|Morning bike path action|
So, I made it out of the house by 7:15 and hit the bike trail to the South. It was a great, sunny morning, and the warbling of all the recently returned songbirds was in the air. Red Winged Blackbirds, the most courageous of the lot, were taking up positions on poles and were busy looking for mates. Later, when they've nested, the males will go after anything and everything that comes near their nests. It is pretty amazing to see these red shouldered mighty-mites go after hawks and even eagles if they get to close to their territories. Even cyclists are not immune. But today, I was left alone.
Then I hit the gravel on Aker Road going South. It starts out as a gently rolling road and with the wind at my back, it was easy to roll up the little hills. The light was great for taking some images, and it wasn't long before I hit on the section of Aker Road I'd not ridden before.
|My shadow was chasing me.|
|New-to-me part of Aker Road South of this intersection.|
|Barns For Jason|
|The Tamland is working out great!|
I got myself a breakfast sandwich here and drank down the rest of one of three bottles I brought along. I probably should have purchased some more liquids here, but I seemed to be doing okay and I wasn't thirsty. I need to just make myself drink more though. Probably would be a good thing. But anyway, the bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit hit the spot. I was hungry when I rolled in there! I should have purchased another for down the road though, as later I got hungry again with no chance of resupply.
I left the convenience store and cruised through the downtown area toward the old iron bridge that has been blocked off for years to get to a dead end gravel road that leads you to Ridge Road. When I turned the corner in town to come within eyeshot of the bridge, I was surprised to find that the old iron gabled bridge was gone! In its place a new bridge had been erected. A cement deal that had all the character of a Soviet era government structure. Bah!
Well, at least they replaced it, and now the access to town from the Northwest via gravel is guaranteed for a long time now. I figured it would be truncated someday when they finally pulled the older bridge down, but thankfully, I was wrong. Too bad the new bridge doesn't have a tenth of the good look and character of the old one. I suppose the bottom line is that it worked and got me to Ridge Road!
|The long climb up on Ridge Road|
|Cow paths in the distance|
|Barns for Jason|
I looked up ahead at one point as I approached an intersection with a paved road, and I thought I saw horseback riders in the distance, but then they turned into cyclists! I knew that a group was leaving town a couple hours after me. It turned out to be the same. We stopped and exchanged pleasantries then they went on their way Southward and I struggled on Northward.
Finally I made the run in toward Waterloo and home. Considering that three weeks ago I was very sick, and that just recently I have straightened out and felt better, this ride has to be considered a big success. Of course, next week I have to go do the Renegade Gent's Race, so it's about time I came around! At least the Gent's Race course won't be nearly as hilly as what I did this weekend. It probably will be a bit longer, because I only squeezed out about 56 miles, and the Gent's Race course is 63 or so, but I should be okay. Looking forward to it!