Imagine Northeast Iowa

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A Ride of True Transition
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A Ride of True Transition

It was morning and I prepared myself for my daily ride around the Trout Run Trail loop. It seemed that the last few good days of October were now gone, and fall was truly here. A transition of beautiful fall days into the cooler temperatures that hint to winter months ahead. Temperatures were starting to fall into the upper 30’s overnight, and you’re lucky if it reaches near 60 degrees during the afternoon. It had rained during the evening and early morning hours; Tuesday was grey and wet, but not too chilly.

Last year I didn’t have much experience with riding in the cooler fall seasons, tho the days I did were with jackets and jeans. This is my first season riding with true gear that aids in my comfort and keep the cold temperatures and wind at bay. Leggings, a wool tank, and a hooded base layer were all put on. Some may be startled to hear all of the gear and have that be the main reason why they do not ride in the cooler weather seasons. I’m somewhat bullheaded when it comes to riding and I’ll admit, I am not great at tolerating extremes in weather. Hot, humid conditions or cold, damp conditions just make me wilt on the inside.

The temperature outside wasn’t terrible at all, and I found I did manage to successfully layer myself up pretty well. You want to start out a little chilly, but warm up to a comfortable temperature once into the ride. I marveled at the different color tones that show when it’s the right amount of sun and clouds. The colors of the fall leaves were heightened, at least the bright yellows. The grass was darker green than normal and stood out among the harvested fields.

Fall is a true transitional time, things start coming to the end of their cycle before winter hits. Leaves change and drop, the trees start to look bare and almost sinister. The fields once full of corn, alfalfa, or soybeans are becoming stripped and barren. A more positive spin is that the surrounding terrain is becoming more open. Some might say fall is almost like dying; everything is essentially leaving before the winter snows and ice come. It’s really the start of a new beginning! Dressed and ready to go I left the house and headed for the loop. I felt myself warm up as I went up the switchbacks, thankful for the heat that was radiating under my clothes. My glove-covered fingers were stiff from the cold. I realized I should’ve worn my slightly thicker pair, but it was too late to turn back.

I marveled at the colors and sounds around me, finding peace in the calm comfort of this fall morning. Until I came down near the river and that is when my perfect tranquil fall fell apart. Oh the glorious power of that wind! The wind was strong and it went through my layers like a knife cutting cake. I wasn’t prepared for such gusts, let alone the temperature of them. I shifted to an easier gear and kept on pedaling; I stopped at the shop to see Travis before I headed home. I walked in feeling like the lower half of my face was completely numb; I huddled on the couch and felt my body heat start to reach my extremities. Travis asked if I was alright and I fumbled with forming the words “It’s so windy!” It was certainly a ride of transition, yes it was. Once warmed up I went on my way home; recalling the warmer mornings of the months past and wondering how much longer I’ll challenge the cooler mornings.

More about fall, wind, ride, bikes, brr

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