Sunday, June 22, 2014

In Which Mother Nature Changes My Biking Plans

Flooding arrived earlier on Sac and Fox than was convenient.

The theme of a 51-mile ride Friday and today’s 13-mile sojourn is that you have to respect Mother Nature. She will sometimes change your plans.

Friday, I worked in the morning and then went to a local grocery store to pick up a daughter’s and son-in-law’s weekend race packets of information. The line for the race packets stretched more than an hour long, so it was a bit of a wait. I had planned to ride with my sister that afternoon, but what with one thing and another, it was a bit after 4 before I hopped on Francis and pedaled west.

Cate and I decided to head south to the Sac and Fox trail—our rationale being that flooding is due with a crest early this week, and the trail probably would be flooded out and might be out of commission for some time. As it turned out, we only rode 3 miles or so down the trail—when we got close to the intersection of Indian Creek and the Cedar River, there was significant water on the trail.

We opted for the better part of valor and did what we should have done last year—we turned back. So the day would have totaled more than 51 miles if all had gone according to plan—I had ridden more than 20 miles in the morning—but it was still a decent ride.

Saturday I rode a few morning miles, but much of the day was spent playing with grandchildren, including having a nice barbecue at a daughter’s house. She uses tortilla wraps as bratwurst or hot dog buns—and, although I do kind of miss the bready bun, it’s a pretty slick scheme. If I vended hot dogs on RAGBRAI, I’d think about it.

Anyway, so Sunday, today, my plan was to get some serious miles in. After church and a visit with my mother in law, I started north on the Cedar River Trail.

Heading north June 22 on Cedar Valley Nature Trail. Not as far north as I wanted, dark sky in west was a sign of what was to come.

It was a bit after 11 a.m. when I began my ride. By noon, the sky was getting really dark and the wind from the west picking up. A bit more than three miles north of Hiawatha, I thought it best to turn back.

It was a good idea, but would have been an even better idea 1 mile north of Hiawatha. I didn’t exactly beat our afternoon summer storm—got a bit damp, in fact—but I was home before the worst of it struck.

Maybe I’ll get some more miles in later on in the afternoon. Mother Nature, pretty please?

Coneflowers have just started. One in bloom at my turn-around point, just a bit over 3 miles north of Hiawatha.

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