ask how many krauts or japs he killed.
Time to go. We recieved a text from Tammy Bridgeman. Her and Joe are biking downtown, would we join? Spott us 12 miles and we will be there.
The ride back is uneventful. Enjoyable. Apparently we had a tailwind on the way down.
We meet Tammy and Joe at the Highlife Lounge. I suggest that we [purchase beer and sit underneath the new MLK bridge since the East River Trial goes underneath it. Joe and I purchase an 18 pack, the ladies grab the bridge.
We have not seen Joe since 'Brai. We lterally dropped him off at home on our return from that adventure. Been even longer since we saw Tammy. In the course of our get together the 4 of us kill the 18 Silver Bullets, most "super cold". Soon it is 6 pm and time to make dinner and feed the children. Got my 18 miles in, 27 actually, the 100+ Miles A Week streak continues.