last minute planning of a gravel century seemed like a good idea. with interest from decorah, iowa city, dubuque and the hopes of pulling some people from des moines, cedar falls seemed an appropriate place to start/end. 20 minutes on mapmyride.com left me hoping my route would lead us to gravel bliss and not a lot of missed turns, pavement and road construction. adam showed from iowa city and lance from dubuque so the three of us headed out. missed our first turn less than 10 miles in but didn't affect the route much at all. other than that we had tons of gravel, a handful of b roads, i think something resembling a d road that i thankfully didn't flat on, mild temps, occasional drizzle and some pretty good wind. nice tailwind all the way to the 50 mile halfway point then turned straight into it for 7 miles which really beat me down. one pretty good bonk about 85 miles in and made it back to cedar falls without having to get the big lights out. something like 7 hours ride time and just shy of 8 hours total time. not bad coming off a 12 hour work shift, 3 hours sleep and an hour and a half drive. adam rode impressively strong and both he and lance thankfully pulled me in the last couple of hours. fantastic time with some really good riders. some of the more memorable moments involve incredible disappointment over a bridge out that wouldn't allow us to ride an awesome looking b road we could see across the river, deciding to turn right on trapper rd without a sign telling us it was trapper just to avoid the hill in front of us, "you guys are craaaazy" from the convenience store worker in dumont, lance almot ending the ride for him and i after letting go of his bars in the wind, "i kinda hope i don't get into transiowa so i don't end up like ben" from adam and "good fucking lord let this be butler" spoken from the depths of my bonk fantasizing about the jerky
and orange slices i couldn't reach in my camelbak.