A Good Ol’ Fashioned Beatin’

Folks are always asking me why I don’t post more pictures of these amazing gravel roads that me and my friends are always riding around Iowa City. The answer is simple, if you try and take a picture you get dropped. Todays camera free gravel grinder began at the powerful yet unassuming Doc Tom’s house. After we had all enjoyed our iced americanos that he made with his SAECO espresso machine we rolled out to the NE looking for excitement and fitness. It was a group of four today and we rode at a steady tempo as we toured the Cedar Bluff area. Happenstance plus numerous right and left turns found us at the Sutliff Bridge with its regionally famous store and tavern where we enjoyed the champagne of beers and swapped stories of derailleurs and monster climbs and the like.

We rolled over the rickety bridge and into Solon. Until now our tempo had been such that not only could I have not shot photos but I had not even had time to eat. I have never been one to mix beer and ride food and even as hungry as I was when we left Sutliff I decided to wait until Solon to eat. WHY? I dunno. As we entered Solon and rode up the big hill on Hwy 1 I hit the wall. I ripped my chocolate chip Clif bar from its package and ate it barehanded with melty chocolate smearing all over my hand. Then I sucked down a GU and chased back on to our little group with chocolate all over my brake hood. We had one more good chunk of gravel to go and Dan Reasner seemed to know it, he hit the gas hard. We all tucked in behind and smiled our smiles of pain even though he could not see them and got our butts kicked. It hurt a lot. I was hopeful that when we reached pavement things would relax but Dan was not having it, he immediately got back to the front and finally rode away from us for a beautiful victory, his jersey zipped and arms thrown wide. Surely this was the end, I thought as I rolled past the Stop Ahead sign a few seconds later but no, Dan kept the pressure on all the way into town. It was 3 hours and a bit but it felt like more. Someday I hope to be faster…


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