Tuesday, July 22, 2008


We planned our pilgrimage to Iowa for a random weekend that just happened to coincide with the Mark’s GTDRI. Spending time with the in-laws is enjoyable but grinding some gravel was a much better option. A week before the decision was made to convert the old IRD ‘cross bike to a gravel grinder. The finished product was put to the test with over 100 miles of gravel, dirt, and a bit of pavement.

I left Marshalltown early to meet up at Hickory Hills for a 7:30am departure. The fog on the drive over was the thickest I’ve seen in a good long while. I climbed up to the summit of Hickory Hills to see some familiar faces. The Midwest was well represented with the Iowa contingent made up of Mark “Guitar Ted” Stevenson and David Pals, the Lincoln contingent consisted on Matt Wills, Jeff Bonsall, Matt Gersib with Minnesota represented by Jason Boucher. I was the lone Colorado rider.

We headed out for a 100 mile loop that would take us through Traer, Garwin, back to Traer, and then to Hickory Hills. Considering all the rain that has pummeled the state the roads were in great condition even the B-level roads were good. Ragbrai started this past weekend which lead to confusion with the locals as we rolled into town, we were only seven not 10,000+, but we did have a presence.

Other than sweating profusely my ride was great. Meeting someone new, catching up with others and of course riding my bike. Thanks to Mark for organizing and to the others for making this a most enjoyable way to spend a Saturday in Iowa.


The Leader - Gted.

Jeff documenting.

Matt, Mark, Jason, and Matt in Traer.

David rockin' a Casseroll.

The leaders.

B-road made easy by Jeff.

Quick stop.

Up the road.



MG said...

Hey Mike -- Thanks for the great story and images from the ride, and for coming out to ride with us last Saturday. It was a dandy day for a long gravel grinder, 'eh?! And Ma Nature certainly dialed up a typical midwestern summer scorcher for you too -- humidity and all.

It was great to ride with you, my friend and I look forward to doing it again soon. I'm gonna' be coming out to the CO front range at some point here in the next couple of months for a few days of R&R, so I'll try to give you a shout and hopefully we'll be able to hook up for some riding.


Guitar Ted said...

Mike: Thanks for hooking up with us. It was great to see you again and you rode really well. Hope you have many more cycling adventures yet this year. Maybe we'll see each other again at T.I.V5?

Cornbread said...

Great recap and pics! Looks like you fellas had a great time.

Hope all is well out west.