Well Saturday was another big test for TransIowa. I had a hilly 100+ mile ride set up and wanted to hit the road nice and early to get some early hour training in. TransIowa starts at 4:00am so your body better be ready to go nice and early. Mother Nature had another plan in store - lows in the mid-teens warming up to 40 or so. Come on that is crazy so I delayed to 8:30am to let the sun shine somewhat!
Yes I will be riding all the way down in the far valleys - far far away :)
After my delay I headed out and started to head towards "ski country". In Western New York we have Lake Erie to our west and then some nice hills about 20+ miles inland that just dumped on with Lake Effect snow all winter long. My house is on the northern boundary line and we generally miss the big ones and they settle to the south. I pedaled towards Springville and then kept heading further south to my lunch refueling location of Ellicottville.
Just on the outskirts of Ellicottville, NY - glad this was downhill at this point - I was ready for lunch :)
I pulled into Ellicottville at 1:00pm and grabbed a personal pan pizza, pop, water, and chocolate milk. All was well except the Chocolate Milk - made for some interesting immediate post-lunch climbs but I survived :) They were still skiing also - which surprised me because KB by my house has been closed for over 1 week now. Different climates :)
Holimont off in the distance - I should have taken a picture when I was closer but I was ready to ride :)
Part of the allure of TransIowa is the thrill of walking some sections AKA hike-A-bike's. These are either a necessity because of the conditions of the roads, the steepness of the hill the RD throws in, or a combination of the 2!!!! I was hoping to come across some of both on this ride to test the bike out and test the legs out. Well I found it - sometimes that which you ask for is not a good thing :) I remember how much they hurt last year!!!
This was just after a nice 1/4 mile or longer hike a bike hill section. The road was pretty soft so it was a good Iowa test for sure!
So I headed out of Ellicottville and started to make my way back north towards home. I knew there would be some fun times ahead and I just pedaled along enjoying the scenery and lack of traffic. Then I came across this:
I had no backup plan so I walked around the barrier and rode down to see how bad it was. Last fall we had some nasty thunderstorms blow through and I thought this might be the result of some heavy flooding we received. A little down the road I came across this:
Just as I figured out - wash out. I walked across and up the hill and headed out. I came across some more down in the Zoar Valley area but there I decided to turn the bike up the biggest meanest hill that made me walk again instead of tempting fate. I had a sense of where I was but no real directions but it worked out in the end.
Cruised home from there after another refueling stop. All in all a 109+ mile day in the saddle, some great training for Iowa, and a great time on the bike. One more huge day coming before we head to Colorado and then it will be a lot of spinning and just having fun on the bike :) But then again hills like that and hike-a-bikes are fun - that is why I do what I do I guess :)
Get out there and ride!