Saturday, June 28, 2008

GITAP 2008

Well... my now annual RAGBRAI tune-up ride, GITAP, is in the can. It was a pretty good one. The weather was as close to perfect as you could ask for. No flats. Didn't fall over. Got a bunch of miles in. Not as many as I was planning on, but a 400 mile week is always good. I was also planning on taking a few more pictures than I did, but that's ok.

Monday's ride was a bit disappointing for me. I'd planned on taking in the Lincoln Highway Headquarters when I rolled through Franklin Grove, but I didn't really feel like waiting two hours for it to open. Ah well... should have seriously slept in.

Tuesday we rolled by one of my all time favorite road side memorials. Here's a picture of it.

Damned insurgents!

And now the requisite picture of the bridge between Sabula, Iowa and Savannah Illinois. I think that I caught the light pretty close to right to get the reflection in the river. We were camped at the Mississippi Palisades State Park for two nights. Then it was down the Mississippi River path to the Quad Cities. That was pretty interesting given the flooding that we've had in the QC's. At dinner on Wednesday, I volunteered to lead a ride from Augustana College to the Duck Creek Bike Path. That day's riding was supposed to be the river front paths, but the flood still had them underwater. I was shocked when I showed up Thursday morning and had a group of something close to thirty-five people. I don't think that I lost anyone, so I guess it turned out ok.

Friday's ride was the high point of the week for me. I took all of the mileage options, had a couple of wrong turns, and wound up in Rockwood State Park in Morrison 108 miles later with an average speed of 18mph. That was all by myself. I was pretty toasted, but a shower and a couple of beers later (this is one of the few state parks that allows alcohol), I was reasonably recovered. Then it was a short thirty-four miles on Saturday back to Sauk Valley Community College to catch my ride back home. Then it was unpack and start cleaning my camping stuff for RAGBRAI.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Long Time - No Type

Wow... Time flies when you're having fun. It's hard to believe that it's been a month since I last posted. Lots of things have been going on. In no particular order...

  • The Flood is back and is it pissed... Lots and lots of rain up north have driven the Mississippi River levels up to near historic levels at Lock & Dam 15. They started talking about a crest at 17' and kept bumping up the forecasts. It peaked last Monday at 21.4'. Lots of local flooding by the river. The flood walls are now starting to come down again and I'm hoping that my commute route gets back to normal in a week or so. That is a trivial concern when compared to the absolute suffering that the folks in Cedar Rapids, the second largest city in Iowa, have going on. I have friends that live there and while they were spared the rest of their town was not. It's basically a mini Katrina.

  • The weather here has been seriously odd. A week a ago Thursday, we had 3" of rain in a bit under 6 hours. That caused a huge amount of local flash flooding. There were roads washed out, some bike path ripped out, lots of flooded basements (not here), etc. My ride into and out of work on the next day was very interesting. The parking lot in Lindsey Park was completely under and I had to ride back off of the bike path and into the East Village. There was about a foot of water geysering out of a blown off manhole and making a nice little stream to ride through to get to dry ground. The high point of the ride was when I rode past a TV Talking Head doing a remote shot in parking lot across the street from there. I'm sure it was an "OMG... This is really bad here" piece. Nothing like a guy riding a bike through the background of the shot to make it seem not so bad.

    Then on Sunday morning, while I was waiting for my ride to The Ride (see below), we had an inch of hail between pea and dime sized. Eek!
  • The 2008 edition of GITAP. I'll post more about the ride with a few images later.
Now... It's time to clean up the camping stuff, clean the espresso machine, and hope I survive this afternoon's Ashtanga yoga class.