Sunday, October 21, 2007

More off-road riding in Iowa

This morning we woke up to temps in the low to mid 40’s. I was surprised that the overnight temperatures didn’t dip like they usually do. From the time we went to bed last night to the time we woke up this morning, the temperatures remained steady. This was probably one of the more pleasant nights that I’ve spent camping because of that steady temperatures. And we even slept without the rain fly on the tent.

Our camp site, just a step away from the bathroom

Usually when I’m camping, the temperatures are still mild at bed time, and then at some point in the middle of night, or towards morning, I end you waking up to put on more layers and zip up the sleeping bag because the temperature has dropped 10 degrees or more. I guess that didn’t happen this time because so late in the year, when we went to bed it was already pretty cold and never got much colder.

Luxury is an air matress and an electric blanket on a cold night

There is nothing better than getting up with nature and having breakfast by the camp fire

Just like home, fresh hot coffee is waiting

After some hot cereal and coffee, we packed up the camp site, geared up for our ride and took off. It was already in the mid to upper 50’s by the time we left. It was going to be a warm day today, and it was supposed to be very windy. The wind was already blowing pretty hard as we rode out of the park.

Heading out of the park towards the Mississippi River

The roads we rode today were very similar to the roads we rode yesterday, farms, hills, trees, gravel and dirt. The only thing that was different, the wind was blowing me around on the open roads and I had to ride a bit slower because of that. I really dislike the wind and the XT is very light so it doesn’t take much for me to be blown around.

Open space not so fun on a windy day

Found some twists and turns

We found some big hills

It was also getting warmer by the minute, the high for the day was supposed to be in the low 80’s and while going 30-35MPH the temps felt pleasant, riding slow, climbing hills and while stopped I was pretty warm and sweating.

Fallen leafs everywhere

Amazing colors of gold and amber

This road was too technical for me, it was steep with many rocks and there were too many leafs on the ground. I can’t ride what I can not see. The golden colors were spectacular though.

Heading back to the camp on 52

In the afternoon we made it back to the campsite, packed the bikes up on the trailer and headed for home. The sunny skies disappeared a couple of hours ago and the clouds rolled in, the winds kept on blowing and at times it even looked like it would rain, but it didn’t.

GPS tracks from this weekend

I was pleasantly surprised by the roads in this area, they were all a bit different, so we had a nice variety. I ride the street bike out here a lot because of the nice curves, the scenic bluffs and the elevation changes, all that was present for the off-road as well.

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