The temperature was near 80 today in eastern Iowa and that just begged for a ride–the first ride of spring. My trusty Bontrager–sixteen years young and set up for the gravel rails to trails that are very common in Iowa–was ready with a quick pump of the tires, libe of the chain, and a few quick turns on those pesky bolts that always work loose.
The portion of the trail from Cedar Rapids to County Home Road north of town is paved in asphalt. North of that the trail, which runs all the way to Waterloo for a total of 52 miles, is primarily crushed limestone or gravel. There are a few things that are really great about living in the Cedar Rapids area and the Cedar Valley Nature Trail is one of them. It is great to just be able to ride without really worrying about cars save for the occasional crossing at grade.
I made it about 10 miles from my house before turning around to make a 20 mile round trip ride. Unlike in previous years I can tell that all of the working out that I have been doing over the course of the winter really paid off. I turned around not because of exhaustion but because of the condition of the trail. It was a filling loosener. Granted, my Bontrager is set up with a Kona Project 2 rigid straight blade chromoly fork and tires pumped up to about 60 psi.
This section of the trail is supposed to paved sometime this year, so there is unlikely to be any rolling of the trail surface or laying down of fresh gravel. Here is to hoping that the warm spring allows them to get an early start.
The weather is supposed to continue to be in the 80s this weekend with no precipitation in the forecast so the Bontrager may ride again!
Note to the asshole who drove their truck down the trail. Thanks for putting some nice ruts two to three inches deep for miles. It was a really wonderful experience to worry about spilling off my bike from slipping into a rut.