The ever ambitious Nick had a vision of a double century today, but it wasn't to be. The original plan was to ride down to Pella and Lake Red Rock, but due to Saturday's snow and rain down there Nick, Paul, and I compromised and decided on a route north and east to Eldora and Iowa Falls for about 140 miles. Initial conditions weren't what we were hoping for. A strong wind from the NNW dogged us from the first. Combined with sub-freezing temps that had our Camelbak hoses frozen solid at points and numbed our fingers and toes we were in for a rough one.
Going east, roughly with the wind, was a treat and I thought we might finish the ride feeling pretty fresh, but I should have known better. At about mile 40 when we turned north we had to fight not just the wind, but some pretty tough rollers of hills. By the time we hit Eldora at mile 60 we were ready to turn around and after a brief discussion we decided on a route that would put right at 100 miles and Nick and me at about 113. Going south with the wind was a treat, but east was still a chore.
Our revised route had us riding along 270th Street in Hardin county all the way through Hubbard and Radcliffe, but that was a lie. 270th doesn't go straight there at all. After that it was dead reckoning as we zigzagged SW. We found some pretty nice B roads that curved through scenic hills. Unfortunatley we also found several miles of pavement that were pretty much unavoidable. At Roland we took a bike path for a mile that was far worse than the B roads we had been on. By the time we crossed I35 and the Skunk River we were more than ready to be done. The last few miles into Gilbert Nick and I sprinted for the tops of hills, but niether of us had much left in our legs.
We were all pretty satisfied with the distance we went today given the conditions. That double century will have to wait for later in the season when we have some nice weather for once.