Thursday, May 07, 2009

LeGrand trip

I rode out to LeGrand this weekend to volunteer and take some pictures for Trans-Iowa V. LeGrand was the second checkpoint in the race, 151 miles of gravel in and 163 to go for the racers.

I left home at 7:30 AM and headed south out of town and then east along gravel roads. Passing south of Nevada I explored some beautiful roads I had never been on before. Hilly, twisty, and wooded I don't know why I had missed these great roads so close to home. As I passed into Marshall county I stopped, ate some breakfast, and took a couple of photos.

The scenery:

The Bike:

As I approached LeGrand my planned turn to the north on a B road looked a little odd. All the street signs were there, but the first thirty yards or so of the road were ploughed under.

The road continued on for about half a mile.

Then ended. I walked through the field and up to where the road continued near the farmhouse.

I arrived in LeGrand in plenty of time, and took a lot of pictures of all the racers coming through the checkpoint, but that's another story.

After the race went through I planned on biking up to Union Grove State Park to camp, but two miles down the road the bridge over the Iowa river was out, presumably from last year's floods.

After a five mile detour I arrived at the campground just after dark, set up camp, and promptly fell asleep.

In the morning I took a short walk through the park. I wish I'd had more time to explore, but I wanted to get back home. I rode part of the route I took to Cedar Rapids in April. I stopped for a break at the city park in Clemons.

Then rode through the wind farm north of Colo.

It was rough going, the gravel was loose and I had a headwind much of the way. I arrived home two hours later than I had hoped and suffering from a pretty bad sunburn. All together I did two metric centuries over the weekend and my first multi-day "tour" of the year. A pretty good weekend.


Simmons said...

Hey Matt,
Nice looking bike setup! How do you like the bikecamper tent?

Matt Maxwell said...

The tent is okay. It's surprisingly roomy for a single person tent and not too tough to set up. The down side is that it's heavier and just as expensive as most single person tents with poles. I got a screaming deal on it from one of our parts reps otherwise I wouldn't have it.

How do you like the DuraAce shifters mated to the Tourney front derailleur?

Simmons said...

Nice touch with the shifters :)