transiowa officially left me not feeling the need for much gravel riding, a feeling which was encouraged by a bottom bracket that was left almost completely seized up from said gravel adventure. fortunately the trails up here have been in phenomenal shape following the time trials so i've spent a fair amount of time on those. good to get back to the mountain bike for a while. also spent a little time mushroom hunting for the first time. always enjoyed eating them and finally getting out to find some of my own. in the meantime i've been making some small changes with the fisticuff as well. new bottom bracket out of necessity, went back to the mary bars, removed the rear brake entirely and switched it back to a fixed gear. planning to do almanzo and gravel worlds fixed as well as heck of the north if they go ridiculously deep into the waiting list. honestly, i just felt stronger/faster when i was doing all of my gravel riding/training fixed and i've realized that long rides hurt no matter what...geared/single/fixed/hiking b-roads/etc. might as well get more out of it so i'll be pushing the fixed gear again...most likely for a while.
took off monday and headed down to iowa city and met up with adam and borrowed his buddy brett's bike for which i am extremely grateful. got in what i think i understand to be about half of sugar bottom. grew up an hour from there and had never ridden it. planned to ride more of it but the rain had other ideas. knowing how protective they are of that trail system we decided to bail before doing any damage and headed back into town. adam showed me around some local, in-town trails that some guys are working on. always fun to ride with adam and definitely worth the trip despite the weather, which really just seemed fitting for a ride the two of us planned.
headed out tuesday then to take care of some unfinished business. a few months ago adam and i failed a gravel metric due to winter weather and a road not marked as a b-road but apparently not plowed in the winter. wanting to get some good time on the new fisty set-up before this weekend's almanzo, this seemed an appropriate route. it rained all day on us while we rode monday but stopped overnight so i had hopes of a not-so-awful ride. hope is dumb. i got dominated. hit the metric distance at around 5 hours and ended up somewhere around 66 miles in 5.5 hours. bike is absolutely trashed. i'm pretty beat up. gravels were certainly not as bad as transiowa but man they were awful. first time riding fixed since cirrem i think and the back took a solid beating. gonna take a couple rest days to let the body recover before this weekend and hope (dumb) the weather cooperates.