Friday, May 27, 2016

In Which the Only Bike in the ’Verse Goes Greene

Must be summer. Bike gloves and sandals.

Sadly, I’m down to one bike, again. The Beast had its back wheel repaired not long ago, but I broke a spoke again (to me, it looks like the new one the bike shop put in is the one that broke which doesn’t make me happy).

Anyway, this afternoon I decided to take my first real RAGBRAI training ride of this young summer, so I took Argent out around 2, with the plan to head to Lafayette.

But the sky looks a bit ominous, many dark clouds. And, sure enough, as I neared the Cedar River Trail in Hiawatha, it started to sprinkle. I did ride north for a while, but the rain picked up a bit, and I decided I would rather be in town than 7 miles north should things get worse. So at Robins, I turned around.

And, of course, as I got back to Hiawatha, some patches of blue appeared and the sun shone.

Still, there were clouds south and west, and I decided the universe was trying to tell me a city ride was a good idea. I rode south on the trail, pausing at Cedar Lake to eat a bag of nuts and a box of raisins. I didn’t have a particular goal in mind, and the sky was looking iffy again, but it occurred to me that I had not experienced the new Greene Square Park, yet.

Heading south through Hiawatha, maybe I could have gone to Lafayette after all.
Cedar Lake with bicycle, as I eat some nuts.
Well, a columnist in the Gazette was pretty positive about it, and after seeing it, I kind of agree. I don’t know how long it will stay “cool,” but it does sort of unite the main library and the art museum with a new, pleasant vibe. I’m not wild about the giant worm, but public art does make a place feel more, well, arty.

Some Greene Square images--public art and art museum. An art installation by the library. And line of a line of Ginkgo trees.

As I was wandering the park and photographing it, I noticed an art installment—a “People of Cedar Rapids” set of images on doors by the library. One of them is Jane Gilmor, a retired art professor from MMU.

Jane in the park. Hi Jane!
From the park, I could also see three of the Grant Wood American Gothic statues that are displayed around Cedar Rapids. As I did the tour de Gothic around the park, it started to rain again.

Top image is Gothic by the library. Middle two are by the Gazette. Bottom, as should be obvious, is by art museum.
But the rain ended quickly as I started home. I had begun the ride by climbing Brentwood Hill. As I neared home, my odometer read about 25 miles. Well ….

I took a detour down Lindale Trail and wasted some time and distance on the Boyson Road trail. That got me on the other side of the hill so I could bookend my ride with hill climbs, and also meant my total miles added up to my age 27 years ago—30.

All in all, it was a nice first ride of summer, although the rain is optional.

View of Cedar Lake as I head north.

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