The Trans-Iowa Vortex

Just because I haven’t been writing much here lately doesn’t mean that I haven’t been riding. In fact, I’ve been riding so much that I hardly have the energy or the time to do much writing at all.

And the reason? The vortex that is planning and preparing for Trans-Iowa V9.

The long road (photo by Lemberger)
The long road (photo by Lemberger)

In the last few weeks, I’ve put together a string of 80-90 mile rides with one subset or another of TI fellow-travelers, as well as several 60-70 mile solo (often single-speed) rides.

And yesterday, we doubled down and rode ~160 miles in about 11.5 hours (moving time).

The Big Loop

It was a great ride on a beautiful Spring day. There were steep hills, flat roads, rolling terrain, a bakery, swollen rivers, lots of bridges, a couple of town parks, lots of wild life and domesticated animals, pavement, a little gravel, and an even a water crossing.

After all of that mileage, it seems that I’ve crossed some sort of threshold when it comes to fitness and adaptation. My legs were never sore and only somewhat tired here and there–but they just kept on spinning along, seemingly without input from me. So it feels like my body is getting there. Not that I’m not stiff and tired today, but it’s getting there.

And the bike is getting there too. The Albatross is now wearing Clement MSO Xplor tires, a pair of Cascadia 29er fenders with boatloads of clearance, a cuesheet holder, and a cyclocomputer (so old school it’s not even wireless). The baggage setup has stabilized into a full regalia of Revelate bags: Tangle, two Mountain Feedbags, a Gas Tank, and a Pika saddlebag.

Not that there’s not a little work to be done, here and there. The drivetrain is old, and ready for replacement, so it will get a new chain and cassette before Dairy Roubaix (one week before TI). The extra mount for the front light and computer needs to be moved to a better spot. The computer needs recalibration, as it’s running a little long. I’m still not happy with the saddle position, which seems a little too far forward. And, just for good measure, I’ll add another layer of bar tape, perhaps with some padding in strategic spots.

Oaks (photo by Lemberger)
Oaks (photo by Lemberger)

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