Sunday, October 28, 2007

Trans Iowa Tune Up Ride!

Yesterday, Matt and I headed down to Margengo, Iowa to meet up with other crazies to do (hopefully!) one of many Trans Iowa Tune Up Rides. I rolled out of bed at 3:00 AM and picked up Matt at 3:45. We drove to Marengo and got there around 5:40 or so. We were riding shortly after 6 as my friends Jim McGuire and Jerry Boran drove up right at six.

This ride was going to be a good one as I had just ridden 57 miles the weekend before and had not gone over that since May and I was going to be riding my first single speed century. We took off at a moderate pace and the hills started right away. These hills are of the ideal size for riding. Most of them are steep, but not so long that you are hating them. Just enough to wake you up. We were heading northwest into the wind and I actually was pretty happy to finally do a ride the right way... ride into the wind and then ride the wind back. Unfortunately, I usually ride out with the wind thinking it is easy, until I turn around! While the wind was somewhat still at 15-25 miles per hour it wasn't so horrible that we were hating it.

The course was amazing with incredible views of the rural landscape. The company was awesome. A guy from Milwaukee was there who goes by the name Squidbuzz on the mtbr forums and he had a musical bike bag that was incredible. I think I just might be picking one of those up just for my solo rides. My friends wouldn't appreciate my musical tastes!

I can't say enough how much I am loving the Redline Monocog Flight 29er. This bike rocks! I am loving single speeding and am (as of now!) finding it easier to ride single speed than I thought it would be. I was addicted to shifting whenever things got hard and now I don't have a choice. I am finding that I am climbing faster than before and even the little bit of riding I have done with the bike I think I am getting stronger as well. I can't wait to really start riding to see what happens. Hopefully I will get more comfortable with a bit tougher gear so that I can go faster and not spin out on the pavement sections of my rides.

Here are some photos of the ride.

Here is Guitar Ted and Squidbuzz at one of our early stops. What an incredible day it was for a ride.

The course was running long the Iowa River so we were following a lot of curvy roads. In Iowa there just isn't enough curvy gravel roads and when you do find them we Iowan's think they are scenic! %^)

AWWWWWW the beautiful Iowa landscape!

Jim McGuire and Jerry Boran enjoying every minute of the ride! They were hammering it today!

The faithful steed! Loving the 29er single speed!

What B roads are suppose to look like!

The end of the road. We certainly didn't set any records, but we had a ball nonetheless!

Thanks to Dave Pals and Guitar Ted for organizing a great ride!

I am organizing a ride for Dec. 8 leaving from Gilbert, Iowa. We will have a 70 mile route, a 100+ mile route and a 150 mile route to choose from! Go large! Check the blog in the coming days for more details!


Guitar Ted said...

Paul, Thanks so much for making the ride and for your waaaay too kind remarks about me. I really appreciate your saying those things though, it means a lot to me. :)

You are really riding well and I think you will be opening alot of eyes on that bike next year. You are soo smooth on it, and if I may be so bold, you just look "right" on it.

Again, congrats on a great ride and thanks for coming!

Jeff Kerkove said...

Mmmmmm, nasty B-roads......

Travel Gravel said...

Wow, wow, and wow! Those B-Road shots are making me drool! What a great looking ride and write-up. Hope to hook up on a Sunday sometime. Later!

Paul said...

Yeah, GT, I had to tell my wife the wonderful things you said about me and my bike! I don't know if she is feeling any better about my purchase, but we will just say that she does! %^)

It was great seeing you again. Sorry that you weren't feeling good.

Squirrel said...

I'll be keeping in touch for the December gig:)


Paul said...

SWEET. I hope you can make it! It should be a great time!

Paddy Humenny said...

B roads eh...good eatin!

nice grean machine btw!!

gjc said...

great pics and great reading. I may be in iowa at the middle of december. keep me posted on your tune-up ride.

Paul said...


It would be great to have you! I hope you can make it. I have considered just doing the 107 mile version instead of the killer 150, but we will see!


bontrag said...

Hey Paul. I'm going to try and give you a call tomorrow. I was out on a ride today and totally bonked, and stopped by your place and you weren't there. When I stopped I realized how bad I was, and so I tried your neighbors on Ashton, second on the right, they were life savers. They might drop my water bottle of, so I'll be up there to thank them maybe tomorrow and can stop by your place to pick it up if they dropped it off. Thanks.