Of Stinky Shoes And The Like

A most enjoyable weekend! Friday night Cody and I went on the Gallery Walk which was part of the Iowa City Art Festival, which was this weekend. We went to a few of the gallery’s and saw some art and ate some cheese.

Saturday I went on the College Green group ride at 10am. It was a large group of 15 or so and we rode on the road. The weather was delightful and every turn in option took a few of our riders away until we found ourselves in North English with just 8. We made the requisite Casey’s stop for pizza slices and water and the like and rode back in a different way. It was a nice 4 & 1/2 hour ride and while things did get a bit “frisky” as we approached town mostly we just rode a nice pace and enjoyed conversation. A lovely ride.

I went back down to the Art thing then, but only to get a coffee and spend some time with Jim and Sebastian.

That’s Sebastian there, he is my friend. He wants to score a goal in soccer this year and he is very interested in Dinosaurs these days. And trains, of course. We had a good time watching him run around and saw lots of friends walking by. The playtime was cut short by an “owie” in the form of a blister on Sebastians foot so we parted ways and I came home for dinner with Cody.

Today was another memorable ride, this time on gravel. We met at 9am and there were only 5 of us. The plan was to ride to the Amana Colonies and have a beer or two before riding in. We have been getting quite a lot of rain but the gravel was in fine shape and it was another beautiful day. I got a flat. My bottle flew out of its cage and landed in a muddy puddle. We decided to alter our route as we could think of no good way to get out to the Amanas without riding “B roads” which would be challenging to all of us but especially our 2 riders sporting road pedals and cleats.

We veered NE to Sandy Beach. The road was under water for 40 or 50 meters and people were fishing it. Crud. Rick “Danger” Hopson put his phone in his helmet and started across despite the giggles and frowns of the fisher-folks. The Eppen brothers removed their shoes and socks and followed, as did I with my shoes on. Joe had seen enough and with a silent head shake in my direction he rode back the way we had come, alone. The water was warm and deep enough to splash at our chamois(s) but we made it across with no trouble.

Shortly after reaching sold gravel again we left it for the comfort of a snowmobile trail. First up was riding the fenceline of a newly planted cornfield with grasses so tall we could not see our handlebars. After pushing through this we were rewarded with shorter grasses but more mud and – sticks! “Danger” Hopson found himself a nice little stick that turned out to be much tougher than either his Dura-Ace 10sp rear der or three of his state of the art spokes. We stopped in the mosquito infested lowland to participate in the time honored Iowa City gravel grinding tradition of turning a geared bike into a single speeder. Mission accomplished and mosquitos fed and off we went once more feeling that the worst was behind us. And it was! Rick’s cobbled together chain busted. He hiked. The trail became a quagmire as floodwaters had not yet receded. We all hiked. Through ankle deep stinky muck. Gerald rode deep into uncharted woods in an attempt to circumvent the road cleat un-friendly gucky mess that we had all marched into. He did well, but failed. His shoes were as dirty as the rest of ours in no time. We saw a Great Blue Heron in the trail. We made it back to solid trail (sand this time – what fun!) and those of us that could ride did.

I was first out and scared up an enormous Hawk and got to watch it fly away. Out to the gravel road then and we got to wait a while for Rick. He came out of the woods with his cell phone at his ear, trying to arrange an emergency evac. Brian tried to convince him that we could make the single speed thing work but Rick said no and we left him behind to fend for himself.

We rode on, Brian told us of a nice pea-gravel path we could take right into Solon and that sounded right nice so we took it and it was indeed very nice until it dead-ended at a freshly planted corn field. We stopped but all knew that retreat was not an option so we made tracks for the fence line again and rode in the deep weeds again to reach the far side of the field where we could again get on a road. It was a nice section, really, I scared up a rabbit and we made it across. To the electric fence. We wriggled through with nary a jolt and were almost off of the gravel road when a large oncoming pickup truck stopped and waved at us to stop. We did, it was the farmer, he was unhappy. I calmed him with the soothing timber of my melodic voice and assured him he would not see us in them parts again (at least until after harvest) and he let us go with a stern warning and a furrowed brow.

Almost done now, we were in Solon proper in 5 minutes and stopped at the Casey’s for food with our swampy shoes and dirty faces. They even had veggie pizza slices! After grub it was a mad dash for town as threatening weather was all around. We encountered a patch or two of drizzle but in the end we made it home safe and muddy and sound and tired just 4 & 1/2 hours after we had left! I made a call to check on Rick but have heard nothing, I assume the best so I can sleep well tonight. He’s fine, right?

I got clean and went down to open the BL rental bench. I fixed up a bike, its ready to be checked out. I met Cody when she was done with work and we went to Hy-Vee. Its scary there…

Dinner was great! We made burritos and corn on the cob and a spinach and tomato salad.

I need to go to bed.


4 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    i’m sick of muddy tires, muddy shoes, and muddy bikes.
    i’m glad that i have newspapers in the recycle bin, i’m glad i have a front porch that enjoys sitting in the sun with my stinky shoes, and i’m glad that i have bowling alley strength shoe de-stinkum spray.

  2. 2

    Jim said,

    Great job arrowhead hunting today! You are a super *!

  3. 3


    Submited post on PressPosts.com – “Of Stinky Shoes And The Like”

  4. 4

    […] sink works!  Long work the sink.  It even has a splitter so we can take a hose out front after “gnarly” rides.  And we got our glass door panels.  Things are looking much better today than they did […]

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